The McCarrick Scandal & Objectively Disordered Sexual Desires

The McCarrick Scandal  & Objectively Disordered Sexual Desires

It will be no surprise that the Catholic church is plunged deep into yet another scandal involving men with objectively disordered sexual desires.

One of the “explainers” of this scandal is priest Father James Martin. He has made it his mission to explain how a priest’s objectively disordered sexual desires do not influence his thinking or behavior in any way. He says the thoughts and actions of people with disordered desires are no different in general from other people.

His mission is an immediate failure because it begins with a contradictory premise. His theory is that a man’s thoughts do not matter to how the man acts. If that is so, then thoughts do not matter. Nobody believes that. How much a man’s propensity to disordered sex influences him depends, of course, on the man. That it does not influence his behavior in any way is false.

Improper Definitions

Martin quoted in a tweet “A witch-hunt mentality demonizes the vast majority of celibate gay men who are faithful to their vows, serve the church, and are as horrified as anyone at the abuses committed.”

Leave aside that it is indeed the Church’s job to engage in witch hunts, in the sense that witchcraft and Christianity are not compatible. And forget the (common) misuse of “celibate”, which merely means “bachelor.” (In French, bachelor is célibataire.) The word wanted was “chaste”, meaning a person not acting on objectively disordered sexual desires.

Now just what is a “chaste gay man”? A man with objectively disordered sexual desires. A man who is tempted to immoral (simulated) sex with another male. Sodomy is a sin that cries out to Heaven for vengeance, or so the Church has always taught. A chaste gay man is thus one who walks on the precipice of Hell.

But that’s too simple a definition. It is incomplete. Asking one word—gay—to hold the weight for all the myriad kinds of non-procreative desires men have is asking too much.

A Queer Theory

All know the acronym cum phrase “LGBT” is shorthand for an ever-expanding list of kinds of sexual desire. We began with LGBT and we are now at LGBTQWERTY, or whatever. I used to be derisive of lists like that, but I now believe this is the one thing sexual desire ideologues get right.

It really is true that sexual desire is broad, much broader than we used to understand. A man may desire sex, or more usually simulated sex, with himself, with another man, with a child, with a couch on the side of a road (a real case), with a goat, with another man’s wife, with a dead body, with those missing limbs because they are missing limbs, with only females of certain races, with men who pretend to be women, and on and on and on.

He may today desire sex, or simulated sex, in one way and tomorrow in another. Desire can be fluid. For instance, many men do not realize that they desire simulated sex with other men until they are introduced to the concept from elder men. And we recall that some men who were called “gay” have fathered children. The number of possible propensities, or “orientations”, is practically infinite.

All orientations for men save two are objectively disordered. The first is chaste procreation. An objectively ordered desire is appetite for procreation with one’s mate. It is called “objectively ordered” because this desire aligns with a man’s nature; it explains his biology. It says why the human race reproduces.

The second orientation is bachelorhood. An unmated man who really does desire chastity is oriented to nothing in the sexual sense. He is not oriented to other men or (for instance) children or goats.

The Temptation of Temptation

Any number of temptations may beset the married man or bachelor. And no man is perfect. But in no sense does a man’s temptations define him. He is not a temptation. He is a man.

To say that a man’s temptation is what defines him is to admit that the temptation influences the man’s behavior. And must—and in no small way. The temptation, after all, becomes central to the man if the temptation is what he believes he is.

It is thus no surprise that the man who defines himself by his temptations is the man more likely to slip. Since desire is fluid, and temptations are as many as orientation ideologues say, it is also no surprise that this class of men is more likely to sin in many different ways. And that is just what is observed.

This is why the idea to fix the scandal by having priests openly define themselves as their temptations, as advocated by among others the Washington Post, will only make everything worse.

The Church instead needs to return to a proper understanding of the nature of man.


