The people expect the Pope to make a statement. He is supposed to use a public occasion and the strongest terms for declaring how abominable he finds the fact that Catholic priests have been using novices as lust objects for millennia. The general expectation shows how poorly the people understand the mechanisms and mode of operation for moral verdicts in general and the Catholic sexual teachings in particular.
Because if the Pope allows himself to be impressed at all by the moralizing pressure of the current times, he will only succumb to a certain degree: his assurances will have exactly the level of commitment that halfway pacifies the spirit of the time outwardly while leaving the option for him to internally get out of the tight spot in the eyes of public judgement at any time.
For two thousand years, the Catholic Church managed to let all fashions – be they moral, scientific, ideological or pecuniary – pass them. It will also survive the moralizing fashions of the third millennium and end up maintaining its inner dogmatic concepts as it did through times eternal.
In this inner dogmatic concept, the male is not defined as a sexual danger, just like homosexuality is not defined in the Iran today: Ahmadinedschad says it simply does not exist. The only dangerous thing for a priest is the sexual power of the female. He is supposed to shy from it like the devil shies from holy water. In chapter 22 of his monastic rules from around the year 400, the church father Aurelius Augustinus provides the first standards.
“Whenever you see a woman”, warns he who had been totally enslaved by female charms up to his thirty-first year his celibate brothers, “do not let your eyes rest on her with longing. To be sure, when you are meeting friends, nobody can forbid you to see women. Yet, it is sinful to desire a woman sexually or to wish her to desire you sexually (see Mt 5.28). Because it is not just the acts of affection that stir the desire of man and woman; it is also the eyes that do so.
So do not claim to have a pure heart if your eyes are impure, because the eye is the messenger of the heart. And as soon as you regard each other with impure intent, even without words, just by seeking the other’s attention, and as soon as you delight in the mutual desire, you can no longer call this behaviour truly pure, as in “pure at heart” – even if you are not lying in each other’s arms.”
The charms of boys are not mentioned, either. It would cause the entire Catholic order of good and evil to collapse if Catholic clergy had to admit that temptation and celibacy have not been poured over the people by some allegedly supernatural justice. You cannot expect them to say that it grew from natural sexuality as determined by the biology of animals and humans.
The sexual teaching derived from a sinful Eva and a seduced Adam is in discord with the natural teaching according to which sexuality has nothing to do with good or evil. Instead, this teaching says that it is all about the strongest instinct for making sure the race will survive. Sexual morals underlie a change and it is their task to make the excessive sexual emotions halfway bearable in a functioning social order. The fact that this sometimes defines homosexuality as a crime, polygamy as a matter of course and celibacy as a duty must be attributed to the variety of natural sublimation we humans based our culture on.
Sigmund Freud even correctly assumed that all humans have a bisexual tendency by nature. Even clerical dogma cannot fight against this nature. However, if you accept a natural understanding for the fact that for Catholic priests, too, the stirring of “lusty” expectations is not restricted to them seeing a woman, but can just as well happen when they see a man – especially if this man is as young and innocent as the boys the priests are in charge of – then you have already given the all-encompassing power of nature priority over clerical dogma. But there has never been a natural teaching – be it Copernican, Darwinian, Freudian or neuro-physiological – that made any impression on the iron mental concepts of church authorities.
(Translated by EG)