Yesterday I posted about my new series Forbidden which begins Friday at Wicked Nights, and which stars a very hot priest, Father Sergio, who is going to be lusted after by the other main character, Jerico. It should be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out. I tend to leave that up to the characters to work out, although I have my suspicions.
Cesare's father is Rodrigo Borgia, aka Pope Alexander VI. Wait, his father is a pope? How did that happen? Didn't they have celibacy vows back then? Of course they did. Even before he was Pope, Borgia must have gone through the rank and file of the Church - at the time of his election to the papacy, he was a Cardinal. He had a number of mistresses and several children. So much for celibacy.
Now let's think about that. Celibacy, that is. It isn't mandatory in all churches. Some ministers are allowed to marry and have children, to lead more normal lives. Am I saying that celibate priests don't lead normal lives? Yes, I guess I am, because celibacy is not a natural state for most people. True, there are some who have low sex drives and don't care, but on the whole, priests are no different than anyone else, and celibacy has to be hard on them. Well, you know it is, because see what happens when you force men to deny themselves the pleasures of the body? Things that aren't very pretty.
What about the argument that by being celibate they put more time and energy into the Church and into serving God and helping their fellow man? I think that's a crock of shit. First off, how much do you get done when you're horny a lot and can't do anything about it? Secondly, if that were true, I think there would be a lot less people in miserable straits in the world, with that much energy being devoted to their welfare. Personally, I think someone who has a happy home life, no matter if they are straight or gay, will be better suited to helping other people.
You know what I don't understand? How priests offer marriage and/or sex counseling. With what experience? A book? Might as well shove a manual at the couple and say here, read. I drive a car, I sure wouldn't begin to suggest I can fix it. The priests don't even drive the car, they have to give longing glances from afar. And yet they tell people how to drive? It's crazy.
In Forbidden, because of the declining birth rate, the Church has taken a step forward and removed the vows of celibacy for two main reasons - one, in order to get the priests married and reproducing, and the second reason is that it wasn't really working and caused far more harm than good. But they still don't allow homosexuality because it doesn't produce children. So that will have to be a factor between our two heroes and what happens to them. You gotta throw monkey wrenches at your characters, right? Add some drama to their lives. Or who wants to read about them?
I obviously like themes involving the Church. Forbidden isn't my first such foray, actually. I wrote a novel called Revelations and I am seeking a publisher for it, even now. It's in NY, with Tor books, I'm waiting to hear from them. I've subbed it to a few publishers who liked it but wouldn't take a chance on publishing it because the subject matter is controversial.
Wait, you mean more controversial than a priest possibly breaking his vows of celibacy?
Yeah, I guess I do mean that.
I'll tell you a little about it. It's a contemporary Biblical story. I know, that's a contradiction in terms, right? But it is. It asks the question - what if there has already been a Second Coming? And a Third and Fourth? And many more? In my version of the story, God sends Jesus, and Mary, and Mary Magdalene and the Apostles to do his bidding, try to teach mankind, but unannounced. Like they're testing mankind to see if he can be taught without being threatened. Sometimes people do better than others, but sometimes, they don't do well. Revelations takes place in modern times. And it's primarily about Judas and Jesus. So yeah, maybe a little controversial. But those who've read it have loved it. I'm hopeful that I'll find a home for it.
There is a Mr. Mister song that I love a lot, that reminds me of Revelations. It's called Kyrie, check it out.
What do you think of celibacy - good or bad? Or don't care? I'd love to hear!