By Diogenes (articles ) | Feb 03, 2005

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 who's drawing all the dirty pictures!" Well, Fr. Hodgens, bear with me while we examine together the equivalent pages for objective evidence of Pope John Paul'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?

Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Fatimabeliever - Feb. 04, 2005 2:36 PM ET USA

    Well put Father A. O.!! May God send you many more blessings for telling it like it should be. The faithful are extremely tired of heretics who preach tremendous errors and refuse to repent. You are so right in telling them to move. Didn't Jesus say, if would be better for those who teach error and live by error to not have been born???

  • Posted by: - Feb. 04, 2005 1:49 PM ET USA

    Where is his bishop?

  • Posted by: - Feb. 03, 2005 11:51 PM ET USA

    For the priests for whom the Church's teachings on sex are merely taboos, there is news. They are no longer Catholic. They would be under a lot less stress if they admitted it and went and served the master they really want to serve.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Feb. 03, 2005 5:10 PM ET USA

    As a priest in the home missions of the USA, I have some advice for Fr. Hodgens: if you cannot obey Christ & His Church, then leave until you can live the virtues of obedience & humility. Jesus tells the apostles to shake the dust off their feet in testimony against those who do not listen to or welcome the Gospel (Mark 6:7-13). The Church keeps moving forward, yet priests such as Fr. Hodgens want to stay stuck with the NCR back in their anti-Church agenda-laden 1960s-80s.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Feb. 03, 2005 4:53 PM ET USA

    There are those for whom a cigar is NEVER just a cigar. Speaking of Papal "fixation" and the priest who are pro-fornication, homosexual, etc... Maybe what they take as a fixation can better be seen as concern for the salvation of souls and the dignity they possess a human beings. maybe those Priests who are pointing their fingers crying "fixation, fixation" would be best cut-off from spreading their poison and dissent...that would be a good fix!