Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dianne Williamson's private war against celibacy

Dianne Williamson, a columnist for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, is at it again. What this woman doesn't know about Roman Catholicism could fill a library. But once again she has found it necessary to pontificate on matters which are really beyond her grasp. Ms. Williamson writes, "The most facile observation one can make about the latest Catholic sex scandal - this one involving a popular priest caught cavorting on the beach with his girlfriend - is: Well, thank God she's a grown-up. It could have been - and has been - so much worse. As noted though, that's just the easy part of the story. The aptly named Rev. Alberto Cutie is the latest clergyman to reignite the debate over celibacy within the priesthood, and call rather heart-breaking attention to the unreasonable demands the Church places on its priests.." (Another rigor of priesthood ends in scandal, Sunday May 31 edition of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette).

First of all, as Bishop Juan Ruben Martinez has reminded us, celibacy cannot be reduced to a "mere imposition on the Church." It was the Apostle Paul who explained why the unmarried state is preferable to the married state for the clergy: "He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided." (1 Corinthians 7: 32-33).

In its Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests (Presbyterorum Ordinis) No. 16, the Second Vatican Council taught that, "Celibacy is to be embraced and esteemed as a gift. Perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, commended by Christ the Lord (cf. Mt 19: 22) and through the course of time as well as in our own days freely accepted and observed in a praiseworthy manner by many of the faithful, is held by the Church to be of great value in a special manner for the priestly life. It is at the same time a sign and a stimulus for pastoral charity and a special source of spiritual fecundity in the world...celibacy has a many-faceted suitability for the priesthood. For the whole priestly mission is dedicated to the service of a new humanity which Christ, the victor over death, has aroused through his Spirit in the world and which has its origin 'not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but of God" (Jn 1: 13). Through virginity, then, or celibacy observed for the kingdom of heaven (cf. Mt 19: 12), priests are consecrated to Christ by a new and exceptional reason. They adhere to him more easily with an undivided heart (cf. 1 Cor 7: 32-34), they dedicate themselves more freely in him and through him to the service of God and men, and they more expeditiously minister to his kingdomand the work of heavenly regeneration, and thus they are apt to accept in a broad sense, paternity in Christ.."

Do some priests fail to remain celibate? Of course. But as Bishop Martinez has said, "bad examples and even our own limitations do not invalidate the contribution of so many who, in the past and today, give their lives for others." There has been sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. But there has been much more across society - including in the public schools. But Ms. Williamson hasn't addressed this fact. Why? I think we all know the answer to that one. As Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan has said himself, "This [child abuse] is a societal problem, not a Catholic problem."

Another point Ms. Williamson fails to acknowledge in her column: most of the abuse which has taken place within the Church has been homosexual in nature. But then, as an ardent propagandist for the homosexual "lifestyle," why would she? In fact, she perpetuates the myth that most of the abuse has constituted pedophilia writing, "..his actions [Cuties] likely won't elicit as much condemnation from the flock as Church leaders may expect, partly because it seems tame compared to the sickening parade of priestly pedophilia and coverup we've witnessed over decades."

Surely the Telegram & Gazette can do better than Dianne Williamson. Its readers (what few remain) deserve better.


Margaret said...

Williamson also claims that, "the demand for celibacy threatens to draw emotionally stunted and immature men to the priesthood." This charge is particularly ironic since it was "emotionally stunted and immature men," with a homosexual orientation, who committed so much abuse and did so much damage.

The overwhelming number of priests are very emotionally mature and healthy men. And with a psychological screening process and new directives from Rome, we will ensure that emotionally immature and stunted men with a homosexual orientation will not be admitted.

Michael Cole said...

Dianne Williamson comes across as emotionally immature and stunted herself. The reason she cannot understand the value of celibacy is that she cannot imagine love between human beings rising above the biological imperative to couple and reproduce. For her, sex is the "be all and end all" of human existence.

Ms. Williamson should read and reflect upon Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

I've said it so many times before and I'll say it again:it is necessary for those promoting the New Order to demonize orthodox Catholics - and other Christians - as "emotionally unstable," "immature," "backward," and even "dangerous."

Catholics and other orthodox Christians, Jews and people of faith must be placed in a cultural ghetto. We will be viewed increasingly as a threat which must be eliminated.

Is this paranoia? If you still think so, you are spiritually blind.

Duncan said...

Williamson is, in my opinion, an anti-Catholic bigot. She has no problem ridiculing Catholic teaching and practice but I don't see her being critical of Judaism, Islam or Buddhism. Anti-Catholicism is indeed the anti-Semitism of the liberals.

Anonymous said...

Ine the June 2nd Worcester T&G Dianne Williamson attacks prolifers and goes gushy over George Tiller:

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