Is sex (or romance) such a big deal?

A recent "scandal" involving an EWTN program host and priest (Fr. Francis Mary Stone) has some cyber-Catholics in a dither. A few have already found him guilty of the ecclesiastical equivalent of adultery; others are praying with great fervor that God will intervene in his life and convince him to stay in the priesthood. Most are simply sad or disappointed that he is taking a leave of absence to discern his call in light of his situation.

And what exactly is his situation? Well of course I don't know the intimate details, neither do I wish to know them, but according to his own statement, in the course of assisting a needy widow and her children, he and the widow have developed feelings for each other. A casual gander at the news can give us about a million other things to be concerned about; personally I don't understand why people are so upset at Fr. Francis Mary Stone's desire to take a "time out." A little girl was raped and killed by her stepfather and his friend recently; comparably, I don't find Fr. Francis' open, honest disclosure (he came out with this information, seemingly, of his own accord, rather than hide it) of what must be a personally wrenching experience to be worthy of the type of attention it has received.

Of course, I find the teachings of the RC & much of Protestantism regarding human sexuality to be extreme, bizarre, obsessive and just plain odd. Had Fr. Francis been married and ordained an Anglican priest, then crossed the Tiber to the RC, he might have been given an dispensation allowing him to "transfer" his Anglican ordination to the RC. Had he been an Eastern Rite Catholic, and could have married before ordination. In either case he'd still be a legitimate Catholic priest, and a legitimately married man, and nobody's knickers would get twisty. And the substantive difference between a man married pre-ordination and one who wanted to get married after ordination? [insert crickets here]

I wish that Christians had as much passion for poverty as they do for porn; and I pray that Fr. Francis is able to find his way, wherever that may lead, with the genuine selfless support of his fellow Catholics and not selfish scorn (unless of course there exists one who is without sin-in that case, I recommend he or she cast the first stone). God be with you, Fr. Francis.

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