In the article, "Seminary Days" (Ventura County Life, May 30), Father Richard Krekelberg is quoted as saying "that the church would consider it healthy for a seminarian to fall in love--so that he could learn to overcome the associated sexual urge." If he is quoted correctly, Krekelberg is saying that it is "healthy" for the seminarian to use another human being as an object in order to test himself. This is unethical. Additionally, falling in love requires relationship and right relationship calls for trust--trust which clearly would be absent in such a situation.
Krekelberg is further quoted as saying that counseling within the church would repair the situation for the "fallen man" should he have an affair. Would such counseling be available for the demeaned woman too? If so, would she be referred to a non-sexist counselor?
Messages such as this are part of the seminarian's formation. Messages such as this help keep the stage set for the injustices women suffer in society at large too. Messages such as this make it difficult for an aware woman who feels violated by them to remain in the institution.
"Why do they stay?" is a question sometimes raised regarding women who are physically battered by men. The same question could be asked of us who feel mentally and emotionally battered by such messages and who want to maintain our integrity. We're really not masochists. Many are leaving.