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A lover of the liberal arts, especially antiquity in its diverse forms, I am nonetheless wholly devoted to, utterly transformed by divine revelation. I seek to know the thought of the past, articulate my deepest longings aroused by the wise, and understand the uneasy relationship between reason and revelation; all for the sake of proper action and contemplation, both now and in the future.


On Pedophilia

It is considered bigoted and homophobic nowadays to subscribe to the proposition that homosexual acts are disordered and sinful. Much is made of the unkindness shown to struggling homosexuals and similar others, and their suffering is always before us when the topic arises in conversation. Leaving the political argument to one side (though even here, the analogies often made to the late twentieth century civil rights movement seem suspect: is the claim that skin color determines political treatment the same claim that an act is immoral?), I wish to think for awhile on another set of men who, unlike adult homosexuals, elicit no sympathy for the public: pedophiles, those who are sexually attracted only to children, not to adult men or women. They are probably some of the most hated and feared people in our society, facing similar discrimination as what homosexuals are reputed to have faced fifty to one hundred years ago. There is no (at least, not yet) licit outlet for their sexual drive, their relevant pornography is banned in all media (including, oddly, animated material, which harms no one); unbelievably, in our post-sexual revolution, sexually indulgent world, where refraining from sexual relations is "unnatural", society demands celibacy of them (as does the Church, and rightly, with all those who are not heterosexually oriented).

Since pedophilia is banned under civil law, those caught are usually predators. But is not attempting to understand pedophilia through the study of convicted child molesters like studying male heterosexuality through the study of rapists? I am convinced of the following: to love means, among other things, to will the good of the beloved. And pedophiles are lovers of children. They thus wish to cherish, to nourish, to protect, to benefit their beloveds. To be sure, this love includes having sex with them, just as my love for women (which society would heartily endorse) would ordinarily include this. But would it not change the way we viewed them, were we to understand that there does not seem to be a reason why a pedophile cannot love a child in the same way that a man properly loves a woman? Would we not begin to see them as men, and not depraved monsters?

I pity them. They need Christ's love so very badly, and they will receive it from none but the Church, for society takes no pity on them; rather it hates and shuns them. They must keep their orientation private; to come out as a lover of children rather than lover of men or women is to spell personal and public disaster. And if they are caught in the grip of lust and have inappropriate relations with their beloved, or even look at inappropriate material, they are thrown into prison, as society rejoices that another dangerous predator has been locked away. It is men like this to whom we are called to bring the saving light of the gospel, to issue the call to repentance for the forgiveness of sins through Our Lord.

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