A continuous gnaw has wreaked havoc on my gut of late. It stems from the latest conviction of a Catholic Cardinal for pedophilia. When asked in closing what he would say in his defense, the Cardinal sent chills through the airwaves as he claimed that what he did was ‘vanilla sex’ and shouldn’t be condemned so harshly. The obvious rationale being that he knew of, and/or witnessed, far worse by his peers and thus his ‘vanilla’ wasn’t worth the persecution. The extent of that statement is the core of conspiracy theories because it is represented by a truth or truism that can easily spike perverse imagination of what might be entailed in the non-vanilla world of Priestly tradition.
How can a man of the cloth, a man who is a devout follower of God, logically justify pedophilia?
So I decided to research ancient history within this context:
Like Homosexual, the term Pedophilia was not coined until modern times. The term paedophilia was created in 1886 by Viennese psychiatrist, Richard von Krafft Ebing. The original term used in ancient Greece and Rome was pederasty. Dating from sometime in the 9th century BC, it is thought that the practice was a cultural norm. It is believed that Saint Augustine, Muhammad, Socrates, Lord Byron, and Ghandi all participated in this form of relationship which was socially acceptable in the time.
While pederasty may have been the origin, it was very different from what has evolved into pedophilia. In ancient periods, all forms of sexuality were acceptable in that they were not considered criminal or deviant. The Old Testament references having multiple wives in order to “proliferate”. Sexual relations with young boys was common, especially among the elite. The Roman era references the monarchial rule of Kings and Priests who were provided slaves with whom they could freely have relations. In the 3rd century, Mesopotamia, ritualistic homosexuality was an integral part of temple life.
The term homosexual was also created by Richard von Krafft Ebing in 1886. While in Latin ‘homo’ simply means man, as in homo sapiens, in Greek it can mean ‘same’. It should be noted that Ebing believed that sexual relations should be for one purpose only, procreation, and that all other forms of sexual relations were perverse, deviant.
Unfortunately, Ebing felt that ‘any’ relations that could produce a child were perhaps reproachable, but not deviant. Thus rape was not considered perverse.
It is likely that within the confines of the Catholic Church, the change in societal morays were never adopted, and thus it never qualified as deviant in this contingent. But then the Church has operated outside of the law since it’s inception as it still adheres to the belief and philosophy of serfdom.
Some pundits argue that pedophilia in the church is a minor fault within the scheme of statistics. Only a very small percentage of Catholic Priests and Bishops have been convicted. But that logic is rife with hypocrisy. Conviction rate is not a viable statistical assertion. A parallel assertion would be that the vast majority of thieves and murderers are prosecuted and in jail. The absurdity of that is obvious, and it applies to pedophiles, priests, and sexual assailants. The vast majority are never prosecuted.
Others argue that the Church’s Priests and Bishops entered into this pedophilia state of mind due to the clause of celibacy. But celibacy was not always a rule. The first Pope, Paul, was married. Many subsequent Popes were also married and had children. The Council of Elvira convened in 304 AD requiring abstinence even if the clergy was married. In 325, this ban was overturned by Constantine. Celibacy in the Catholic Church has only e less than a thousand years.
“In the early 11th century Pope Benedict VIII responded to the decline in priestly morality by issuing a rule prohibiting the children of priests from inheriting property.” In 1139 AD celibacy was made the rule of law within the Church.
But homosexuality and pederasty were not prohibited. While they both were well entrenched prior to the law of celibacy, the rule then became that the clergy were prohibited from procreating – not sexual relations.
Therefore, homosexuality and pedophilia can NOT be attributed to celibacy because they both existed well before and were considered an elite rite of passage.
Some historians claim that the law of celibacy was created to ‘lift’ the church into a higher status than even the nobles by claiming sex with women was sinful and beneath them.
In the Bible’s New Testament, Paul was writing letters to the Corinthians and Galatians between 53 AD and 55 AD, in which he was responding to a flagrant lack of ethics or morality within the culture. Prostitution was largess, bestiality existed, and orgies were commonplace. People were no longer ‘procreating’.
This was not nouveau, this was the lifestyle that had existed for hundreds of years prior, dating to the 9th century BC. It is also relevant to note that Paul wrote numerous letters to the Corinthians and Galatians, although only a limited few have been preserved and acknowledge by the Church.
While this research in no way supports pedophilia in the church, it does reveal that in their world, it is a code of ancient history that is righteous. It explains the statement “vanilla sex”. And it explains how and why the Church believes laws are a means of control for the elite, while they hold to the epithet that they are, above the law. They meaning – All those who define themselves as – elite.
While I in no way purport to hold myself out as a theologian to any extent, I was curious to try and understand and research how the highest members of the Church could justify their behavior.
IN particular: What thought process could possibly justify the rape of a child as “vanilla sex”?