The Archdiocese of Detroit has issued its rules of conduct policy for pastoral counselors, spiritual directors and volunteers.
Among the directives:
* Never engage in sexual intimacies with the persons they counsel. This includes consensual and nonconsensual conduct, forced physical conduct, inappropriate sexual remarks.
* Volunteers must not smoke or use tobacco products in presence of children or youths, nor possess or be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while volunteering.
First, it’s good to know that it’s only “inappropriate” sexual remarks that are forbidden. I make only “appropriate” ones. (I guess they mean that speaking on sexual abstinence is okay, but the wording is a little odd.)
Second, it’s nice to know that we’ve raised smoking to the same level of evil as raping children. God forbid that anyone should partake of the “evil weed” (and I’m not referring to pot.) Really, with everything else that’s going on, is it really all that important that Father not smoke his pipe where someone may see him? What’s next, forbidding alcohol? That may require some changes in liturgy and doctrine.