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Friday, February 09, 2018

Sex and Catholicism

"When we examine the attitude of the Catholic theologians to the latter we find that—for once at least—they hold the same opinion as the majority of psychologists, namely, that it is impossible to abolish prostitution without the risk of causing even greater evils.

St. Augustine said: “ If you abolish courtesans, the whole world will be overthrown by debauch.”

St. Liguori said : “ If prostitutes did not exist, sins of luxury would not be lessened. Sodomy, masturbation, bestiality would increase, and honest women would be exposed to danger.”

Dr. Paul de Regla, in his “ L’Eglise et L’Amour,” says: “ Saint Paul et Saint Augustine en glorifiant la chasteté et l'abstenence au detrement de l’act divin de la procréation ont rendu la prostitution presque inevitable.” [Ed: St Paul and St Augustine, in glorifying chastity and abstinence instead of the divine act of procreation, made prostitution almost inevitable]

He develops this argument further in his book, “L’Eglise et le Mariage.” He has been speaking of the appalling moral scandals caused by grossly immoral priests, such as the Cure of Chatenay, whose “ Memoirs ” occupied much space in the sensational French Press a few years ago. After briefly pointing out that all this is caused by the prohibition of marriage to the clergy, he adds that the Catholic Church does its utmost to spoil marriage itself. He says: “ By acclaiming virginity as superior to marriage the Church has fostered the growth of prostitution. In making marriage unattractive, by driving away its poetry, its charm and its sensuous appeal . . . The Church has simply opened the door to prostitution, to sensual abandon, and to perversions. In desiring to regulate too strictly the vital phenomena of love, by separating it from freedom and pleasure, anti) compressing it into a dry, hard matrimonial formula, which it is declared in advance is inferior to abstinence, the Fathers of the Church have thrown a vast mantle of hypocrisy over the commandment given in Eden, ‘ Increase and multiply’ ”

Several English writers have pointed out the fact that the Catholic bride and bridegroom are expected to go on their honeymoon, after prayer and fasting, as if it were a major surgical operation. The Church teaches, moreover, that sexual intercourse between the married is only permissible when offspring are desired, and some of the Fathers even hold that it is a mortal sin to accomplish the divine act of procreation on a Sunday or Holy Day !

The fundamental change wrought by Christian asceticism upon the popular conception in love has been expressed in an admirable epigram :

“ To the pagan philosopher love was an art in be acquired, to the Christian ascetic it was an evil to be cured, "

It is important to remember that the Catholic Church still tolerates prostitution, and allows women who carry on this infamous trade to attend all the services of the Church. I am informed that even in London many professional prostitutes are “ good Catholics,” and in France and the Latin countries they nearly all are. During my travels in many lands I have met several gentlemen who have given some very interesting information on this strange subject. I am told that the Spanish, Portuguese and South American courtesan always keeps one or more sacred images in the actual room in which she plies her trade. One of these is of course the Holy Virgin, and often the Saviour (with the Sacred Heart) is added as well. Candles are placed in front of the Madonna, and in case she might be offended by scenes of debauch, a little curtain is neatly drawn in front when the “ client ” enters.

The prostitute goes regularly to Confession, confesses all the fornications which she can remember, and receives full absolution, although both priest and penitent are well aware that there has been no repentance whatever, and that she will go straight back to her sordid trade.

In view of the teaching of the Church that a single act of impurity is a “ mortal sin,” this absolution is a little strange. There also remains the terrific problem as to the effect on a young priest of twenty-five or thirty when many young and attractive women come to him every week and describe in fullest detail the unmentionable happenings which have occurred."

--- A Survey of Sex and Celibacy in Religion / T. Clifton Longworth

""For years it has been a common saying that, “Rome has more prostitutes than any city in the world because it has the most celibates.” “There were 6800 registered prostitutes in Rome in 1949, not counting clandestinepractitioners, in a population ofsome 90,000. In Venice, the census of 1509 reported 11,654 prostitutes in a population of some 300,000. An enterprising printer published a 'Catalogue of all the principal and most honored courtesans of Venice, their names, addresses, and fees." ~ Durant, vol. V, p. 576"

--- In His Name / E. Christopher Reyes
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