  1. So sayeth Paul who was Saul:

    1 Timothy 1
    3As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 5Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

    8But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

    1 Timothy 2
    1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 7Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

    8I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

    9In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

    1 Timothy 3
    1This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

    8Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    1 Timothy 4
    1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

  2. Michael Dowd

    Michael Dowd • a few seconds ago

    Very good Briggs. The Church must clearly say that any form of sex outside of marriage is a mortal sin and will send anyone who disobeys and does not repent will surely go to hell. It must also that every sexual act within marriage must contain the possibility of conception. Doing this will set the stage for a complete renewal.

    Also, any attempt to rid the clergy of homosexuals, whether practicing or not, would probably considered unlawful by the courts who protect sexual preference.

    Therefore, in my opinion, the only solution to All the problems in the Catholic Church is for it to become materially poor, politically powerless, but morally and spiritually powerful. Right now the Church is morally compromised by it’s need for money, it’s desire for a political voice, and the absence of moral rectitude.

  3. Sander van der Wal

    AFAICS, a trans man believes he wants a female body, instead of a male one, and then have, as a female, natural sex with a man. That isn’t exactly the same as a gay man wanttimg sex with another man.

    Secondly, as male and female brains differ, this might be a situation where Science would see differences between male brains and male trans brains, the trans brains possibly looking a lot more like female brains.

  4. Ken

    The entire “logic” presented is of the sort akin to the movie, Minority Report — that a person’s inclinations, even if never acted upon, are sufficient to condemn.

    If that’s the case then nearly every one of us is overdue for prison (how many of us felt like meting out violence, or death, to someone for some actual or even perceive offense, but never act). And if a sexual orientation/urge is an issue, there’s that ‘do not covet’ commandment, if every straight Catholic clergy were expelled for violating that one there’d be no Church. Clergy are held to a high standard. Obviously, enforcement focus is inconsistent. From a social perspective, a consensual if “disordered” behavior [exercised in private] is less threatening to society than the murderous inclinations so many of us have on occasion felt…and history shows so many enough of will someday act on if/when circumstances incline us to think we’ll get away with it (e.g., consider the Murray Hill Riot in Montreal, resulting from a police strike). The Ted-Haggard-like persistence of this theme in this blog is itself attention-getting.

    And if homosexuality is a crime that ‘calls to Heaven for vengeance,’ why not let Heaven deal with in its way and on its schedule — does Heaven need us to butt in?

    Maybe its not that the Church needs to ponder the nature of man, maybe some men (& women) need to review the Church’s Catechism & underlying rationale on the subject, e.g.: (see 2357-2359).

  5. Shecky R

    The Church has a centuries-old and forever ongoing problem it refuses to face honestly. It ain’t rocket science that humans are… well… human. The solution is simple: allow for female priests & remove vows of celibacy (or chasteness)… i.e. join the 21st century. You can thank me later.

  6. acricketchirps

    Thanks Shecky. It saved the Episcopalians after all, didn’t it?

  7. True Faith

    Hahahahahaha!! Thanks, acricketchirps. Why does this always have to be pointed out?
    Having in my youth spent many years marching to the dictatorship of the “Women’s Movement” as we used to call it and experienced first hand how women who think they are powerful treat not just men but also children and other women I have no desire for Christ’s Holy Church to be saved by them. We see how having it saved by girly men worked out.

  8. Shecky – that’s funny right there.

    What part of –

    “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

    – do you fail to understand?

  9. swordfishtrombone

    @ McChuck,

    Thank you for reminding me once again how idiotic the Bible is.

    “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;”

    What does it matter what people look like? And why only women?

    “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.”

    Well, at least they’re allowed to learn, I suppose that’s something.

    “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

    Pathetic rubbish. Where would we be without women teachers?

    “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.”

    Why would the order in which they were formed matter? Are creatures created before Adam superior to him?

    “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

    If Adam wasn’t deceived but still ate the forbidden fruit, how is that not worse? And in any case, we don’t generally blame people if they do something wrong because they’ve been deceived. Cursing everyone (and all of nature) forever because one person was fooled is the action of a really dumbass monster, not a god worth worshipping.

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