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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Priestly Celibacy – Purity is No Perversion

Kids can be vulgar in their attitudes toward virginity. But adults and professionals can also be condescending regarding this great sacrificial gift of self.  I mention it for several reasons. First, it is a personal witness that I later incorporated into my promise of celibacy made to the Archbishop. Second, while the critique becomes more sophisticated, there remains a prejudice or bigotry against the virgin as if he or she has forfeited a certain essential human experience. Employing the modern and heavily manipulated science of psychology, that will insist that there can be no satisfied maturity without experience of the full gamut of corporeal achievements and sensations. In opposition, I vigorously object to the idea that unless a man or woman has sexual intercourse, he or she is not a full adult or that development becomes precarious. It is precisely this devaluing of virginity that undermines consecrated celibacy in the popular mind. Especially with the acceptance of older candidates, it is probable that many of them have had various romantic relationships and sexual encounters. Sex outside of marriage is neither neutral nor spiritually advantageous. It is a sin and a serious one at that. Of course, the Church is all about forgiveness. Such a man might receive absolution, and once reforming his life, find acceptance as a candidate for holy orders. He will have particular struggles, notably with habit (vice) and with memory. Many men caught up in fornication are later haunted by the bodies and faces of their liaisons…something that plagues their thoughts in marriage and pursues, even tormenting, them into the priesthood. Many psychologists are quiet about this and instead attack the virgin who comes to priestly celibacy. They argue that he is prone to all sorts of neuroses and likely suffers from a distorted or even a mutilated personality. Instead of appreciating virginity as a gift given to God and assumed into priestly celibacy; they categorize it as a perversion. I find this all very dubious and outright dishonest, especially for those mental experts who are Christian. Given that the American Psychiatric Association no longer considers homosexuality as mental illness, these clinicians would judge homosexual acts as preferable to perpetual virginity. Such a claim undermines the professionalism and objective value of the psychological profession. When bishops use psychologists to evaluate candidates; they should first interview the researchers so that they can root out those who are not sympathetic toward celibacy or who do not have the mind of the Church.