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Sex Education & Birth Control and the R.C. Church

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
With the dawn of a new era with a new Pope, do you think there will be any changes on the official Catholic policy on birth control?

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/americ...eut/index.html

In a kinda-sorta related topic, in Colorado Congress passed a bill that would have required all hospitals to give information to rape victims about emergency contraception methods. It was rigorously opposed by, in particular, Catholic Hospitals who said that giving information out like that is directly opposed to their beliefs. The Governor vetoed the bill.

http://9news.com/acm_news.aspx?OSGNA...7-c589c01ca7bf

Thoughs?
post #2 of 21
I would like to think so but I doubt it. THough even some Catholic bishops in Africa have been saying that condoms would help in the fight against AIDS. But hte Vatican has still been against recommending their use. The CHurch usually votes in a conservative cardinal as Pope, though today I guess even t he most conservative would probably not be quite as rigid as one 100 years ago. But it moves very slowly.
post #3 of 21
When he became pope, a lot of people hoped that John Paul II would more liberal than his predecessors because of his relative youth (as popes go). Instead, he was probably even more dogmatic, especially concerning ecumenism. I believe his stance on birth control, women's role in the RC Church, celibacy, etc., drove many people from the church, most obviously so in Western Europe, but noticeably enough in North America. The Vatican should readdress these issues, but I somehow doubt it will in the near future. JPII had 26 years to write a lot treatises (and sanctify or beatify people, a few of whom were questionable), so it will take ages to "undo" some of the policies he set.

From the article about Colorado you posted:
Currently New Jersey, New York, California, Washington and New Mexico are the only states required to provide emergency contraceptives or information about them to sexual assault victims."
I find that pretty shocking!
post #4 of 21
One could hope that the next pope would take the RC Church in less conservative directions, but I'm not optimistic. JPII has had plenty of time to stack the deck, so to speak, with cardinals who hold similar views to his. What's the likelihood that they'll elect from their number the least conservative? I'd love to be proved wrong, but won't count on it.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47
One could hope that the next pope would take the RC Church in less conservative directions, but I'm not optimistic. JPII has had plenty of time to stack the deck, so to speak, with cardinals who hold similar views to his. What's the likelihood that they'll elect from their number the least conservative? I'd love to be proved wrong, but won't count on it.
That hits the nail on the head. All but a handful of the cardinals eligible to vote, i.e., those under 80, were appointed by JP II. The praise for his support of the Solidarity movement in Poland, reaching out to young people, visiting synagogues and mosques, and opposing the invasion of Iraq in the German media has been tempered by that observation. He irritated German Catholics by trying to ban altar girls, disciplining a German priest who participated in an ecumenical service, prohibiting the RC church from advising girls and women with unwanted pregnancies (a "certificate" from an accredited advisory body is required for an abortion here), and condemning the use of condoms. I really can't see any of his appointees going against his policies, so RC parishes will continue to shrink, or there'll be more "cafeteria-style" Catholics, accepting some teachings, while rejecting/ignoring others.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Straight out...I'm not Catholic. I was raised Lutheran, which broke off from the Catholics long ago, but still holds many "We are NOT like the Catholics!" type views.

What I can't understand is how they can continue to live in the dark ages when it comes to birth control, particularly in the light of the AIDS pandemic in many parts of the world, and yet refuse to seriously condemn what happened with the pedophile priests being shuffled around and basically continually allowing them further unrestricted access to more victims with no more than a "Don't do it again....or again...or again!" I'm not saying that the pedophile priests was a widespread problem, but it was enough of a problem worldwide for them to hold a "hearing" (or whatever they call it) with bunches of Cardinals and all that. If someone can explain that to me, I would honestly love to hear it...
post #7 of 21
I have a question
If we arent allowed to use condoms and birth control because we have to reproduce in the catholics law.
Why dont they do the "deed"??? and reproduce too?
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Fran, it stems mainly from the passage in the Bible that said that the Church is the Bride of Christ. That a priest must devote his entire life to the Lord and to the Church without the complications and distrations of sex and marriage.

