God Save the Queens
A world-renowned theologian explains how celibacy and homosexuality go hand-in-hand in the Catholic Church.
By Uta Ranke-Heinemann
In the history of the Catholic Church, there have been two great schisms that were both the consequence of celibacy. In 1054 the Greek Orthodox Church left the Roman Catholic Church—that is to say, the Orthodox Church was excommunicated by Rome—because of its married priests. In the 16th century, the celibacy laws led to the formation of Protestantism. In 1520, Martin Luther announced in his address, "To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation": "And now the See of Rome, out of its own wickedness, has come up with the idea of forbidding priests to marry. This it has done on orders from the devil, as Paul proclaims in 1 Tim. 4: 'Teachers will come with teachings from the devil and forbid people to marry.' This has led to a great deal of misery, and was the reason why the Greek Church broke away from Rome. I advise that everyone be free to get married or not to get married."
And in "On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church" (1520) Luther writes: "I know that Paul commands: 'A bishop should be the husband of one wife'. And so we drop all these cursed human regulations, which have crept into the Church, causing only the multiplication of great dangers, sin, and evil... Why should my freedom be taken away from me by someone else's superstition and ignorance?"
Luther married a nun. With the exception of Melanchthon, the first Protestants were all priests and monks who married. In short, the Protestant Reformation was the greatest anti-celibatarian movement in history.
You would think the Catholic Church would have taken the hint. But nearly 500 years later, it is still loudly upholding celibacy. Why? Because the Roman Catholic hierarchy has become predominantly homosexual, and celibacy has become its most effective smoke screen. No wonder the Catholic clergy clings to it with teeth and claws. Were Catholic priests allowed to marry, their cover would at last be blown wide open.
At the center of the celibacy issue is, I believe, a deep fear of and disinclination towards women, which went into high gear immediately following the Reformation.
1) In 1552—six years after Luther’s death—St. Philip Neri reformed the education of priests. One of his seminarians, Francesco Pucci, writes: "I am told by Philip Neri again and again to flee from women, because women are a hindrance on the way to spirituality."
2) In the 16th century, women were banned from all operas and theaters in Rome. Female roles were taken by castrati—victims of another sexually perverse practice in which males were castrated so that their soprano voices could be maintained. In 1562, Francesco Soto became the first castrato to sing in the Sistine choir.
3) Until 1563, a man could marry clandestinely and later become a priest, keeping his secret wife. From 1563 on, however, a specific form for contracting marriage had to be observed, in the presence of one's own pastor and at least two witnesses (Decree “Tametsi“).
4) In 1592 the New Testament was changed. In 1 Corinthians 9:5, Paul mentions that all apostles, including Peter, were married and took their wives with them on their missionary journeys. And he, says Paul, has the same right to do so. In the official 1592 edition of the Latin version of the Bible (Vulgata Clementina), "wives" became "helping sisters," sort of cleaning women, transforming apostles into bachelors.
No wonder homosexuality grew by leaps and bounds—so that today, there is no profession in the entire world where the percentage of homosexuals is as high as it is in Roman Catholic priesthood. Martin Luther’s anticelibatarian movement was perhaps the biggest threat to the Catholic Church: If popes and bishops could marry, they would lose their ideal habitat. So, being unmarried became a “divine“ vocation.
This is not to say that all priests are conniving hypocrites. Many young men enter the priesthood in all sincerity, as “inactive“ homosexuals who are really asexual, having never had sexual relations with anyone, male or female. But asexuality in this context is still anti-sexual, and anti-female. It would be hard to deny that the Vatican is a misogynist society of predominantly asexual homosexuals. And things go smoothly and without scandals as long as everybody is like the famous English Cardinal John Henry Newman, who died in 1890 and was buried according to his wish in the same grave as his friend Ambrose St. John. Or like Cardinal Caesar Baronius, the famous historian and his friend Cardinal Franziskus Taurusius, who died in 1607 and 1608 respectively and whose joint tombstone reads: "Their bodies shall not be separated after death, since their souls were so closely connected (conjunctissimi) during life. Therefore their congregation has dedicated to them this one and only tombstone.“
Of course, many such clergy are hardly chaste. Women are banned as dangerous, temptresses on the path of virtue. But men are quite another matter. On April 28, 1997, Der Spiegel printed an interview with homosexual priests. One priest admitted that when he confessed his homosexual acts in seminary, his spiritual director’s response was, “So, at least you are able to manage women quite well.“
And you don’t have to be homosexual to have a pathological distrust of women. The fact that Pope John Paul II was not a homosexual did not disturb this exclusive male world, this terrarium without women, for he, too, was a devoted believer in 2000 years of misogyny and anti-sexuality, where all shepherds are men and all women are sheep, whose only purpose is to perpetuate a macho church. In his World-Catechism of 1992, under the heading “Chastity and Homosexuality,“ John Paul defines the “Natural Law“ as sex for procreation, not recreation. “Procreation must not be excluded from sexual intercourse,“ he intones.
Not only is it laughable that the celibate of celibates be the ultimate arbiter on proper intercourse etiquette, but it is downright scary. John Paul II based his "Natural Law" on what is, essentially, an Old Testament horror story in which Lot, the nephew of Abraham, says to the homosexuals who enter his house wanting to have sexual intercourse with his male guests, "Take my two daughters and do with them what you like, but do not touch my male guests.“ Given the fact that Lot’s daughters would have been around 12 or 13, not only is this story a justification of pedophilia—it is also a prime example of the extreme misogyny that is at the heart of the bible and papal doctrine. Imagine, in the 20th century, a pope re-iterating a vicious ancient belief that it is better to give one’s own daughters to violation than it is to permit homosexual acts. It giveth me the creeps!
I have always admired the intellect of Pope Benedict XVI, who was a fellow doctoral student and friend at the University of Munich in the early 1950s. As the homosexual scandals within the Church continue to grow, I hope that he will finally allow Catholic priests to marry. In so doing, this Pope can prevent a new schism—not the schism of East from West or Protestantism from Catholicism, but a schism of the sheep from the shepherds. Of course, it would only be 500 years after Martin Luther re-established the married priesthood, but, as has become the maxim of the most behind-the-times of religious institutions, better late than never.
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In 1970, Uta Ranke-Heinemann became the first woman in the world to hold a Chair of Catholic Theology. And in 1987, she was the first woman to lose it, at the University of Essen, because she questioned the virgin birth. Her books “Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven: Women, Sexuality and the Catholic Church“ and “Putting Away Childish Things“ are international bestsellers.
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