Priests and Pedophiles
by Roland Stahl
Now it is March of 2013, and the Pope has resigned, and Francis has been elected Pope of the Catholic Church. While I have not yet noticed that anyone has made a direct connection between the resignation of the Pope and the pedophile priest problem which has overwhelmed the once-proud Catholic Church, it appears fairly evident that it is a case of a CEO taking the fall when some serious impropriety happens under his watch.
It is almost hard to imagine the Church soldiering on, in the face of such astonishing stories, not just astonishing in themselves, but because there are so many of them. Along the way, blame is attached to senior bishops and cardinals who seemed to have known about the problem without taking any significant steps. So, finally, the Pope has resigned, effectively admitting that his own negligence had been at fault in the matter: the Pope is the one who is responsible for the Church.
But, is the resignation of the Pope enough to salvage the Catholic Church from terminal opprobrium? Trying to reconcile this very large religious body, which pretends to offer ministry and services in the name of Jesus Christ (who famously loved children too, of course), with such an extensive history of pedophile priests seems to be impossible. What can it all mean, and what kind of lessons can we, as a human race, learn from this experience?
Are all these priests, for example, simply wolves in priest’s clothing, pretending to be walking with God, while they are secretly only interested in advancing the fulfillment of their own lusts? I do not think that that is a useful way to look at what has been going on. If there were only a few isolated incidents, we might take the view that those “priests” involved were simply vicious criminals fraudulently hiding under their clerical collars. But the reported incidents are just too widespread and numerous, and found in every corner of the world; to imagine that all of these persons are just monsters in league with the Devil seems to me to be an inadequate interpretation. I want to look further and deeper to discover what has really been going on.
In the first place, there is the question of celibacy, which is central to the whole issue. Celibacy is clear and obvious, and even almost essential in a religious context. In other words, a person who is celibate will operate from a state which is unlike the normal experience of people who interact with each other. Even when interactions between people are not specifically sexual, there is the same underlying dynamic going on.
To a very large extent, there is a whirlwind of energy which carries the massive energy flow of the human race, as it continues its evolutionary unfolding into its infinite and unknown future. All of life, all human beings, even all plants and animals on this earth, are caught up in this massive energy flow. All of the infinite comedy of the human race unfolds from the unwinding of this endless cord. But a priest, who is not connected to the energy stream sexually, is alone, and must make his peace with God, or else be thrown off in any direction out into error, madness, chaos, and finally death.
Certainly priests who have had sexual contacts with children are committing the very error for which the state of celibacy is so important. But it remains for me a meaningless question to ask if the Catholic Church should end the celibate priesthood. The state of celibacy does exist (though rarely); a person who is not celibate is missing the whole point of what it means to be a “priest.” We might say that “priest” means “someone who is celibate, and does not participate in sexual interaction.” The wise woman, witch, or magician was likewise always a solitary practitioner; it’s part of the job description. Magicians and Priests share an important core similarity. That solitary point of view, so that you can only find balance in your life by remaining very close to God, is the essence of the priest. A magician is very similar, only he pursues the objectives of his own will, rather than attempting to participate in the furtherance of the will of God. This is the arrogance of Satan, who wishes to take the place of God, described by John Milton in his famous epic poem, Paradise Lost.
Historically, the Magician who tries to implement his own agenda, apart from the will of God, will always, sooner or later, fall off the cliff into error and madness. The Lord of the Rings was a great story, philosophically, in which it was understood that the only way to resolve the problem created by the Ring of Power was to destroy it! I found the movie to be an excellent portrayal of the story, but I regretted that cinematic necessity required the foreshortening of the role of Saruman. Saruman was originally the head of the order of wizards to which Gandalf belonged, but acquisition of greater and greater knowledge and power eventually led to his corruption and downfall; all of this was overlooked in the movie, and Saruman was reduced to the status of a simple villain. Insofar as a Magician deviates from the will of God, he falls into error and will sooner or later be destroyed. (Words may be variously defined, but most understandings of a “magician” or “wizard” do not automatically imply opposition to the will of God; in most cases, the wizard acquires his influence and power from his greater understanding of the complex energy fields determining the flow of events on earth.)
A “priest” who were not celibate, would be no different from a friendly neighbor; he would not be a Priest, one of the Hands of God on earth.
So I continue searching further to discover meaning in these events. One lesson which is clear is that it is not at all easy to live a life of celibacy! It is not for everyone, and no one should attempt to follow that path who is not prepared for what it means. Sex is a kind of biological necessity for most of the human race; the only way for the celibate man (or woman) to retain his balance is to stand with God; if he stands in opposition to God, he will sooner or later fall apart into madness and chaos. The celibate man has no sex with man or woman, boy or girl (or his dog or his goat), but he has “sex” with God alone. (“How do you have sex with God,” the child asks, in confusion. – well, try yoga, for example.)
