Two San Fran Padres, Rev. Joseph Illo and Rev. Patrick Driscoll, are real pieces of work, and dumb ones at that. Evidently distributing a sex pamphlet to 8- 11 year olds as a means by which they might consider their "sexual sins". What were these boneheads thinking? Wait! They weren't! Padres (most) don't think, they just blindly follow some antiquated noisome moral "orders". It was then left for many parents to complain (from the 'Star of the Sea' Catholic school) and erupt when they saw what was in the stupid pamphlet.
Driscoll, trying to be a good little RC padre, distributed the pamphlets for the kids at the private RC school that they might better make "an examination of conscience" before their first confessions. The incredibly explicit pamphlet (thank goodness he didn't include images) asked kids:
- Whether they had "engaged in impure acts with themselves" (masturbation) or others (adultery, fornication, sodomy)
- Whether any of the students or "their spouses" had practiced artificial birth control or been "sterilized" via tubal ligation or other means (e.g. vasectomy for males).
- Whether they "had an abortion" or "encouraged someone else to terminate a pregnancy".
-Whether they had accessed any nasty internet porn or passed on links to others.
Naturally, most of the parents on seeing this went batshit crazy and were rightly infuriated. Some even opined that the priests had actually created "occasions of sin" for the kids. Many of the teachers, to their credit and sanity, realized on first inspection what incendiary crap the padres had allowed in and wisely withheld the material from their innocent charges. (And as most of us know - especially those who grew up RC and sex stupid, when you see sex terms like the ones in the book, your curiosity is triggered and you want to find out what it all means.)
Of course, all Catholic kids have to endure the "examination of conscience" ritual prior to making a first confession and what one often recalls in retrospect is how ridiculous the preparation can be, especially with the notorious Catholic obsession with "impurity". In my own case, at age 7, I had to go through a "prep" with Sr. Vivina along with classmates at St. Leo's Parochial School in Milwaukee.
Like all RC's (and the SF padres) she also was obsessed with "sins of impurity" and doggedly belabored each of us to recall exactly what we did. We knew we had to have done something, so we could as well spit it out when we got to confession. Harangued for over a week by the good nun, I finally admitted what I did to Fr. Kosciuscko: "I farted in my pet cat's face three times!"
But often, things aren't so funny, especially when one grasps that Catholicism has deep Manichean roots in which the body and all things to do with it, especially yielding any kind of pleasure, are viewed as "Satanic" or "sinful" because of being bound to the "flesh". So it is not surprising that a common thread throughout RC Church history is an unhealthy obsession with common sexual acts. These are what we call the "pelvic prohibitions" and they include masturbating, fornicating, oral sex and many other expressions of intimacy because well.... the popes and padres and their bureaucracy of fossils all view humans as fallen angels as opposed to risen apes - which is what we really are.
Ever see males apes masturbating at the zoo? Well, then you know it's a fairly common primate act, and under no conditions a "sin". Besides which the whole concept of sin is bogus anyway. I mean, how can an allegedly omnipotent being be affected in any way by a puny mortal human's deeds or misdeeds? It's laughable!
Getting back to the harping on "impure actions and thoughts" it was left to a former RC priest, Fr. Emmet McLoughlin to document the extent of this RC sexual obsession and its ill effects on the minds of Catholic youth in his book: 'Crime and Immorality in the Catholic Church' (Lyle Stuart Books, 1962) in which he detailed using statistics the extend of seeding sexual paranoia in kids' minds leading them into precarious mental states. These mental states often incepted great emotional suffering and shame, and in extreme instances, confinement to psych wards. Often the affected kids -usually teens- would literally be terrified of going to sleep lest they die having forgotten some "impure act" or other and ending up roasting in Hell.
In one of his chapters ('Let the Statistics Tell Their Tragic Story', pp. 189-214) ) McLoughlin documents how relentless hectoring about "sexual fantasizing" (which every normal male does, at least 200 times a day) led dozens of students at an RC school to be hospitalized for depression or acting out. Many others, too terrified by the prospect of their "sins" - willingly turned themselves into eunuchs for the padres and whatever pope at the time - despite most sexual experts (e.g. Dorothy Baldwin) warn of the dangers of teens not ejaculating regularly.
Now, recently to the rescue we have Sister Margaret Farley, who in her 2006 book, Just Love. has shown how the Vatican has overstepped the bounds in its sexual ethics and how sanity can be brought to bear. Those interested in the details can check out my earlier post,
For the rest of us who've left the RC's for sanity, or to quote George Carlin in one of his routines, "once we reached the age of reason", we never look back.
Those interested in how bad this crap was can watch a video, reported by KNTV-TV