Tuesday, 9 March 2010

A correct understanding of sexuality leads to a correct understanding of celibacy for the Kingdom of God.

ROME, MARCH 8, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Priestly celibacy is not psychologically dangerous, and in fact, sexual behavior based on "anything goes" is what is truly destructive to the personality.

This is the affirmation made by Dr. Aquilino Polaino Lorente, a physician and psychiatrist who teaches courses on psychopathology at the University of St. Paul in Madrid.

ZENIT: Is priestly celibacy psychologically dangerous?

Polaino: It's not dangerous at all because perhaps it blends very well with what is the realistic anthropological structure of the human condition. Celibacy has its difficulties of course given that human nature is somewhat deteriorated and fallen and all the dimensions must be integrated.

It seems to me that open sexual behavior is more dangerous, not normative in that anything goes; I believe that has consequences that are more destructive of the personality than celibacy well lived in its fullness, without ruptures or breaks.

ZENIT: What does a priest need in order to be faithful to his vow of celibacy all the days of his life?

Polaino: The tradition of the Church has a multitude of counsels that can be put into practice and that are effective, for example, protecting one's heart and sight. What is not seen is not felt. Not that one must be looking at the ground; one can see without looking. This ensures the cleanliness of the heart and also the living of the first commandment which is to love God above all things. Flies do not enter a pressure cooker. A satisfied heart does not entertain stinginess or fragmentation.

The full,  mythbusting  Zenit interview is here!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Kate

    Thanks for posting this.

    When we give talks on marriage in parishes we always speak about the great gift of priestly celibacy and how this is a sign pointing to the marriage feast in heaven.

    We are blessed to have several priest friends - young and old - and their celibate life is a blessing to them and those around them. They are healthy and well adjusted men who live for God and His people.

    About 12 years ago Alan was actually in seminary. (He realised that his vocation was to marriage and was not ordained). Whilst there though he met the Trappist monk Msgr. Basil Pennington who placed a giant hand on his shoulder and said encouragingly 'Lectio Divina - this is how to to make sense of priestly celibacy - to live one's relationship with the Lord.'

    Isn't that truly the key - to both celibate and married life as Catholics - the immersion into the interior life with God as the prior foundation to all active ministry and apostolate.

    When lived in, with, through and for Christ, then what a great gift the celibate priesthood is to the Church and the world!

    God bless
    Alan and Angeline