I find the intercourse of human relationships to be a much more simple matter than most people seem to understand, and I have sorted the matter out into a correspondence with the eight patterns of the primary trigrams of the I Ching (as well as the planets and metals of astrology and alchemy, and the colors of the aura). (vide: Patterns of Illusion and Change). Every person has an aura color in accordance with the energy patterns they express: the Red and Violet are the colors of aggression and oppression. Orange and Blue are fire and water, war and peace. Gold and Green are giving and receiving love. White is the full state of love and union; and Black is the state of solitude or death.
So I can understand the state of Solitude, Black, as being very close to God, identical in one essential aspect with the opposite point at the union of love, which is also identical with God. (Perfect Union and complete Solitude are really the same thing, only on different levels.)
I search for the root of this problem with pedophile priests, and I find that the source of the problem is not that there is too much sex going on; the problem is that there is not enough (love)! There isn’t nearly enough love in the world. Of course I understand that only a very tiny minority of “sex” has anything to do with love. I believe that love is very good, and absolutely essential for a healthy life; and children need love most of all. When sex is an expression of love, then it is Good. There are far too many people living without the support of love. From the state the world is in, I think that there are very few people truly enjoying the state of love. This is the root of a very serious problem which must be addressed if there is to be any hope at all for the survival of life on earth. (By the way, I should clarify that when I say “everyone needs love,” I do not mean everyone needs to receive love, although that is also true; what I mean is that everyone has to discover the liberation and joy of giving love.)
Now I imagine that every person’s energy field can be understood by analogy with the colors of the aura. Some people’s lives are smoldering down among the Red, Violet, and Black aura colors, just barely alive, perhaps on the way out; other people are struggling between war and peace: Orange and Blue, all their lives long; but others are giving and receiving love: Yellow and Green; and others (very few, and, for the most part, it is very rare and sporadic) are at the peak of love itself, radiating a White light and a powerful and loving energy field. You can easily interpret a person’s level of spiritual growth from looking at their aura. The “fully self-realized yogi” (there are many names for this state: Nirvana, Samadhi. etc.) may be recognized as an avatar of God.
It is not “sex” which is bad; it is the confusions and problems which develop from the lower levels of sexual expression, due to ignorance and unresolved karma, which are the cause of troublesome consequences. If everyone were taught this simple sex-by-color dial, they could make all of their sexual intentions very clear, so there should be no problem. (– or, fewer problems: it is hard to rejoice when our love is not returned, but, at least if all of the energies are clear, then there will be fewer misunderstandings about the intentions of the relationships, and the overall sex-economic energy flow will be much less impeded by problematic frustration and stasis.)
I think everyone should learn the joy of loving other people. I want to suggest that everyone should think, not just of finding one other person to love, but one of each gender! If everyone had a “best friend” of their own gender as well as a partner of the opposite gender, that is twice as much available love going on as before. I have never considered homosexual love to be an alternative sexual arrangement, but an additional experience, presenting its own additional opportunities for loving expression. It is very much too bad that many people used to believe that a total social break had to be made in order to realize the desire for close contact with one’s own gender. Fortunately, I see a growing trend away from this absurdly limiting concept towards an awareness of far more open and inclusive possibilities of loving contacts.
I even think it would be interesting for people to live in various triangular arrangements, more or less stable, as alternative domestic relationships, because of the greatly increased social dynamic involved. I have been interested in these ideas all of my life, but it seems to be very rare, and it is certainly a different topic. The Number Three is the number of Magic, and is the basis for a whole explosion of possibilities; I have written articles along these lines, most of them unpublished or obscurely published.
I think children should be encouraged to form close friendships with their chosen friends. One of the single most damaging problems affecting the evolution of the human race is that little boys (especially) are made to discover that fighting is natural and good, but love is completely forbidden. The little boy who comes home all bloody from a fight will make his father glad and proud as long as the other boy fared at least as badly. But what might happen should our schoolboy discover that he loves one of his male friends, and brings him home to meet his family? The short answer is that the little boy will very quickly learn a very important social lesson, and he will never again make the same mistake! Or, if he does continue to feel a fondness for his male friends, he will certainly hide it and deny it, with all of the karmic burden that all of that entails.
