Saturday, July 21, 2007

Father's day at the beach

Sometimes you just want to shake your head at this stuff. A priest in California was one of three men caught in an undercover sting at a nude beach. Cops were investigating reports that people were having sex in the bushes.

Further investigation revealed one of the men is an associate pastor at a Catholic Church in Nipomo.

Sheriff's deputies said 52-year-old, Geronimo Cuevas was standing in the bushes off the trail that leads down to the beach at Pirate's Cove, masturbating.

When he was approached by an undercover agent, investigators said he grabbed the deputy's crotch.

People who knew Cuevas as a man of the cloth are shocked by the allegations.

"I think that's unbelievable. I mean I've seen him. He serves his masses. He's been a preacher over there for quite sometime. It's just absolutely unbelievable," said Wes Lingerfelt.

Unbelievable? Sadly, not. As long as we remain in denial about the problem of gay priests in the ranks, this is going to keep happening. And don't give the BS about celibacy being the cause. Sexual desire of whatever stripe is not an irresistible force. There are plenty of desires that people resist: the desire for food, for drink, for tobacco, to strangle certain bishops. But since society has determined that sex is the most important thing in all creation, then we must also label all sexual desire as not just good, but also more powerful than the human will. They've made it into God.

I do feel bad for the poor fellow astounded at seeing his priest arrested for such, but like too many Catholics he labors under the illusion that the mere trappings of religiosity, such as preaching and saying Mass, are evience of holiness. After all, how many people think they're going to heaven because they deign to acknowledge the existence of God and are "nice" to other people? I can't how many times over the past five years of this crisis that I've seen parishioners of molesters astonished or in denial about "their" priest.

There's a higher standard by which all of us, but especially priests, are to judged, but most people aren't using it. I'd bet a million dollars that if someone had regularly looked at Father Cuevas' public behavior in his daily life with a more serious eye, they wouldn't have been surprised by this. Saddened, yes, but surprised, no.

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