Sunday, April 4, 2010

FACE OF THE DAY

Thanks to the Daily Dish:

Saint Basil of Caesarea, the fourth century Church Father who wrote the principal rule of the monks of the East, establishes this: “The cleric or monk who molests youths or boys or is caught kissing or committing some turpitude, let him be whipped in public, deprived of his crown [tonsure] and, after having his head shaved, let his face be covered with spittle; and [let him be] bound in iron chains, condemned to six months in prison, reduced to eating rye bread once a day in the evening three times per week. After these six months living in a separate cell under the custody of a wise elder with great spiritual experience, let him be subjected to prayers, vigils and manual work, always under the guard of two spiritual brothers, without being allowed to have any relationship . . . with young people."

And from: The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism by Mark D. Jordan (University of Chicago Press, 2000)
In 1570, a canon of the shrine of Loreto was named as a sexual partner by a choirboy. The boy's testimony was confirmed by multiple interrogations and by torture. (p. 122)
Avoiding scandal seems to have been more important than prosecuting offenders. Cases we do discover in the archives are often cases with aggravating circumstances, such as violence or public outcry. A Capuchin was burned publicly in Paris in 1783 for killing a boy who resisted being raped. (p. 123)
One Minim friar, Pedro Pizarro, dubbed "La Pizarra," maintained a well-supplied "playroom" on the monastery grounds in Valencia until his arrest in 1572. He would invite boys into the monastery on the pretext of doing paid work, ply them with food and wine, then couple with them in various combinations, often with the assistance of other friars. (p. 127)
In his Trifles, the twelfth-century priest and poet Walter Map repeats a familiar joke about St. Bernard, the second founder of the Cistercian monastic order. Two Cistercian monks are talking piously about an incident in which Bernard tried to bring a young man back from the dead by stretching out on top of the corpse. Bernard did not succeed. Another clergyman, an anti-Cistercian, interrupts the pious story with feigned astonishment. He had often heard of monks throwing themselves on top of boys, but usually both the monk and the boy got up afterward. (p. 132)

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