All modern publicity campaigns centre around a big lie, because they start with surveys of public opinion to discover what is the most inconvenient truth1 about the subject and then deny it. Enjoy then, the RC diocese of New York’s campaign for vocations, whose general theme is “That’s not incense: it’s testosterone”. Priests are manly, manly, manly men. So what is the truth they are ignoring here? Not, of course, that celibacy is particularly unmanly, though it is hard and may be unmanning. No, the problem is that in the USA the priesthood is becoming a largely gay profession. I am not sure that stressing the enormous butchness of the men in frocks is going to solve this problem.

1 sorry, perception

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3 Responses to Manly

  1. acb says:

    Well, I don’t think it’s more than 50% yet, though clearly it must be in some seminaries.

  2. Mrs Tilton says:

    Hmm, I’ve always had the impression it’s over 50% and has been for some time. I shall have to consult with a friend, a professor of RC theology who is not in orders but, emm, bats for the same softball team. Given the generally conservative circles in which he moves, if he tells me more than half the priests he knows are gay, I’d give that some credence as indicative of the general situation (as it might not necessarily be, if his circle were more liberal).

    (When I say “more than half”, BTW, I should make quite clear that I am speaking broadly, and include priests who are gay as a matter of orientation but lead mostly or entirely celibate lives. I should imagine this describes a great many gay priests. If you mean, those priests who more-or-less secretly have sexual relations with other men on a more-or-less regular basis, then I imagine the number is under 50%.)

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