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.