Monday, September 1, 2014
I read an article where it was asked why so many priests are alcoholic. I really don't know what "so many" is, but I have one idea why the drink is popular among the clergy. In the seminaries of old, which were run a bit like monasteries, seminarians could not drink or smoke until they got ordained or reached some other level of seminary training. Drink and smoke became the litmus test of "having arrived" which appeals to the male ego. So new priests would drink and smoke as a right of passage or of having arrived at some completion. This withholding of something as a reward does not go anymore with drink and cigarettes, plus the screening is better in seminaries. But if you are thinking of withholding something from someone, be it a child or adult, as a future reward for proper behavior, you might think about it. The seminarians of old simply conformed on the outside to get the reward, ordination. The insides were given much less attention. There is a difference between not drinking, and sobriety. One is behavioral. The other, sobriety, is transformational.