Monday, August 13, 2018

LET'S GET SOME SOBRIETY ABOUT SEXUAL MISCONDUCT OR AT LEAST THE WORRY THAT THERE MAY BE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT FROM OUR PROTESTANT BROTHERS AND SISTERS
















This post isn't about the sexual abuse of minors. If that is occurring or a strong suspicion that it is happening, then report it to law enforcement first and then Church authorities. But prudence should dictate against false accusations in this regard.

But let's talk about adult to adult sexual relations outside the context of marriage.

Gene would know the answers to my Protestant questions.

Many Protestant ministers are ordained before they marry and once they get a Church they date their parishioners, I think, (Gene can clarify). I have known Protestant ministers who have married their church members, literally.

And I have known divorced Protestant ministers who have remarried after dating another church member.

And let's talk about the gay Episcopal bishop in Manchester, NH who divorced his wife with whom he had children and married a male lover and was allowed to remain a bishop???????????????? There were accolades from all over the world about how great it is that the Episcopal Church is opened to married gay bishops. Now he has divorced that man. Can he look for another "gay spouse" on his staff, in his diocese or in his parishes? Does anyone in the Episcopal Church even give a damn?

Do we presume that a single Protestant minister who is dating is doing so chastely? Do we have the same charity toward a divorced Protestant minister who is dating members of his congregation looking for a new wife?

Protestant ministers have married staff members who worked for them as lay people do in the work place too!

And do we give Protestant gay ministers a pass if they are cavorting with their male parishioners either gay or straight for their own gratification?

As it concerns the Catholic Church, priests have always been allowed to live together, go on vacations with other priest friends and share a hotel/motel room, which I have done for 38 years and to have priest friends stay overnight in the rectory. Close friends who are male have been allowed to stay overnight in a rectory and we use to have live-in housekeepers.

Are we to be paranoid about all of this now and make priests live as though on a deserted island to the detriment of his psychological health? No man is an island unto himself.

How do we maintain our sobriety in the current hysteria about the "me-too" movement as well as what is simply sexual misconduct and not a secular crime?

Finally, is there a double standard about married ministers and fornication and adultery and vowed or promised to celibate chastity of Catholic priests?

8 comments:

TJM said...

This photo just ruined my lunch

ByzRC said...

"And do we give Protestant gay ministers a pass if they are cavorting with their male parishioners either gay or straight for their own gratification?"

Last time I checked, this is a sin "crying for the vengeance of heaven". So, no, as we either believe/follow this stuff or, we don't hence, protestantism.

"Are we to be paranoid about all of this now and make priests live as though on a deserted island to the detriment of his psychological health? No man is an island unto himself."

It seems that we are driving ourselves this way to the detriment of healthy and appropriate friendships.

"Finally, is there a double standard about married ministers and fornication and adultery and vowed or promised to celibate chastity of Catholic priests?"

Perhaps. Roman priesthood could be considered countercultural and, as such, certain components of life are, by discipline, put aside.

Anonymous said...

The New Hampshire bishop in question (the guy in the cope and miter above) I think actually had "married" his lover prior to his ordination as a bishop. The election of Gene Robinson had to be approved at the 2003 annual Episcopal Church convention, and so it was, but not unanimously (think the bishops voted 62-45 in favor, while I forget the vote of the deputies there---the lay folks and priests form the house of deputies at the triennial conventions). Not surprisingly, the bishop of Atlanta (his diocese home to about three-quarters of Georgia's Episcopalians) voted "yes", while the bishop of the Savannah-based Diocese of Georgia, Henry Louttit, voted "no". (While the Diocese of Georgia is hardly conservative---its current bishop, Scott Benhase, seems to have no issue with same-sex marriages---it is generally not as liberal as the Atlanta diocese.)

ByzRC said...

TJM

Oh my goodness, AGREED! No wonder protestantism is so confused anymore. In the seemingly endless quest to be "diverse" and "inclusive" and, given the prevalence of the aforementioned, the question must be asked, what about the rest of us? Certainly, men who lack such proclivities would not be drawn to that and must wonder as a result what, if any, place it has for them anymore.

rcg said...

ByzRC is basically right. We can't fault them for not following Catholic ‘rules’ but they are violating God’s rules and lying about it. If we break the rules then we are in the same boat as they are.

Gene said...

Adultery and fornication are sins no matter what contingencies one tosses in. Homosexuality is an abomination no matter what justification is offered. This is Scriptural and unavoidable. People may not like it, even various denominations or ministers may try to deny it or water it down, but is God's word. This modern, humanistic theology that says Christ's grace makes it all ok...well, I saw some of that in a cow pasture on my bike ride today.

Now, as for protestant ministers...yes, Fr., many protestant ministers are ordained when single and date parishioners. This was frowned upon and discouraged when I was in seminary, but it happens all the time. Our saying was, "You don't get your honey where you make your money." As far as divorced protestant ministers, divorce is greatly frowned upon in protestant circles and a divorced minister is not as likely to be hired. If the minister is divorced while pastoring the church, he will often leave. If he is divorced because he is having an affair with a woman in the church, he is certainly gone. A single minister who is dating a woman in the church...well, as far as the chaste relationship goes, the benefit of the doubt is always given...unless you find the church secretary's bra hanging on the minister's coat rack. These are questions that are best not pondered. Many churches will not call a single minister.

As a protestant minister for 20 years, I have seen the worst that such relationships can produce. I would strongly discourage young, single ministers or divorced ministers from dating church women. Aside from the gossip, back-biting, jealous rage, lurid imaginations, and general filthy minds, one might find oneself on one's knees at the altar with your ex-wife, your church member mistress, and the choir director's sixteen year old daughter while the preacher sheds tears in fervent spontaneous prayer over you while the Sheriff waits outside the door. (See: William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams)

TJM said...

Gene,

Yes there are complications to this married clergy life! You have a way with words.

Dan said...

For me personally, the biggest 'disappointment' is the fact of being so close to the sacraments each day appears to have made little difference.