Lance and Nance, together again at last!
It's my fault that we didn't have one last week. Nance was ready and raring to go. She'd written her half last Saturday night, but I just couldn't get started on mine, even though we had a topic that as a former altar boy I could devote a year's worth of blogging to---sex scandals in the Catholic Church---and I should have been able to dash off my contribution in my sleep. But I couldn't settle myself down to work, and by Monday I'd figured out why. I was coming down with whatever it was that I came down with. I'm all better now. But that's why the Nance and Lance show might seem a little behind the curve. The Beauty and the Priest was the week before last's headlines.
Still, it's never out of date to talk about sex or about the crisis the Church has brought upon itself because of sex, and I mean the sex it let the pederasts get away with all those years and the sex it officially forbids its priests to have---one reason the bishops might have been so morally callous in dealing with the pederasts is that Church has a thousand year old tradition of looking the other way when her priests break their vows of celibacy. Priests abusing children and priests fooling around with grown women are two very different classes of sinners (not to mention that the first class are also criminals) but a millenium-long institutional habit of winking at priestly peccadillos might have grown so relfexive, and so corrupting, that a world-weary shrug in the face of any vice might have become the best the Church can muster.
As you can see, I'm making a direct connection between the Church's demand that priests remain celibate and the molestations---by driving away potential priests with normal sexual desires (among which I include gay as well as straight men, although the Church disagrees with me on that one), a much smaller and much less well-adjusted recruitment pool presents itself to draw from.
But beyond that there's the fact that the sexually normal priests were probably prevented from confronting the pederasts by their own sins and hypocrisies! The pastor who is seeing a married woman on the side doesn't have the best moral footing when facing down the curate who's been spending too much time with another woman's 12 year old son.
At any rate, Nance, a Catholic girl who did not start much too late, but who didn't go to Catholic school and wasn't an altar girl---when she was a kid girls weren't allowed to be altar servers---and who therefore hasn't gotten to know as many priests personally as this former altar boy and proud holder of the Cathlic Cub Scouts' Parvuli Dei medal, expresses her amazement at Msgr. John Clark's multiple hypocrisies.
Clark has been named as the "other man" in a divorce suit filed by the husband of Clark's secretary. Clark and the secretary were caught on video entering a motel together and then coming out several hours later, dressed in different clothes than the ones they wore going in. They were also, allegedly, caught by the secretary's 14 year old daughter in a hot tub together not wearing very much in the way of any kind of clothes at all.
Clark is a darling of the Political and Religious Right because he's a public scold who blames every act of sexual transgression on Liberals.
So Nance is also amused at yet another paragon of Family Values valuing one member of somebody else's family a little too hightly.
Me, I got cynical about this sort of thing when I was an altar boy. Just about every priest who passed through our parish either had a girlfriend at one time or another or left the priesthood to get married to the woman he'd been seeing on the side.
For more of my cynicism and Nance's shock and dismay, see our post Did you hear the one about the priest, the secretary, and the hot tub?
Related bloggage for your Sunday morning reading pleasure:
Nance, whose mind and personality are so large that they can't be contained within two blogs, let alone one, has taken up a third. She's blogging for the Detroit News. Here are her first two posts: The first is on John Roberts, comic writer. The second is on Bill Frist, who is not funny in the least.
Totally unrelated other bloggage for your Sunday morning reading pleasure:
At Republic of Dogs, Res, frustrated at his friends and family's expectations that he use his professional technical expertise to fix and maintain their computers, wonders if the friends and families of brain surgeons expect free surgery and asks whether or not he should start charging for what he's getting a little tired of doing as favors.