I am not suggesting that Catholic popes, priests, and nuns are inherently more prone to promiscuity than the rest of mankind. Our fallen hearts are all the same. Many of these tragic individuals no doubt began with high moral and spiritual aspirations, and in that spirit set out upon what they sincerely intended to be a life of purity and devotion to Christ. But, it was the system of hierarchical privilege, power, and authority over the laity that perverted and destroyed them. This system gathered momentum through the centuries by the lust and greed of popes whose natural propensity for evil found occasion through the unusual opportunities afforded by their office. To enhance their power, they issued a host of false documents supposedly derived from the writings of early Church Fathers and decrees of early synods. One self-serving theme of these forgeries was the claim that the popes had inherited the innocence and sanctity from Peter (where in fact the rock that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 16 was the geographical region of Mount Hermon, symbolized as the gates of hell), and hence could not be judged by any man. If a man is on the level of God, what privileges could he not claim? God is above the law. Thus, the popes declared openly that they had power over kings and kingdoms and all persons, and power to behave like tyrants. The added pretense of infallibility only made matters worse. Each priest and nun shares this same corrupting absolutism and elevation above laypersons. Added to this is the unnatural rule of celibacy, and the stage is set for all manner of evil, as we have just seen with the Pennsylvania grand jury report.
One must understand that mandatory celibacy is not taught in the bible, nor was it practiced by the apostles. This teaching developed as an integral part of the evolving papal system and gradually became essential to it. The concern was not morality, for celibacy proved to be a veritable cornucopia of evil. In fact, the rule of celibacy was not the prohibition of sex, but of marriage! All down through history not only priests and prelates, but popes as well, had their mistresses and prostitutes. Many were homosexuals too! No member of the clergy was ever excommunicated for having sex, but thousands have been put out of the priesthood for the scandal of getting married. Why then the strict insistence upon celibacy, even to the present day, if it really doesn't mean abstinence from sex? It is because the rule of celibacy has a very practical and lucrative result for the Church: it leaves priests and especially bishops and popes without families to whom to bequeath property and thereby impoverish the Church. The clergy must have no heirs. Thus, fornication and adultery (though forbidden in theory) were preferable instead of a marriage relationship!
Few if any Catholics realize that as late as the reign of Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085), it was accepted for priests to be married and supposedly live in celibacy with their wives. Such a requirement was both unnatural and unrealistic. Who could keep such a rule? Furthermore, for centuries the priesthood was largely hereditary! Most priests were the sons of other priests and bishops. More than one pope was the illegitimate son of a previous and supposedly celibate pope. For example, Pope Sylverius (536-537) was fathered by Pope Hormisdas (514-523), and John XI (931-935) by Sergius III (904-911) of his favorite mistress, Marozia. Among the other bastards who ruled the Church were Popes Boniface 1 (418-422), Gelasius (492-496), Agapitus (535-536), Theodore (642-649), and Adrian IV (1154-1159). No wonder Pope Pius 11 (1458-1464) said Rome was "the only city run by bastards." Pius himself admitted to fathering at least two illegitimate children, by different women, one of them married at the time. Another example of debauchery is John XII (955-964), who became pope at age 16, ran a harem in the Lateran Palace, and lived a life of evil that passes imagination, even toasting the devil in front of St. Peter's altar! He slept with his mother and any other woman he could get his hands on. Women were warned not to venture into St. John Lateran church. Papal promiscuity has even been immortalized in the very structures and statuary of the Vatican, St. Peter's, and other of Rome's most famous churches and basilicas. For example, the magnificent Sistine Chapel was built by and named after Sixtus IV, who taxed others for keeping a mistress but paid none for his own. The height of irony is that it is here the cardinals meet to elect the next pope! Tourists are not aware that this (the location of the world's greatest work of art) was commissioned by Julius 11 (1503-1513), who bought the papacy with a fortune and didn't even pretend to be a Christian. He was a notorious womanizer who sired a number of bastards, and was so eaten up with syphilis, that he couldn't expose his foot to be kissed!
In conclusion, the gross immorality among Roman Catholic clergy is not confined to the past but continues on a grand scale to this day. Such wickedness was rare and a cause for excommunicating the offending party in the days of the apostles. The faithful were not even to associate with fornicators (1 Corinthians 5:8-9) who claimed to be Christians, so the world would know that such conduct was condemned by the church and all disciples of Christ. Yet popes, cardinals, bishops, and priests without number have been habitual fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, mass-murderers, ruthless and depraved villains who pursued their degenerate lifestyles immune from discipline. Far from being excommunicated, such popes remain proudly displayed on the list of past vicars of Christ. Today, a priest who engages in sexual misconduct is rarely expelled from the priesthood or excommunicated from the Church. Instead, he is reassigned elsewhere and perhaps given psychological counseling. Priests pronounced cured by such treatment centers have been reassigned to parishes only to abuse more victims. While Rome officially condemns fornication, thousands of its priests engage in sex outside of marriage. The fraud and hypocrisy continues to persist. Today's celibate fornicators, pedophiles, and perverts are almost always quietly transferred. In their new parishes they continue to celebrate Mass and to perform priestly functions. However, should they commit the much more serious sin of marrying, they are forbidden ever to function as priests again.