Everyone needs love, and children need love especially! I have always been attracted to children, but it is the ones who need love that especially arouse my interest. As a child, I never bonded with my mother. I grew up very much alone, socially. I needed love when I was young, but there was nowhere I could find it. I felt a huge, unfulfilled need. Now, when I see other children with that same need, my heart goes out to them. I wonder if pedophile priests feel the same way I do? Perhaps, in the course of their daily experience, they come across children who are neglected, or otherwise in need of some loving attention. A priest who is close to God will be very sensitive to children who are in need of love. We are all in need of love, but, by the time we are adult, most of us have learned how to cope with life according to the cards that are dealt out to us. Children, on the other hand, should not be left to flail about alone, without some guidance and love! Perhaps priests are loving children because there are so many children in need of love.
But that isn’t the story we are hearing – we hear only of “abuse.” Because of the supercharged sexual climate in which we are living (because there isn’t enough loving sex going around), it is no longer possible for adults to have any friendly relations at all with children. This means that every kind of close contact will only cause problems, and recoil badly upon both child and man. (By the way, why is it that when women love children it is considered natural and good, yet when a man loves children, the only interpretation anyone can imagine is that the man is a predatory monster? Is it really so out of character for men to love children? I think, in many cases, people only see the world through their own lenses.)
As for the Catholic church, I think they should allow a “non-celibate clergy,” because of all the problems associated with attempted celibacy (and because it has become increasingly difficult to find persons willing to enter the priesthood), but they should also set up a new monastic order devoted to that celibacy which seeks union with God, so that there will remain some sort of structure maintaining a celibate priesthood, an essential institution for any truly religious order. Simply stated, you can’t have a “religion” without celibate priests.
But, somehow, children have to find a way to experience and share love, if there is to be any hope for the future of life on earth. I think they should expect to receive it first of all from their parents, and then from a gradually widening circle of friends, mostly close to their own age at first, and probably starting with their own gender, but expanding to include the other gender as soon as their interest inclines them in that direction. Later on there is no reason why they shouldn’t develop close and loving friendships with older people too (of either gender) and adults. It is well known, for example, that “pedagogical love,” in which teacher and student love each other, promotes a dramatically accelerated acquisition of knowledge; this has been demonstrated over and over, and by now enjoys the status of an incontestable truth. (Since I am not attempting to publish in the “scholarly quarterlies,” I do not take the trouble to prepare footnotes, but I am sure anyone could easily do so, and I do not expect my conclusions to be refuted or even challenged.)
Anyone who doesn’t have a regular sexual partner is at risk of finding a “socially unacceptable solution” to the biological necessity of sexual relationship. Therefore, the obvious solution is to pair them up! Sometimes I think that the Reverend Sun Myung Moon wasn’t so far off in many of his ideas. I believe in World Unification, and I think pairing up more people into sexual partners is a good idea. I definitely go beyond, though: I really want to explore the idea that everyone “should” have a partner of each gender, or at least be open to that possibility. Or, sometimes a person may have two or more close and lasting domestic partners, of the same or different genders – I think that in the infinite variation of human expression, any solution which suits the participants should be considered socially acceptable. Whatever promotes more loving contacts between people is all good. It is the infinite variety of human experience which creates the potential for so many different solutions for resolving sexual and relationship issues. Perhaps, if more children were allowed to grow up in a “sex-positive” environment, they would grow and develop with more normal needs and desires, and there would be much less need for some of the more surprising variations of sexual expression. Oscar Wilde’s famous epigram is actually very profound: The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Yielding to a desire is far better than repressing it – in most cases, unusual desires will be abandoned after some experimentation, yet repressed desires will go on working their toxic effects for the lifetime of the individual involved, until and unless unraveled through psychiatric therapy.
So, do I think all of these priests are innocent of the charges leveled against them? Of course I have no knowledge of any specific circumstances, but there are two ideas which could make some of these incidents more understandable and less problematic: in the first place, the criminal justice system automatically defines any close, loving contact between adults and children as abusive: “the perpetrator assaults the victim.” This language hijacks the actual events and does not allow for any other considerations or interpretations of the events. The second idea is that any child who has had any contact with a priest understands (or his family and friends will understand for him) that it is a very easy matter to jump onto the gravy train and reap settlements sometimes running into millions of dollars simply by lodging a complaint. This alone is quite enough to color any person’s memory of a childhood contact. We add the confusion with which most children react to these contacts: they have no way of understanding these contacts apart from the prevailing context with which all of modern society immediately views them.
Finally, I would like to contribute two representatives from the countervailing literature of pedophilia, both from Holland, where, until recently with the unrelenting homogenization of social attitudes internationally, sexual contact between adults and children was not necessarily considered a serious problem, in the absence of any complaint.
