Gerald at The Cafeteria is Closed has made some comments on my book. He thinks that having some married clergy would help remedy the situation.I am less certain. Certainly celibacy creates a culture in which many or most clerics have sexual secrets: affairs with men or women, abuse of boys or children (rarely teenage girls, for some reason).
But churches that allow married clergy have similar problems, as I document in the book. Married clergy not only have affairs with laypeople but abuse teenage boys and girls. Male clergy are the usual culprits.
Men seem to get a greater thrill than women do from sexual transgressions – almost all perversions in the long lists that psychologists make are done by males, not by females.
As a man, I find this troubling. Perhaps it is misdirected aggressiveness, which is definitely more present in men than women.
But whatever code a church espouses, a male clergy will get a thrill by violating it. A Catholic priest can transgress by secretly marrying, a minister of the Metropolitan Community Church, the gay denomination, is still not allowed to touch boys – but they do.
The Latin Church may someday follow the example of the Eastern Churches in allowing married clergy – but preventing sexual abuse should not be the motive.