Monday, August 3, 2009

The Perversion of Manhood

Sometimes the priest has gathered around himself a kind of sexual gang, a brotherhood of carnality. Pornography can work wonders for establishing such a thing. Sometimes the boy struggles to pretend that he was not violated, that he wished for the encounter after all. Sometimes the priest verges upon the ghoulish; sometimes he even believes, and teaches, that there is a sacramentality in this abuse of the body. Sometimes he even says that it is a manly thing to do.

Whatever the gross details may be, it is important to consider that touch. The terrible thing is that the boy, confused, is excited; he cannot believe what is happening and is too surprised to know immediately what to do. This is the man he has, so to speak, fallen in love with — fallen in admiration of, as a boy will admire a man, a hero, his own father. He feels at once ashamed and prized; he does not pull away. His body betrays him. Never will he be able to say, as the raped woman can say (and please, I am not making light of that horrible crime; it is a different sort of crime), "I was overcome." No, he was willing, certainly not wholly unwilling, and that is the ugly horror of it. Never will he be able to say, "I felt no pleasure in it." Till the day he dies the nerves of his own body will testify against him. He is not raped. Would that he were; he is seduced, made to cooperate in the perversion of his own manhood. At the most vulnerable time of his life, as he tries to steer that most perilous strait, he is corrupted not only in his body but in his being, in his manhood, by the very "man," the Father, who seemed to promise to him safe passage. Does he wish he had been raped? Talk to some, and they will say they wish they had been strangled.

Why have the commentators not seen this? Grown men speaking about their experiences have collapsed into tears on national television. Are we to believe they would do so had they been seduced by nuns? Had any one of those men been so seduced, it would, we hope, be a source of shame to him, as any sin ought to be. More probably he would himself ensure that tales about the shameful sister never died down.

Why have we not seen it? Because all of us, conservative and leftist alike, have too much invested in feminism. Boys with rotten lives may be the most obvious and poignant reminders of the misery spread by our latest version of the egalitarian heresy. But men are too busy pushing their daughters into ice hockey, and women are too busy reading Redbook on the subway home from the bank. Besides, boys are sloppy, unruly clods, no? So says the popular culture. And they can take care of themselves, can’t they?

Jesus would not have thought so. I have read, and I accept as valid, the argument for the all-male priesthood that notes that Jesus chose only men to be His apostles.

Read it all here.

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