From Wikpedia:

Quote:
The given reasons for clerical celibacy in the Catholic Church are both theological and practical. Foremost in the theological realm are the desire to follow the teachings of Jesus with regard to chastity and the sacrifice of married life for the "sake of the Kingdom" (Luke 18:28-30, Matthew 19:27-30; Mark 10:20-21), and to follow the example of Jesus Christ in being "married" to the Church, which is seen in Catholic theology as the "Bride of Christ". Also of import are the teachings of Paul of Tarsus that chastity is the superior state of life, and his desire expressed in I Corinthians 7:7-8, "I would that all men were even as myself- but every one has his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that. But I say to the unmarried and the widows. It is good for them if they so continue, even as I."
post #9 of 21
Yes, well, celibacy for priests is only one of the reasons I could never be a catholic. Frankly, if that were not required, I think there would not have been the pedophile priests problem -- or at least not sufficiently widespread for it to be the can of worms it was -- and don't anyone suggest to me that, because it's not all over the news these days, it's gone away. You can't suppress perfectly natural needs, and not expect it to backfire somehow.
post #10 of 21
I hope so but I don't see it happening
post #11 of 21
I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but highly religious people in general seem to be quite repressed/opressive when it comes to sexual issues and women's rights, and the RC Church is no exception.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoe'n'MissKitty
I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but highly religious people in general seem to be quite repressed/opressive when it comes to sexual issues and women's rights, and the RC Church is no exception.
Flamed? Not from this quarter, but I think it's important not to tar all "religious" people with the same brush. There are lots of very liberal and forward thinking people in the churches today. Sometimes their voices are drowned out by those would speak for everyone with a message that doesn't, in fact, represent everyone. And the journey toward greater tolerance, acceptance and inclusion is not an easy one. Like all journeys, it must be taken one step at a time, and with great care not to run roughshod over those who do not hold the same views.

As has been observed, the RC Church has lost members because of its conservative positions. Some of these people are my friends. Not all of them disappear into the woodwork -- there are places for them in today's church to find the elements of catholicism that they hold dear, while taking seriously the liberal social attitudes that their conscience demands, and are denied them by the RC Church.
post #13 of 21
You have a good point, Rapunzel.
I did say "in general", which to me means "not all". I should have phrased that differently. I know that not all religious people are like that...some are indeed very free-thinking and open. It's more the leadership that I have a beef with...as you mentioned, the RC church has lost members over it's strict conservatism. It seems to me that the leaders of some religious groups with their hard line views are alienating the faithful who would otherwise be more than happy to be a part of the organization.

(I've had some rather negative experiences with organized religion...it's an issue with me. Though I did see a really cool commercial for what seemed to be a very liberal church...can't remember which it was, maybe the Unitarians...I'm pretty sure it showed a gay couple. Good for them. )
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoe'n'MissKitty
I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but highly religious people in general seem to be quite repressed/opressive when it comes to sexual issues and women's rights, and the RC Church is no exception.

I would agree with you
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47
Yes, well, celibacy for priests is only one of the reasons I could never be a catholic. Frankly, if that were not required, I think there would not have been the pedophile priests problem -- or at least not sufficiently widespread for it to be the can of worms it was -- and don't anyone suggest to me that, because it's not all over the news these days, it's gone away. You can't suppress perfectly natural needs, and not expect it to backfire somehow.
I understand you to mean that because priests are denied a healthy sexual outlet (even self-love, as it is sometimes termed, although how they enforce that . . .?), they may turn to unhealthy ones. But I would say that priesthood and celibacy does not cause pedophilia, but rather that some pedophiles choose to seek out those professions which will allow them to act out. Which is any position where a degree of emotional intimacy with young children is expected to be part of the position. I think you would find that the Catholic church is not the only one with problems with it's priests/pastors, etc, just the most publicly acknowledged at the present. And I would also like to say that I am not saying ALL pastors, or even most pastors, are pedophiles. I'd actually contend that it's a minority. It's just that since they are in such a sensitive post, even a few is cause for horror. Plus, the people who commit heinous crimes make for interesting news, so that's what we hear about. A headline of "Local Pastor Very Kind Person, Who Hasn't Done Anything Wrong" isn't interesting enough to grab readership. Sadly.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obi
I understand you to mean that because priests are denied a healthy sexual outlet (even self-love, as it is sometimes termed, although how they enforce that . . .?), they may turn to unhealthy ones. But I would say that priesthood and celibacy does not cause pedophilia, but rather that some pedophiles choose to seek out those professions which will allow them to act out. Which is any position where a degree of emotional intimacy with young children is expected to be part of the position. I think you would find that the Catholic church is not the only one with problems with it's priests/pastors, etc, just the most publicly acknowledged at the present. And I would also like to say that I am not saying ALL pastors, or even most pastors, are pedophiles. I'd actually contend that it's a minority. It's just that since they are in such a sensitive post, even a few is cause for horror. Plus, the people who commit heinous crimes make for interesting news, so that's what we hear about. A headline of "Local Pastor Very Kind Person, Who Hasn't Done Anything Wrong" isn't interesting enough to grab readership. Sadly.
I'm not suggesting that the RC Church is alone in this, but it's that church and its conservative stances on sexual matters that are under discussion in this thread. There's no question that there are cases of inappropriate sexual behaviour on the part of clergy of other denominations. And, if celibacy is not the culprit in all cases, attitudes toward homosexuality play their part. This is not to say that there aren't cases of pure pedophilia, where the person would have these leanings even without these restraints on their natural sexual expression. My point is that, if these restraints were not present, and natural sexual expression were allowed, the cases of inappropriate sexual behaviour would be limited to the real pedophiles, and thus be considerably fewer than we see.

