Brother Ignathius, you are one of the smartest people I know. For heaven sake, you are a Jesuist, trained not only in the arts and science but in rhetoric and logic. I've tried to steer the conversation in this direction a number of times so you would see the truth for yourself but we always go off on a tangent. You have about the most serious case of cognitive dissonance I have ever seen.
Actually, now that I think about it, I saw a more serious case a few years ago. One of my friends from the now defunct local sect invited me to go on a geological field trip. This sect broke up for all the usual reasons and many of the folks now live in our community. Sects to my mind are an abomination but don't get me wrong. These are the nicest folks I have met. I taught many of their kids in high school and they had the same range of abilities of any bunch of kids. One thing that distinguished them, though, is that they were great to teach. Polite, keen, eager to learn. A real pleasure but I am disasembling.
This field trip was led by a geologist from one of our local universities and he was a creationist. That's right, he believed that the world was created some 6000 years ago. If a geologist-creationist is not the ultimate case of cognitive dissonance, I don't know what is. Anyway, I promised my friend I would be good and not rock the boat. Our area is a geologist paradise. You can even see the KT boundary in a couple of locations and marine fossils from extinct animals abound.
At one point in our walk up the gorge we saw a sequence of clay,sand,pebbles,, clay,sand,pebbles repeated at least 500 times.I couldn't resist. I sidled up to the geologist and asked him what had created this. He told me that it was The Flood. I restrained myself and just nodded and carried on.
Back, though to Celibacy. Don't you see why the church insists on Celibacy for her priests. I don't know, obviously, whether the church instituted celibacy with this in mind or if they only discovered after they had started this nonsense, how useful it would be to keep their priests under control. You do realize, I assume, that nowhere in the bible is it said that priests should be celibate. It is church created artifact just like confession. Now confession, there is a wowser.
Most regimes have to resort to sending agents, listening in on private conversations, trolling through garbage and recently, spying on our e-mails. All these methods are likely to get the agents outed and even killed and considerable egg on the face of the regime that sent them. The Catholic church has worked out a system whereby everyone comes and confesses their secrets to officers of the church. Michaevelli must have learned his trade from the church.
With celibacy, the church has you by the short and curlies. Let's assume that the sexual preferences of church officers are the same, percentage wise, as the rest of the population. You have the same number of homosexual paedophiles, hetrosectual paedophile, adult oriented homosexuals and adult oriented hetrosexuals.
By the by, if you look at the work of Kinsey, some of us are pure homosexuals, some pure heterosexuals and rest of us on a spectrum somewhere in between. How we end up, for many of us, depends on our experiences, especially in early life.
What has been coming to light lately is homosexual paedophilia amongst the clergy. I suspect this is because it is such an abomination in the eyes of the public. However this must only be the tip of the iceburg. Hetrosexual paedophilia is also horrendous but in the eyes of the public somewhat less so, homosexual relations with a consenting adult less again and hetrosexual relationships with consenting adult still less reprehensible. If priests abusing boys is coming to light, how many cases of the other three types of relationship will there be. And all are sins, according to the church, if you are a priest.
In the mildest case - having it off with the wife of one of your paritioners - when you confess, you are told to say so many hail maries, forgiven and told to sin no more. You are behoden to the church which has relieved the pangs of guilt you feel and next time you repeat the sin, youcan confess again. The church has infinite capacity for forgiveness, especially when it keeps you firmly under their thumb.
In the more serious cases when you have been buggering the choir boys, the church will send you to another parish to start over and defend you from the law. Payment will be made to the victim if absolutely necessary and the church will do everything possible to keep you safe. This combined with your feelings of guilt and disgust with yourself makes you their slave. If you wake up an leave this most un-christian organization, you will be open to the full force of the law.
I started by suggesting that the percentage of priests with various orientations is the same as the general public but I strongly suspect this is not the case. As I mentioned, which way many of us go is partially dependent on our early sexual experiences. Amongst the youth that priests start with, some will be homosexually inclined and some on the fence. With their first sexual experience with a priest, I'd be willing to bet that many of them will become priests. The ones we hear about are the hetrosexual boys that find their experience with a priest soul shattering. I would love to see a survey of how many serving church officers were started by a catholic priest in their youth. Maybe you could conduct a straw poll amongst the clergy you know, brother Ignathius.
Pope Fancis, bless his little white socks, is talking about eliminating celibacy. I doubt if he will succeed any more than President Obama succeeded in doing all the great things he intended. Not only is it too ingrained in the church culture but the people at the top realize, overtly or instinctively what control it give them over their underlings. I wish him every success.