Pedophile Priest Says Chastity “Cruel”

An Australian priest was caught trying to meet up with what he believed to be a 13 year old girl. (It was actually a detective.) He blames his act on his vow of celibacy:

The priest told the court the internet relationship was a fantasy and a game, and he needed to release energy.

Handing down his sentence, Justice Hughes said Fuller had been sexually frustrated after a life of celibacy. He described the vow of chastity as “agonising” and “cruel”.

But the judge said children were vulnerable and sexually innocent and “for an adult to exploit them is repugnant.”

I’ve often thought that many men who desire chastity do so to punish themselves for their sexual desires. But the celibacy makes their desires worse and gives them no legitimate way to satisfy their desires. These desires keep growing and they are bent into something that is accessible to the priest — children.

That’s one of my theories, anyway.

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  • Hal in Howell MI

    What was this guy thinking? Why did he become a priest in the first place? Why did he remain a priest if celibacy was so “cruel” and “agonizing”? Rhetorical questions, of course.

    • James

      Self loathing, I imagine. Religion sometimes encourages otherwise normal people to hate themselves for what they desire. He wanted to have sex, felt guilty, so to punish himself or to control his desires, he becomes a priest. But biological urges don’t get lessened in the priesthood, and he feels even worse because now it’s HIS lack of faith that’s to blame. So, now he’s a bad person for wanting sex and for not having enough faith in god to stop wanting to have sex. It’s a self destructive spiral and it causes more pain than most people realize.

      Note that this doesn’t excuse his actions, but it does put them in context. Religion can make people do terrible things, not even including murder or persecution.

  • Aron Elvis

    I would love to see a poll done on who you would rather babysit your kid, a gay man, or a priest.

    I know who I’d pick. Yet gay men are not allowed to be scoutmasters. Priests are. Go figure.

  • fregas

    I’m really on the fence on this. On the one hand, I know celibacy is definitely not for me. I don’t think people should ever be forced to live celibate for the reasons you mentioned. I feel like its natural and healthy to want and have a sexual outlet.

    On the other hand, celibacy has been encouraged in many religious traditions, not just christianity. I’m a fan of buddhism and zen, and there were/are celibate monks in that tradition. They were a bit more isolated from the community then catholic priests though. Celibacy is a way of denying the self, like fasting, etc and i think in certain situations it helps people to learn to control their own desires and become more selfless. Learning to become selfless is a benefit in any religion or no religion.

    Maybe lifetime celibacy is what should be avoided, I don’t know. Just like you don’t want to fast until you die of hunger (the buddha taught the middle way) you don’t want to be celibate until it drives you nuts and you do something inappropriate.

  • merryatheist

    The way I read the story, it reads like the judge was the one who said the vow of chastity was cruel, not the priest. So the headline should more properly be “Judge says chastity cruel”, should it not?

    Of course it doesn’t change the truth contained in the statement.

  • Sunny Day

    Is it the vow of chastity or is the priest just a monster?
    Is there something about the vow of chastity that excludes children?
    Sex with a woman is wrong, but somehow raping kids is ok by his vows?

    If you’re going to break your vows why not do it in a way that doesn’t harm someone else?

    • trj

      Indeed. Whether celibacy is cruel or not, it doesn’t change the fact that he wanted to have sex with a 13-year-old girl. Why not an adult woman? Sexual frustration is no excuse for what he attempted.

      • Gringa

        Seriously – why not just take off the priest outfit and go to a strip club? Or go pick up someone at a bar. If you just want to relieve your frustration, at least do so with a consenting adult.

        • Len

          I think the point is that he didn’t want to have sex with an adult.

          • JohnMWhite

            Maybe he wanted to minimise the risk of getting a woman pregnant. Condoms are of the devil, after all…

      • Nick

        While I do not condone his actions at all, nor the system that set him up for disaster, I wouldn’t go as far to say there is “no excuse”. Make sure you read what I say before jumping on me. There are some interesting theories floating around some psychology circles that postulate the following: many people who become priests follow a path that starts with a highly religious upbringing (not conducive to figuring out biological urges), go on to a private school that is sex-separated (sometime around puberty, not conducive to figuring out biological urges), and then go into priesthood. The theory that follows is that priests are most likely to molest children because that is who they perceive as their sexual peers, rather than someone in a bar. There is a huge amount of cognitive dissonance that goes on in their heads that leads to these terrible situations, but I can’t blame the person for everything knowing how bad the system is that sets this up. Perhaps people need to think critically about the situation that causes this and watch it correct itself.

        • Lone Wolf

          That may explain priests molesting boys but what about the priests who molest girls? (just because the news doesn’t talk about them doesn’t mean there not there)
          In the end that hypothesis is bullshit. These child molesting priests are just bad people. The difference between child molesting priests and most child molesters is: the priests are in a position of authority over many children and the church instead of reporting these bastards for their crimes instead try to hide the abuse and move the fuckers to a new parish where they the opportunity to molest more children.
          The problem is how the church deals with evil priests.

    • Yabo

      Children are easier to influence to keep their mouths shut.

      That’s my guess.

  • Revyloution

    Another great example of environment controlling peoples actions. If you create a set of rules that prohibit natural behaviors, you will create stresses that blow out at odd angles. Enforced vows of celibacy are just asking for trouble.

  • Grumpygirl

    Celibacy denies the fact that humans are sexual beings. It’s ridiculous. But blaming that as the reason you are a pedophile is just plain lying.

  • Roger Scott

    It was the judge who was reported as saying that the vow of celibacy was cruel. The priest may indeed agree, but his opinion wasn’t given.
    I agree with the judge. We have evolved as social, sexual animals. Denying our basic nature is beyond stupidity.

  • Lone Wolf

    Whether the pervert fuck is right or wrong why did the priest have to try to have sex with 13 year olds? It has nothing to do with celibacy, the priest is just an immoral pervert. Even if celibacy was cruel the priest still could have broken his vows with people old enough to consent not a 13 year old.

    The priest told the court the internet relationship was a fantasy and a game, and he needed to release energy.

    If it was a game why didn’t he play it with an adult? He is a pervert.

  • misshani

    My guess is that it’s about power and authority. They believe they can control the children through fear and shame into keeping quiet far easier than they can another adult. And an adult would more likely be believed if they came out with the truth, while no one would believe a child’s word over a priest’s.

  • 3D

    “I’ve often thought that many men who desire chastity do so to punish themselves for their sexual desires. But the celibacy makes their desires worse and gives them no legitimate way to satisfy their desires. These desires keep growing and they are bent into something that is accessible to the priest — children.

    That’s one of my theories, anyway.”

    I strongly disagree with this. I think that’s an extremely charitable take on the situation. You’re saying they have normal sexual urges but lack of sex “turns” them into pedophiles? I don’t know that that’s scientifically sound or possible.

    It seems to me more likely that they start out desiring children, and take up a profession where they (a) have authority and (b) have access to children. Maybe the less cynical ones do it because they think the celibacy requirement will force them not to abuse kids, but I think anyone who abuses kids was sick a long time before they became a priest.