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By Luc Loranhe (2006)
We are meanwhile well aware of the fact that a large number of pedophile homosexuals have become Catholic priests because of the sexual opportunities the profession silently and secretly affords them.
It's furthermore obvious that the best cover for viewing child pornography is to be an anti-child pornography campaigner (or a NGO detective on a mission to catch people involved in child pornography).
Of a Catholic priest, one would normally assume that he concerns himself with what, according to his religion, is the most important aspect of life, which is the afterlife. Catholic doctrine assumes that what happens after our deaths is much more meaningful than what happens before our deaths. According to Catholic dogma, after death, we either go to heaven or to hell. Heaven is sweeter than anything we can experience before our deaths, and hell is worse suffering than anything we could experience before death.
I personally think that the cited Catholic concept of the world is rather idiotic, but my subsequent reasoning does not depend on this personal opinion. My reasoning should make sense even for those who are Catholics.
While I am aware of the fact that a considerable number of simple minds (predominantly elderly women) take Catholic dogma for the truth, I have always wondered whether priests and bishops do, or whether they are just career-concerned pretenders.
As priests, they enjoy plenty of privileges, and a position of authority on matters of life and death. That must be quite flattering.
And when they involve themselves heavily in worldly matters, such as community projects or efforts to improve the life (this life, not the one alleged after death), I often have the feeling that they are priests not because they are exceptionally religious, but because they want to feel important.
It just doesn't make sense that while Catholic doctrine definitely says that salvation after death is much more important than whatever happens before death, they nevertheless dedicate most of their efforts at worldly problems in their communities, and not at securing that their flock makes it to paradise as safely as possible.
But being priests in order to be important (a community leader and an authority on morals) is only the first level of pretension.
The second level is reached when a priest who is on a "help the poor and the weak" ego trip is choosy with those whom he wants to help.
I first want to give a historic example.
I think that in principle, it is a noble cause, and a moral one, to campaign against alcohol and tobacco consumption by young people. As a matter of fact, to campaign against alcohol and tobacco consumption is a noble, and moral, cause, even when those addressed are adults.
Now, imagine such a campaign in Nazi Germany during World War II, when millions of innocent people were murdered in concentration camps.
Because at that time in Germany, there were moral problems far more important than alcohol and tobacco consumption, to claim morality as the motive for an anti-alcohol, anti-tobacco campaign would have been totally out of place.
What I mean to exemplify is this: we cannot honestly claim moral concerns as the motivation for what we do if much worse moral problems exist than the one we are addressing.
If we do not pay attention to the worst moral problem, but instead moralize on any minor one, than we cannot claim moral concerns per se for whatever social ill we are dealing with. Instead, it's our pet problem, and we involve ourselves with it for whatever motives, but not out of genuine moral concern.
Millions of children die each year of malaria, diarrhea, and other causes that could easily be prevented. Did you see children suffer to death from a plain lack of nutrition?
In many, many regions of Africa, children are brutally tortured and murdered... day by day, now, as they were 10 or 100 years ago. North Uganda, East Congo, South Sudan. Unmoral monstrosities like Nazi Germany are not a matter of the past. They happen in the world today, in many parts of the world, and anyone with a genuine moral concern can research the topic on the Internet.
Ears cut off, eyes cut out, roasted alive, drowned for the fun of onlookers. Mutilated, dragged to death, stoned to death, suffocated in excrements. In some parts of Africa, kids torture kids to death, just as they play video games in Arkansas.
Now, you want to address these moral problems personally, you will need a lot of courage. It's dangerous out there. You may be tortured and murdered yourself. But if "helping children" is your genuine concern, that is where you should go.
To summon up the previous point: a Catholic priest who is not a pretender would logically concern himself with matters of religious salvation, not community problems. A person whose dedication is social work should become a social worker. If he becomes a priest to do social work, then the likely motivation is to use his authority as priest to become a community leader.
And to sum up the latest point: anybody who wants to occupy the moral high ground better concerns himself with the gravest moral problems first. Somebody who is picking social problems that he wants to deal with, while side-lining problems that are much worse, is displaying favoritism towards hobby issues, and cannot claim to act morally per se.
Now what do I make of a priest who for decades is doing social work with child prostitutes? While child prostitution is a moral problem, it's not that a child prostitute who is fondled or has sexual intercourse with a customer is per se suffering the worst fate a child possibly could suffer. Contrary to the impression created by religious campaigners, most child prostitutes are not violently forced into providing sexual services for adults. They live on the streets after having run away from home, and learn their trade from their peers. Many of them actually enjoy their freedom, and the money they can make.
Christian fanatics typically get red ears from excitement when they imagine a minor having sexual contact with an adult. They feel a rage as if they were provoked to the extreme in road traffic. They do not feel like that when they imagine minors who drown on the seas trying to be illegal immigrants to Australia or Spain. Their rage when imagining the sexual contact between a minor and an adult is irrational, and quite possibly, it indicates a corresponding deep-seated but suppressed affinity on their own part. They do not want to grant others what they deprive themselves off.
Think of the thousands of children who are indeed tortured and murdered every day (not by Western child sex tourists but in violent conflicts in Africa or South America), or of the millions who die every year because they don't get 10 cents worth of food every day, or because there isn't a dollar per year to spare for medical attention.
Child prostitution is a good topic for the media because it deals with sex. But every time, a child prostitution story runs in the world media, a story on children dying of hunger or from minor diseases is displaced. Thus, serving the media a story that moralizes on child prostitution also means drawing attention away from far worse children-related problems: torture, murder, death from hunger or preventable diseases, such as diarrhea.
I am aware of the rhetoric of Christian fanatics. They claim that death stares at them out of the eyes of child prostitutes. They claim that child prostitutes, because of their lost innocence, are empty inside, just like zombies. They seriously express the opinion that for a minor having sex is more destructive than to starve to death or die from a violent disease. Christian fundamentalists often have such a Nazi-like disrespect for other people's lives. Anyway, they don’t starve to death; they only theorize that it can't be that bad.
What ever way I turn the "S ..." topic, I just can't get the perspective under which he appears honest, righteous, and moral.
I am suspicious because he seeks so much attention, with him personally the focus of it all. I am also suspicious because it seems that sex, sex, sex is what magnetically draws his attention. For decades, he has worked around the Olongapo sex scene, thoroughly and painstakingly investigating child prostitution.
There is, on his part, obviously a personal preference for just this type of moral problem, even though there is urgent need for people to address worse moral problems.
So, I just wonder what kick he gets out of all of this? Moral altruism could only be claimed if the worst problem is addressed first. Child torture, or child murder in Africa; the silent death of children from starvation. If that isn't done, than obviously, activism is a matter of personal favorites.
I am not aware that he would have been accused of personal sexual misconduct. And neither do I suggest that such a personal sexual misconduct ever happened on his part. For the moral perspective, this also doesn't make a fundamental difference.
Please also read:
Child torture, child murder in Africa
C... and the Philippine colonial mentality
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Copyright Luc Loranhe