It must be weird being a catholic priest; you spend your entire life making it incredibly obvious to people that as far as adult sexual relationships go, you don’t really want to be involved. You wear the outfit, you take a vow of celibacy, you very publically choose not to take a wife yet again and again, the public end up banging on your door demanding advice on what they should do in the bedroom. They stand baffled; like a vegan asked for a steak recipe or a Pussy Cat Doll asked about female solidarity wondering how much clearer do they need to make it?
It’s an odd demand to make of an institution that is notoriously sceptical about women in the first place. Yes, we do make up more than fifty percent of the population but as religions go, they just don’t seem quite sold on us ladies yet. Women have only recently; biblically speaking, evolved from Adam’s rib and we are very much seen as the Johnny Come Latelys of the human species. If people judge the dearth of female comedians on our inherent inability to be funny, why shouldn’t the same damning logic be used to decide our ability to possess morals, spirituality or a sentient brain? If we do possess these attributes why have we so glaringly failed to make it to the front bench of the major world religions? It’s just not happening ladies, is it?
Maybe that’s why women are so desperate for advice from the men in frocks. Birth control, fertility treatments, family planning, all areas of life priests will never in a million years, not if they are reincarnated a thousand times, which as a catholic would be a bittersweet experience, have to deal with. Yet like dithering first dates unable to decide on a main course, we soulfully look up from our fertility menu and ask the men in black what they think.
I don’t know how they come up with their theories on how a teenage girl should cope with an unexpected pregnancy. Maybe they go out to meet young women and ask their advice, maybe they approach it method style and spend an evening in watching “The Only Way is Essex” whilst texting or maybe they just make it up as they go along. They join the priest hood hoping to avoid women and end up having to sort our yappy crazy lives out anyway, like the spiritual gay best friends that they are. Now ain’t that a kick in the head?
Which brings us to the latest news; David Cameron has announced plans to promote gay couples from the first division gloom of civil partnership to the full premier league glory of marriage. Like most people I thought “Yes, you may be the democratically elected head of government Cameron, discussing an entirely civil matter but what does the Catholic Church think? That famously infallible institution, governed by unelected men in red hats, multi coloured smoke elections and a two thousand year old magic book, what’s their take on events?”
How nervous the Catholics must have been about issuing its response? Huddled in a room, smoking cigarettes and nervously looking out of blinds, “The people need us, but in all seriousness how can we help; an institution famous for sexually abusing children and then covering it up whenever we’re allowed into a country? Can we really tell anybody what they should do in their private life?”
“And don’t forget the Magdalene laundries! Locking women up for the rest of their live just for getting pregnant, in hindsight we were just kind of taking the piss there weren’t we?”
“And then there’s the fact that the ban on priest marrying has little to do with theology and is probably more about keeping money within the church, forcing us to live unnatural lives of loneliness and isolation”
“Good point! How can we make it obvious that we haven’t a clue what we are talking about? How can we say something so ridiculous and nonsensical, that our answer, in a way, satirizes their interest in our opinion in the first place? I know! Why don’t we compare same sex marriage to slavery? Then claim that marriage; a ceremony most people associate with overpriced stationary, angry aunts demanding invites and Britney Spears drunk in Las Vegas would be ruined if gays were allowed? Everybody knows gays are amazing at weddings; have you seen “Four Weddings”? They win every week!”
“Perfect. Then maybe the public will finally get the message and we can go back to saying mass, listening to Susan Boyle records and secretly marrying our housekeepers as God intended. And no one will ever ask our opinion on anything ever again”
And that is what happened.