The first case is the formal research study conducted in Holland by Theo Sandfort, published as Sexual Aspects of Pedophile Relations. The study was deliberately limited to relationships between adults and children (men and boys, in this study) which were not demonstrably abusive, in which the children were willing participants, and the friendships were not one-off contacts but ongoing relationships. The study covered about thirty such relationships, and both men and boys were extensively interviewed over a period of time. The study came up with entirely neutral results – no problems were found with any of the relationships; in some cases positive social benefits were seen, but these results were not considered statistically relevant, so no conclusions were drawn.
It is essential to understand that the reason why no problems were found was that the social environment in which these men and boys lived was fairly neutral about their affairs. When any similar relationships are discovered in almost any other country (or even contemporary Holland, whose famous tolerance has been eroded by the inexorable effects of unrelenting world-wide condemnation of any contacts between adults and children) the police are called in to intervene and the child is subjected to such a literally mind-altering experience of hysterical reaction, that the poor child, having no other alternative view ever expressed in his presence, can only conclude that he has somehow participated in some very horrible activity, for which he will be forever condemned. And if – horror compounded upon horror – the child actually enjoyed the contacts, his stinking corruption and essentially vile and worthless nature is even more blatantly etched forever in stone in his own mind as well as that of his family and friends. Again, without footnotes, I believe it has been abundantly proven that the negative consequences of criminal prosecution vastly outweigh the negative consequences, if any, of the original experiences (we are only considering consensual and loving experiences here; violent rape or any other expressions of the Red/Violet of aggression against a helpless or weaker victim are an entirely different matter, not at all the subject of the present essay, and only mentioned for contrast and clarification). In other words, the prevailing social attitudes are by far the most important determinant of how the contacts will be experienced by the persons involved, or anyone else.
The next experience I want to mention is an experimental program which was conducted in Holland many years ago. I do not have access to my original sources, but I believe I found the discussion in the book Loving Boys, by Dr. Edward Brongersma, who was elected to the Dutch Senate in spite of his earlier history of contact with boys. The experimental program consisted of an alternative treatment for youthful offenders (boys) – they were offered a choice of traditional incarceration in juvenile detention facilities, or placement with an adult male pedophile, who would give them love! The results were not at all surprising to me: in almost every case, the boys so placed easily evolved their patterns of behavior away from anti-social activities (fraud, theft, drug abuse, violent crime, etc.) and became happy, well-adjusted members of society, not even becoming gay, unless they were inclined that way to begin with; their sexual orientation was not affected by their experience. In contrast with these results, boys placed in juvenile detention showed a dramatically worse prognosis: they were set onto a path leading to their becoming hardened criminals and repeat offenders. However, even though the results of this brief experiment in social therapy were overwhelmingly positive, the program was cancelled, as it was just considered far too radical even for the tolerant Dutch to accept.
In earlier times, men loving boys was a very common experience: teacher/student, master/apprentice, knight/squire, etc. (going back at least to Ancient Greece, where a young man who didn’t have an older male lover was at a distinct social disadvantage – the men who loved these boys, by the way, usually had normal relationships with wife and family in addition to their beloved boy companion and friend). In most cases, such alliances were looked on as advantageous for the boy, who enjoyed many benefits from the affection of his older friend; the man involved was often laughed at as “throwing away his love on a boy,” but there was rarely any serious opposition; it was just another way in which the infinite workings of the human experience found to work out the sexual karma of the participants. (vide, e.g., The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, a most remarkable book in many ways, in which boy-love was casually referred to as a relatively common experience: the apprentice who enjoyed the Master’s love enjoyed special privileges and benefits; both man and boy were frequently envied for their happy affair or laughed at for their folly, but never condemned, unless there were additional problematic circumstances.)
The present day hysterical “witch-hunt” against adults who love children (again, not to be confused with a violent or aggressive Red on Purple attack against a helpless victim) is symptomatic of a sick society, most of which is itself mired in the relentless and ugly aggression and violence which is dragging our world down towards the end of life on this once-fair planet.
One problem, as I see it, is that persons who live their lives at any level of social expression, represented by the color of their aura, can only understand energies at their own level or below; they have no knowledge or understanding of the higher levels at all! That is, people whose lives are an endless round of violence and aggression believe that that is the nature of the dog-eat-dog world, and if “one is born every minute, every five minutes one is born to take them.” The idea that there might be something better or higher totally escapes them.
As I consider the surprising revelations concerning so many thousands of priests, I just do not think that writing them all off as scoundrels and villains contributes much at all to an understanding of the problem. The problem, as I see it, is that so much of the world is experiencing the end-of-life decline into death represented by the Red and Violet aura colors, which usually ends up at Black (death), unless there is a sudden and dramatic turn-around of the collective energies of the planet.
The Evanescent Press