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otr dashback: 2-3-05 -- obsessed?

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Apr 10, 2008

Papal fixation with sex upsets priests declaims Melbourne's daily newspaper The Age.

"Most [priests ordained between 1955 and 1975] are no longer committed to the old taboos on sexuality. Most do not believe that couples living together are doing something very wrong," [Father Eric Hodgens] says. "Most are happy to have homosexual couples living lives of commitment. They find the Roman heavy insistence on these issues obsessive and wonder why."

You all know the old joke about the psychiatrist who sketches a circle, a square, and a triangle on separate pieces of paper, hands them to his patient, and asks him what he sees thereon. In each case, the patient replies, "Two people having sex." When the psychiatrist remarks acidly on this sex-obsession his patient exclaims, "But you're the one drawing all the dirty pictures!"

Well, Fr. Hodgens, bear with me while we examine together the equivalent pages for objective evidence of the pope's fixation. Can we take December last as a random time-slice in which to find a typical sampling of his pastoral concerns? Here's what the Vatican website reports regarding the subjects of one month's papal discourses:

The gift of Vespers; protection of human rights in Equatorial Guinea; the spiritual dimension of palliative care; the banning of landmines; the prayer life of Catholic journalists; formation of conscience; interdependence and Catholic social teaching; the role of science in achieving world peace; the Immaculate Conception; the Immaculate Conception (again); bishops as prophetic witnesses; the crèche as an emblem of faith; Christ as the True Bread; the role of charity in diplomatic initiatives; the pilgrim Church at prayer; the need to eliminate racism; religious freedom in Hungary; the tree of life as a symbol of the True Vine; Eucharist adoration as a means of Christian unity; the Incarnation as a sharing in human fragility; the hidden God become visible in Christ; Jesus' birth as harbinger of peace; the defense of the family against grave dangers; Jesus as definitive Word of Salvation; the infinity of God's mercy; condolences on the sufferings of tsunami victims.

I concede that if you squeeze the "defense of the family" trope hard enough, you can come up with some implicit instruction on sexual morality.

But as for the "papal fixation with sex," Fr. Hodgens, I am moved to ask, have you ever heard of the term projection?

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