Friday, October 28, 2005

A "Fucking" Saint!

Sex confessions of 'living saint' shock France
Kim Willsher in Paris
Friday October 28, 2005 The Guardian

A leading Roman Catholic cleric who is regularly voted one of France's most popular personalities has shocked the country by admitting he has had casual sex. Abbé Pierre, a member of the French Resistance during the second world war and a fervent defender of human rights, made the confession in his latest book, titled My God - Why? The 93-year-old Abbé's carnal confession - amounting to just a few lines tucked away in his "meditations" - has exploded like a bombshell in the Catholic community, which has long regarded him as a living saint.

Abbé Pierre, an outspoken critic of Rome's intransigence over clerical celibacy, caused a minor storm last year when in a previous book he admitted having a long but platonic passion for an unnamed choir singer who had the "voice of an angel".

Now what has stunned France's Catholics almost as much as the fact that he succumbed to temptations of the flesh is that his sexual relations with women were conducted in a "transient" manner. Explaining that he had decided to devote his life to God and other people from an early age, he wrote: "I took a vow of chastity that didn't take away the power of desire and it has happened that I have given in to this in a transient way. But I have never had regular liaisons because I never let sexual desire take root. "I felt that to be fully satisfied, sexual desire had to be expressed in a loving, tender and confident relationship while such a relationship was closed to me because of the choice I had made in life."

The Abbé also expressed his support of women priests and gay couples being allowed to have children or adopt.

8 Comments:

Blogger Germanicu$ said...

What is "transient" sex, anyway? Must lose something in translation.

Either way you slice it, this guy's gonna be the life of the party when he gets to hell.

3:22 PM  
Blogger George W. Bush said...

Transient sex = Fucking someone on the same night that you meet them and then never talking to them again....and, if she gets pregnant, you pay for an abortion, than if you're a republican you go to hell.

but seriously though, I'm all about priests getting their clowns punched. It's not healthy to be repressing all of that. It's natural to fuck. Right?

3:29 PM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

There's something to be said for the mind-focussing effects of celibacy. They think it brings them closer to an understanding of God.

Then again, there's something to be said for the mind-focussing effects of a good fuck.

3:52 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

I don't much believe in celibacy, but I'll spoil the fun and say I don't believe in pre-marital sex either. The solution is to let priest's marry (where they got the idea they had to go sex-less for life I haven't the foggiest, and the ensuing homosexuality is easily predicted) and for couples wishing to maintain their morals to marry younger. I don't think the admonition to save it 'till you are 25 is very likely, but I do think people can and should marry at 17 or 18.

The problem is that people used to eating at the buffet settle on the steak and get a hankering for chicken every once in a while. Ours is not a familial system that can sustain itself.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"where they got the idea they had to go sex-less for life I haven't the foggiest, and the ensuing homosexuality is easily predicted"

Do you mean:

1. Against all available scientific evidence, I believe that people can be "driven" to homosexuality by various circumstances, or

2. The celibacy requirement is likely to attract a large contingent of homosexuals to the priesthood?

9:17 AM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

Jeff-

I don't know what you mean by "all available scientific evidence," but I can securely say that it's (the gay gene) quite a thing to be have been "proven" over the past 15 years or so (I remember the Newsweek cover "Is this child gay" of a baby back when I was in high school).

Of course, I'll also state the obvious that people can choose whether or not to have sex, even if they are born with a proclivity one way or the other.

The Christian right's psychologists say that gay men oftne have a problem relating to their mothers. My brother in law is gay and his (and my wife's) mother is hands down the antiChrist of Revelation. Should she get a job at the U.N. I recommend you flee to the hills. Sincerely, though, this woman is absolutely abusive and somewhat masculine. When Dan told me he was gay I was not at all surprised. I might suggest a correlation (based on nothing but the anecdotal evidence you hate) between masculine mothers and gay sons, but you're never going to see a study done because there would be protests and people would lose their jobs and funding. Just ask Mr Summers what it's like to try to suggest an unpopular idea.

So I also assume that you don't believe people in prison are more likely to engage in gay sex than those outside? Has this been "scientifically proven?" Does all available scientific evidence indicate this:)?

