Thursday, October 20, 2005

Divine Command Morality, as interpreted by the former "leadership" of the Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles released summaries of its confidential files, which document how local church leaders for decades responded to accusations that priests were sexually molesting children - they moved suspected priests to new assignments without notifying parishioners.
(Or the cops).

Good job.
Is that how Christ would have handled the situation ?

This is, of course, nothing that we didn't know before, but every time that the Catholic Church is forced to officially reveal more evidence of their incompetence and malfeasance, (which went all the way up to Rome), I get outraged again by their COMPLETE and TOTAL lack of regard for the members of their faith, as well as gobsmacked by how willing the Catholic bureaucracy was to let Satan run the place.


Blogger Brit said...

At Cathoic rates, we can expect whoever is Pope to make an official apology about all this in about 400 years time.

October 21, 2005 5:48 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...


It is a Divine Commandment that priests be celibate, making the priesthood a place of refuge for homosexuals tired of explaining why they hadn't yet married.

And a place for heterosexual males to avoid.

But homosexuality is Divinely defined as immoral.

So one Divine Command ran head-on into another.

It is worth noting, BTW, that the reduction in vocations has directly coincided with the increased acceptance of gays in society.

Which makes it darn likely that Divine Command had created a priesthood always largely gay.

The irony is, well, divine.

October 21, 2005 2:07 PM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

Actually, priesthood celibacy isn't Divinely commanded, it's merely a Roman Catholic Church rule, adopted in the Middle Ages for internal political reasons.

From What Catholics Really Believe: Setting the Record Straight, by Karl Keating:

[E]ven some Catholics are surprised to learn that celibacy has not been a rule for all Catholic priests. In the Eastern Rites, married men can be ordained; this has been the custom from the first. Once ordained, though, an unmarried priest may not marry, and a married priest, if widowed, may not remarry. Marriage is possible only for priests in the Eastern Rites. [...]

In the West, of course, the rule has been different. In the early centuries priests and bishops could be married—the practices in the West and East were the same—but celibacy was soon preferred, and eventually it became mandatory. By the early Middle Ages, the rule of celibacy, in the Latin or Western Rite, was firmly in place. Note that this was a disciplinary rule, not a doctrine. [...]

In recent years we have seen a few married Latin Rite priests, some who were converts from Lutheranism and, as Lutheran ministers, were married, and more recently a growing number of converts from Episcopalianism. These are clearly exceptions to the rule. [...]

In the early years of the Church, because of the scarcity of single men who were eligible for ordination, men who were already married were accepted for the priesthood and episcopacy. As the supply of single, eligible men became greater, only single men were accepted for ordination in the West, in accordance with Paul's "wish [that] everyone . . . be as I am" (1 Cor. 7:7). The East kept to the old custom.

This contains a very detailed history of how and when the Roman Catholic Church came to have celibate priests, although it doesn't much address why they did it.

October 22, 2005 10:45 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

Their problem is really with pedophile priests, not homosexual priests. Not all homosexuals are pedophiles, and not all heterosexuals aren't pedophiles. So the ban on homosexuals will scare away non-pedophile homosexuals who can now live openly in society anyhow, drying up one of the main sources of priests and probably increasing the odds that an applicant is a potential pedophile or has some other abnormal behavior trait.

Although it is not a Divine command, the Church thrives on tradition and will be extremely reluctant to bring into question the wisdom of one of its long held precepts. Look for it to continue to hemmorage membership to Protestantism.

October 23, 2005 7:58 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...


You are right -- it isn't. But, considering the Church's position on the issue, that is a distinction without a difference.

The justification given is how Jesus is said to have lived: never married, no women among his disciples. So while there is no explicit Divine Command there, the Church has made a lot of hay out of the implications.

Further, if the Church is doing something in accordance with a Saint's wishes, how is that not tied up in Divine Command?

BTW -- thank you very much for the references.

October 25, 2005 4:28 AM  
Blogger Peter Burnet said...

My, my. It's great to see you guys analysing and pronouncing on the nitty-gritty of Catholic dogma and tradition. I hope this is just the first in an ongoing series.

Standing by for your take on halachic law.

October 30, 2005 2:16 AM  
Blogger Duck said...


If you can pronounce on Darwinian evolution, we certainly should be allowed to pronounce on Catholic dogma. This blog is dedicated to the proposition that the amateur is often the equal of the "expert".

October 30, 2005 10:39 AM  

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