Out of the Frying Pan
A profoundly disturbed and self-absorbed pre-conciliar priest discovers sex and dance and -- presto! -- transforms himself into a profoundly disturbed and self-absorbed post-conciliar layman:
A two-hour ceremony of ordination transformed a simple boylike student into an all-powerful priest; at 25 in black suit and roman collar we became heavenly men from the same cookie cutter, our individuality suppressed in obedience to the bishop. We were an economic cheap labor force for the bishop's feudal domain. We had magiclike powers. Our emotional and sexual nature was on hold, in total denial. The people, in their want to get to heaven, accepted the sexless priest; closeness to another, especially a woman, made the priest less effective with God.James Thurber fans will remember the apposite fable, "The Bear Who Could Let It Alone":
The whole ball of wax is melting today. I am a better priest today than I was four decades ago. I know I am a human being. ... I broke out of the trance of sexual denial and ignorance; in the process I discovered the beauty of creation and human sexuality, looking now in creation for my God.
I disassociated from my repressive seminary training, learning to dance, to touch and to love and be loved. No longer fixated on God in the afterlife, there was now no room for me in the roman clergy.
In the woods of the Far West there once lived a brown bear who could take it or let it alone. He would go into a bar where they sold mead, a fermented drink made of honey, and he would have just two drinks. Then he would put some money on the bar and say, "See what the bears in the back room will have," and he would go home. But finally he took to drinking by himself most of the day. He would reel home at night, kick over the umbrella stand, knock down the bridge lamps, and ram his elbows through the windows. Then he would collapse on the floor and lie there until he went to sleep. His wife was greatly distressed and his children were very frightened.
At length the bear saw the error of his ways and began to reform. In the end he became a famous teetotaler and a persistent temperance lecturer. He would tell everybody that came to his house about the awful effects of drink, and he would boast about how strong and well he had become since he gave up touching the stuff. To demonstrate this, he would stand on his head and on his hands and he would turn cartwheels in the house, kicking over the umbrella stand, knocking down the bridge lamps, and ramming his elbows through the windows. Then he would lie down on the floor, tired by his healthful exercise, and go to sleep. His wife was greatly distressed and his children were very frightened.
Moral: You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backwards.
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