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Sex, Priests, And Power: Anatomy Of A Crisis 1st Edition
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He wrote in the Preface to this 1995 book, "In 1960 when I began studying the practice, process, and achievement of priestly celibacy, I had no sense of any crisis or any idea that my explorations would lead me inexorably to the vortex of a critical contest that engages moral doctrine and religious discipline." (Pg. xv) "This book is not an attack on an important religious practice---celibacy---much less on a church or religion. It is an invitation to dialogue about issues that have profound effects on people. It is an effort to analyze the function and structure of a system that exerts real power in an area of existence vital to human service, happiness, and productivity: sexuality as it is understood by the celibate/sexual teaching and practice of the Catholic Church." (Pg. xvi) He adds, "In this present study, two questions led me... Why does celibacy persist as a personal and cultural entity...? And how are celibacy and sexuality connected to the power system of the Catholic Church?" (Pg.Read more ›
"The power of love is a curious thing. Make a one man weep, make another man sing."
What's it like to be a priest sexually? What's it like to try to help others with their internal conflicts here while dealing honestly your own sex?
Sipe gets your attention with hard numbers: 50% of priests and bishops in the Roman Catholic Church are sexually active. I learned today also that oversees and in combat, the US Military requires all US soldiers to refrain from any sex with self or others and from viewing pornography. That's the law. Does not matter if you are assigned in Iraq or Afghanistan for a decade or more. Seems the military code makes as much sense as the Roman Catholic Church on celibacy. Sipe gets to the core of this.
I watched a ball game with a priest friend a couple days back; had another priest friend coming to dinner the same week. We spoke of such things; sort of. No matter what our role in church we put our erotic pants on one leg at a time here, no? Not easily, however. Whether we are celibate or married or just trying to make up our minds, we don't want to think about these things much out loud, as they are messy. Either wonderfully or horribly. Sipe explains here what happens when we don't look and talk about this.
Thinking back, I've almost forgotten my 12 years as a practicing and soon to be Orthodox priest yet with a career cut short by divorce. I was and still am asking a lot of Sipe like questions, then and now. About love, sex and God. About power. Younger and married at the time, now divorced and remarried, the same questions about this Eros loom big. Very big.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent analysis and statistics on the crisis of celibacy and the catholic priesthood.Published 5 months ago by Patrick McClure
I don't think you can be educated on this topic and not have read this book. The work done by the author is groundbreaking and deftly handled. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Eros Faust
A. W. Richard Sipe (born 1932) is a former Benedictine monk-priest of 18 years (he resigned his priesthood, and is now married), a sociologist and author/coauthor of books such as... Read morePublished on February 19, 2014 by Steven H Propp
This book contained some very interesting ideals. The philosophy in the book was way over my head. Much of it seemed redundant to me I'm sure because I didn't understand it. Read morePublished on March 25, 2006 by Anne Lapuh