One of my first crushes was on Jesus. I thought he was handsome and kind, but distracted and lonely; good in thought and deed, but the worst kind of hard-to-get imaginable. Jesus had a hot body too, very rock-star skinny, and he was constantly half-naked. The Catholic Church is soaked in sexual imagery: Catholic schools are named after the Holy Conception, Mary is never without her virginal moniker, everyone’s on their knees, wine flows freely, and Jesus Christ is tongued and swallowed on a weekly basis.
A.W. Richard Sipe, a former Catholic priest turned therapist, has spent four decades studying sexuality and abuse among Catholic priests. His numbers dovetail with other studies that claim nearly half of all priests are, or have been, sexually active. About a third are gay: half of them actively so. But with whom? Each other, and post-pubescent boys, it seems. In the course of his research, Sipe administered psychological tests; he found that most Catholic priests have the average emotional and sexual maturity of a thirteen-year-old.