Thanks to We Goats for the image
Fascinating. A comment on a Metafilter thread about the latest reports of paedophilia in the Catholic Church (as is often the case) really really made me think:
“I'm in agreement with those who see the Catholic orders as a refuge for homosexuals in cultures that were hostile to them. In fact, I suspect that "the calling" was, for the most part, a metaphor for homosexuality. Priests would take confession from boys who admitted to homosexual desires and recruit them into the secret brotherhood. This was a structure that worked well at perpetuating itself up until homosexuality became socially acceptable.
" One of the side effects of adult priests recruiting teen-aged boys into the fold was that it also provided a safe place for paedophiles to operate. I suspect that they formed a deeper secret cabal within or parallel to the homosexual secret society that was the backbone of the priesthood. With the reduction of the stigma against homosexuality, paedophiles became the major source of "the called," and the evidence of how the church's hierarchy has not just protected paedophiles but facilitated them leads to the conclusion that there is a strong, perhaps even dominant, paedophilic presence within that hierarchy. Benedict's homophobic pronouncements are natural from the leader of an organization that depended on homophobia in order to perpetuate itself. He is fighting the tide, but I doubt that he can see any other path. The only population that is really suited to the overt life of a priest are asexuals, and they are not common, nor are they likely to reveal themselves in confession. Neither are they likely to be racked with the guilt that is such a central component of Catholic life, and so they are entirely unsuitable.
" It strikes me that the whole structure built on concealed sexuality and secret corruption is no longer tenable in the modern world. The only possible way to rebuild the Catholic Church would be for it to honestly become what it has portrayed itself as, a spiritual cloister in a sinful world. But that is the kind of thing that will take generations to achieve, and the church probably does not have generations left to it.”
The gist of the comment, as you can see, is that the Catholic Church – historically – was at least partly a haven for homosexuals. The celibacy provided adequate cover for the frowned-upon (to say the least!) behaviours of gay love and enabled (through the Confessional) the recruitment of younger men into its ranks. As homosexuality has gradually become less stigmatised (though not necessarily in Oswestry) the new secret society is all about paedophilia, with the same secret structures being used to cover up this new perversion. Now, I am a little uncomfortable with the homophobic undertones of some of the argument – especially when the Church itself has used the defence that paedos are in some ways analogous to homos – and would like to distance myself from that.
I am however, intrigued by the Derridean (no such word, I’m sure, but I like the cut of its jib) element that the evil (of the sexual abuse of children) is somehow contained within the good (of the belief in Christ) and that the one is entirely dependent on the other. See my bold highlight of ‘Jimmy Havok’s’ comment above for clarification.