Having grown up Catholic and remained a member of the Catholic Church until a few years before I came out, I am all too aware of the Church hierarchy's total obsession with all things sexual and the manner in which anything other than procreative sex is evil. Of course, homosexuality and/or same sex physical relations was about the fastest ticket to Hell outside of possibly murder, although their were some clergy who seeming equated the two as the same in heinousness. Meanwhile, as well all know, priests, bishops and other clergy were sexually molesting children and youth with abandon, knowing that the hierarchy would cover up the crimes and rarely, if ever, report the criminal conduct to police authorities. Yet there remain Catholics who blindly parrot the Church's official condemnation of sexuality while ignoring the fact that from many Popes on down, a vile, worldwide criminal conspiracy was going on. Candidly, I cannot understand this mindset other than to assume that such right wing Catholics cannot let go of the Church teachings that in many cases made their lives miserable. To admit they were wrong apparently would be too painful of an admission. A letter to the editor in the Bucks County Courier-Times has a wonderful come back to such bitter right wing Catholics. Here are some excerpts:
Older people jaded by their loss of youth and turning that dissatisfaction outward on the world is nothing new. But I don't think I've ever seen it put on display so outlandishly that it makes "All in the Family" look like a documentary.In a column last month, J.D. Mullane conjured up a whirlwind of excuses to not only defend the Catholic Church from accusations of being "sex-obsessed," but to turn around and blame, well, everyone and everything he possibly could, it seems. To him, our evolution into a much more sex-positive nation is a disaster, and if the once pure holy beacon of Catholic theology on sex is now tarnished, it's because of this rising tide of naughtiness.
Most offensively, he lists Disney's attempt at transgender inclusiveness as an example of what he perceives as the moral degradation of society that's truly to blame for making the Catholic Church seem out of touch. Never mind the shockingly high suicide rate of transgendered people who feel they lack an identity -- 41 percent have attempted it!
It's likely as high as the suicide rate of those who, as children, were sexually assaulted, though that statistic is harder to come by. And while it's generally estimated that child sex abuse rates among Catholic priests are actually comparable to that of the general population, the depravity of it comes from the years -- decades even! -- that it was kept secret, allowing it to happen over and over again to more and more children.
Perhaps if we as a society had been more open to and accepting of the spectrum of human sexuality, instead of hushed by an invisible Victorian code of sexual conduct, these crimes could have been caught years earlier, and thousands of lives could have been saved.
[L]ook to the parts of Africa where the Catholic Church dominates. Its insistence that the use of condoms is wrong is causing preventable deaths from HIV/AIDS to continue to flourish, year after year. From the relative safety of America and western Europe, they preach abstinence instead, implying that they'd rather see whole swaths of the impoverished die from AIDS than compromise on a rule that, as far as I can tell, Jesus wasn't concerned with.
In short, sex positivity is hardly a moral ill; rather, it is sexual repression that costs lives, even if it makes suburban columnists nostalgic for the good old days. The truth is, these good old days were a time before the HIV/AIDS crisis, when LGBT people were free to be beaten and exiled from their communities, when mothers living in poverty were forced to give birth, and when children were being raped by priests by the thousands but were too ashamed to say anything about it.
As I have said before, the moral bankruptcy of the Catholic hierarchy - including Pope Francis - is complete. These bitter old men in dresses should be the last people anyone should consult or defer to in matters of sexuality or anything else.