Among people with more profound developmental disabilities, the "any port in a storm" theory becomes quite evident, unless somehow we're all latently gay and the most disabled among us are just the most uninhibited.

Lastly, if homosexuality is inherited, and Darwin was right, how do you reconcile the survival of a gene specifically geared against reproduction?

10:38 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

S-Tard,

I should have been more precise in my language. I certainly agree that gay sex is much more prevalent in prison than it is on the outside because of the conditions of confinement and lack of access to women, but I don't think that such behavior proves anything about environment trumping genes when it comes to homosexuality. Think about gay men who are born into mainstream hetero culture. Chances are extremely high that most of them will have straight sex a few times (or get married and have it lots of times) before they realize that it feels wrong, and "go gay" definitively. Does that mean that their environment turned them straight during their early lives? They had straight sex, but a better (more scientifically specific) definition of heterosexuality is one of primary sexual attraction to members of the opposite sex, and not discreet instances of heterosexual behavior.

I don't see how the environment created by the priesthood is analogous to that of prison life. Priest's take a vow of celibacy, but if it's really sexual frustration that's driving them to break that vow, why not break it with a woman? Outside of monasteries, there's plenty of access to women and total freedom of movement. I can see some prima facie psychological evidence for why a disproportionate number of homosexuals would be attracted to the priesthood in the first place (if you're a tortured gay believer, it probably seems like a good way to avoid the temptation to sin, etc.) but that's a separate issue.

As far as science is concerned, there are very few traits in humans that are accounted for entirely by one identifiable gene, so, as always, a Newsweek exegesis of the current state of science is more likely to confuse than enlighten. However, you may have heard about the recent study in which the sexual orientation of fruit flies was changed by manipulating a single gene. There are lots of examples of things like this pointing to homosexuality as a genetic trait (the large number of animal species that have been observed to have homosexual members, for example).

As for your Darwin question, I refer again to the fact that selection for and against inherited traits in humans is a complex affair. The most popular example of this is the genetic trade-off between getting sickle cell anemia and resistance to malaria. I quote from a little PBS summary of the phenomenon:

"For parents who each carry the sickle cell trait, the chance that their child will also have the trait -- and be immune to malaria -- is 50 percent. There is a 25 percent chance that the child will have neither sickle cell anemia nor the trait which enables immunity to malaria. Finally, the chances that their child will have two copies of the gene, and therefore sickle cell anemia, is also 25 percent."

There are lots of heritable traits that are likely to be reproductively deleterious that continue to appear in limited numbers in the gene pool, like a propensity towards violence or cystic fibrosis, for example. I'm not claiming that there's some hidden reproductive benefit associated with any of these things, but I am saying that the "Darwin said it!" line of attack is a red herring due to its excessive simplicity. (If homosexuality is a heritable trait, as I belive it is, then the Christian Right's efforts at "curing" gays and integrating them into traditional family structures would certainly be exerting selective pressure that would favor the proliferation of the "gay gene" in the US gene pool!)

12:29 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

Hi sexy,

Believe it or not, I'm not "out" to "cure" gays. I believe gay sex to be immoral, but among people who aren't Christians (such as my brother-in-law), I wish them nothing but happiness, avec ou sans toys or drugs. I also do not see how giving people health benefits hurts anybody, and I doubt very much that anyone is going to go gay over the medical benefits. What I wonder, at the same time, is if marriage rights are so important, aren't we discriminating against the single?

I appreciate the over-simplicity of the "Darwin said it" line, and I am one of those William Jennings Bryan-like hillbillies you read about that doesn't believe in macroevolution. I was kind of going for a "two-fer" in slamming evolution and not buying the inherited gay idea.

I do have a problem with equating sexual preference with race, because one does not have any option to "exercise race" as one does with having sex. As a 29 year old "desperate househusband", I can say that I might very well have urges that absolutely don't justify acting them out, whereas I have no choice but to be a white, balding guy. Even if my enjoyment of good whiskey and good sex is something my parents gave me, it doesn't mean that I have moral carte blanche to misuse either.

1:20 PM  

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