We know that many priests are living double lives when it comes to celibacy and chastity.
In past times many priests broke their celibacy vows with women by having long term affairs, one off flings, fathering children, procuring abortions or indeed by seducing parishioners.
As the priesthood has become increasingly gay, priests leading double lives often start having gay sex in the seminary. After ordination they continue to use gay apps like Grindr and meet many men for sex meets.
Priests have gay sex with other priests, seminarians, lay men.
Some priests, like Richard Purcell, go to gay saunas. Other priests go to open air cruising places.
Some priests are into the more extreme end and fetishes like BDSM and “Fisting”.
1. The first cost is to the priest himself. He is living a double life and that is never good – spiritually, psychologically, socially or ecclesiastically. Such a priest is living a dysfunctional life and it leads to spiritual schizophrenia – unless the priest is a sociopath and does not have a conscience. Sociopathic priests do, sadly, exist. And they act out this sociopathy in various ways – alcohol or drug abuse, abuse of power, abuse of parishioners in various ways, theft of parish funds and in many other ways.
2. The second cost is to the faith of ordinary Catholics. Very many Catholics have stopped practising after their faith was shaken by the ongoing procession of clerical scandal after clerical scandal.
These Catholics, shocked by clerical scandals, don’t always find a new spiritual home and simply allow their faith and spirituality to die. The misbehaving priests are destroying people’s faith and their trust in God.
3. The third cost is to the Church. The Church itself is seen as more and more corrupt. Vocations decline or disappear. Church income depletes. The Church’s local and international reputation is destroyed.
And all this gives rise to a deeper and more angry anti clericalism.
CELIBACY AND CHASTITY.
I think the Roman insistence on celibacy for all priests is a ridiculous.
A person can have a call to priesthood and not have the call to celibacy.
A person can have a call to priesthood and a call to marriage.
The celibacy law is based on a totally outdated view of human sexuality that puts virginity above the value of love expressed by human intimacy.
But as long as the Roman Church insists on celibacy being the price of admission to priesthood those who know they cannot be celibacy should not enter it.
And those priests, who, after ordination, realise they can not live celibacy shoukd resign from priesthood.
At the very least they should inform the bishop that they are not celibate and put the ball in his court.
Doing this shows sincerity and authenticity.
But to live the double life is not acceptable, not authentic and not moral.
And, if enough priests stood up it might very well help to change the celibacy law.
Double lives are destructive on so many levels.
“I would have met Jesus sooner if not for Christians who led double lives”.