As for pedophiles seeking out positions where they can as you say "act out", yes, I suspect some do. But they don't just march in to the church and say, "I'm yours -- ordain me" and it is done. There's lots of opportunity along the way for the church to judge the candidate unsuitable or for the candidate to fail academically or for the candidate to discover that all this preparation is too high a price to pay for this ringside seat. What I'm saying is that deciding to seek the priesthood as a profession is hardly a guarantee that the person will actually end up a priest, so I'm inclined to think that persons who do so with this purpose in mind are not very likely to jump all the hoops successfully -- those who do are likely a very tiny number -- much fewer than the bad actors who have made the news.
post #17 of 21
OK, ultimately my position is this: an individual with innate sexual urges towards adults is not, and would not be, a pedophile (with rare exceptions for some kind of behavioral history). It doesn't make sense to me that a heterosexual or homosexual priest would find that celibacy was too difficult and then have sex with . . . children? Wouldn't a person who is sexually attracted to adults, whether they be same or opposite gender, go and have unsanctioned sex with another adult, instead? So, I would argue that those priests who were found to be having sex with children had those urges before ever entering the priesthood, and hid it. People can hide lots of things, quite successfully, even from themselves. Just like some racists and violent people manage to make it through all the schooling and tests to become police officers (again, a small number), some pedophiles make it through the screening process for priesthood. And, it may even be that the pedophiles chose the priesthood hoping that by committing to celibacy God would take away their urges in return . . . ..

I only discussed other clergy than the RC Church because pedophilia is present in their members, but they don't require celibacy.
post #18 of 21
Actually, as I understand the celebacy thing came around to prevent church property from being passed onto a Preist's heirs, although the biblical references are valid as well.

As far as the next pope is concerned, JPII packed the College of Cardinals with his people and I don't think that they're going to wander too far off of his ideas.

Slow?
The RC Church invented beaurocacy<SP>! JPII apologized to the Russian Orthodox Church for stuff that happened over 700 years ago, so that will give you an idea about how far behind the curve the RC Church is running!

But that's my Church!

I get my biggest joy out of driving the "little old ladies" from the senior center to mass when I can, catching up on all the gossip before mass and afterward, getting thier opinions on the mass for that day.
They flatter me and ask if I could be their "full time driver" because they like the van to be cooled down in the summer and warmed up for them in the winter-they also seem to like the fact I can park the van with the running boards over the curb and they don't have far to step.

I liked the last Priest we had-a lot. The one we have now is a little rough around the edges and cranky-he tell you like it is. The last one we had put things on the "bottom shelf" where I could reach them-if that makes any sense.

It broke my heart when another sex-abuse scandle hit the church and I really felt like slapping some priests-I really did.
YOU TELL ME NOT TO TAKE COMMUNION UNLESS I'VE GONE TO CONFESSION AND YOU ABUSE KIDS?

That ain't right.

Alas, the church was here long before me and will be here long after I'm gone, I just hope that the next Pope builds on what JPII started-he went a long way during his Papacy, although we've still got a way to go.

I guess I have to remember that God works on his own timetable, not mine.
post #19 of 21
There have been all sorts of polls among German Catholics the past week, and the results are pretty clear: 72 - 75% want the abolition of celibacy, permission to use birth control, especially promoting the use of condoms as protection against HIV, devolution of power/decisions, remarriage of divorced people in church, and more ecumenism. In other words, a "modern" RC Church.
post #20 of 21
For an organization that purports to have compassion for the poor, they promote a lot of policies that directly cause poverty: overpopulation, food shortages, disease.

Churches should spend their wealth, practicing what they preach. Rather than building huge elaborate edifices, buying TV time and accumulating artwork, they should put that money toward education, health care, food banks and the like.
post #21 of 21
My mother (a very devout catholic) has told me many times that anytime two people engage in intercourse there is the possibility of having a child and by stopping that it is sort of like having an abortion, or at least denying a child a life in some sense. I have very different beliefs than her but I can definitely see that side of it.
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