Radio NZ reports:
A high-profile Catholic woman says a bishop would not have had sex with a woman unless he loved her.
Does that mean that Cardinal Pell also loved his altar boys?
Joy Cowley, a celebrated children’s author of books like The Silent One and Nest in a Falling Tree, told RNZ the sexual relationship would have made Charles Drennan a better bishop.
If you have read The Thorn Birds, you might agree. One of the all time great novels on a Catholic priest who becomes a Cardinal but is more human and humane due to his failings, including his love for a woman.
She said she was defending clergy who acted on their sexual urges.
“How can you do this to a man for being human?”
The 83-year-old, who lives in Wairarapa and leads Catholic spiritual retreats, wrote an online post last week saying the case showed mandatory celibacy for priests should be dumped because it was unnatural.
I agree it is unnatural. Other Christian churches that allow their priests to marry seem to have far fewer sexual abuse cases.
“We know that a hungry man cannot be judged for stealing a loaf of bread,” she wrote.
Actually you can.
Ms Cowley wouldn’t say if she thought there was an appropriate age where a sexual relationship with a much older bishop would be okay.
“Probably early teens, I would say would be inappropriate,” she said.
Illegal would be the word you are looking for.
“You know, there’s one element you’ve left out, and that’s love. People fall in love. I don’t think this man would have had sex with anyone that he wasn’t in love with.”
I may be wrong on this, but I understand that some men have been known to have sex with people they are not in love with.
She said she was aware that the majority of priests had sex.
Remarkable if that is the Catholic Church.
Her hope was that Bishop Drennan’s case would cause a shift at the Vatican towards ending celibacy and being less judgemental of Catholics when it came to sex.
That would be a good thing.