Celibacy in Crisis: A Secret World Revisited

Celibacy in Crisis: A Secret World Revisited

Celibacy in Crisis: A Secret World Revisited

Celibacy in Crisis: A Secret World Revisited

Synopsis

In Celibacy in Crisis: A Secret World Revisited , therapist and former priest, A. W. Richard Sipe takes to task the Catholic Church's policy of mandatory celibacy as well as its overall doctrine on human sexuality. Based on his extensive knowledge and background in the field, Sipe removes the cloak of secrecy surrounding celibacy, providing a fascinating exploration of the practice in church history, along with frank and realistic suggestions to clergy and laity for the reformation of the Church's policies on sexuality. This revolutionary text is a completely updated and revised follow-up to the controversial and highly regarded A Secret World: Sexuality and the Search for Celibacy . With great candor and aplomb, Sipe presents compelling case histories, thorough research, and a clear definition of celibacy and its values, along with topical information on pedophilia by clergy. Based on his 25 years of confidential, in-depth interviews with over 1500 priests, sexual partners, and victims, Sipe reveals the shocking and sobering results of his thorough and objective landmark study on priestly celibacy and his conclusion that the seminary system is incapable of instilling life-long sexual altruism in the priest population. In the midst of the worst crisis the Catholic Church has seen in almost 500 years, this book challenges Catholic authorities to renew, rethink, or remove the long-standing institution of celibacy.

Excerpt

For centuries the "secret world" of clerical sexuality has been securely closed off from public scrutiny, both within and beyond the Roman Catholic Church. If lapses from the code of celibate conduct came occasionally to public notice, church officials quickly dismissed them as aberrations, the priests in question were quietly reassigned, and the civil authorities (if they had an interest in the matter) were effectively neutralized. The secrecy came to an abrupt end in early January, 2002, when The Boston Globe exposed the first of many cases of sexual abuse by priests of that archdiocese-cases that were as much about the malfeasance of the local cardinal, archbishop and his top aides as they were about the predatory behavior of the priests.

In this revised and updated edition of his earlier, deservedly praised work, A Secret World, Richard Sipe does the Roman Catholic Church, its hierarchy, its many thousands of priests worldwide, and its increasingly well-educated and well-informed laity a real and distinct service. Now that the celibate cat is out of the bag, so to speak, there is a deep and pressing need for the kind of professional expertise and wisdom that Richard Sipe can provide-expertise and wisdom born not only of study and reflection, but also of years of experience as a priest and psychotherapist. Because of the efforts of persons like himself, there is hope that the "secret world" of clerical

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