“Priestess” Sin

The singer is one of many recently to give up the giving up. Is renounced celibacy spreading?

Topics: Washington, D.C.,

Nov. 5, 1999

“I failed miserably,” Sinead O’Connor confessed to Irish television on November 4, reports Agence France Presse. “I meant well by doing the celibacy thing but it doesn’t work for me because I need love and affection …”

The Irish songster vowed a commitment to chastity last April when she became a priestess of the Latin Tridentine Church, a maverick Catholic splinter creed. Irish rebel bishop Michael Cox performed the ordination, rechristening the singer with the nunnish-name of “Mother Bernadette Mary.”

“I lasted about three months,” O’Connor admitted. “I tried. No thanks.” Her future plans include the release of an album which she says will be “sexier” than her earlier work. Apparently, even the brief stint with virginity seems to have stirred up her libido.

Backsliding Sinead isn’t the only Catholic to leap lustily out of the priesthood recently. Pastor Bob Riler of All Saints Church in Puyallup, Washington, resigned last month by sending a three-page letter to each of the 1,750 homes in his parish, notes an article in the October 28 issue of the News Tribune. His epistle expressed his desire to seek intimate female companionship, while deriding celibacy as an “arcane, man-made law … a historical accident.”

Riler is the 70th priest to cast off the cassock in the western Washington area in the last 30 years, as droves of holy-but-horny fathers worldwide flee the prudish faith. Even Ireland, where priests used to be as thick as clover, is suffering from a clerical shortage, claims an October 24 essay in the Times Union in Albany, NY. The Archdiocese of Dublin, a city with a population of 1.2 million, has frocked only two priests in the last two years, and both have already given up.

Will John Paul II ever budge from the hardcore stance on celibacy that has characterized Catholicism since the 11th century? Insiders say no; sexual priests will never appear as long as the Vatican is ruled by the rigid Pole.

Hank Hyena is a former columnist for SF Gate, and a frequent contributor to Salon.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>