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Monday, August 31, 2009


Kim Jordan

May God reward Father Groeschel's courage in this matter. The truth is the truth, no matter who says otherwise.

Ted K

Psychology has never been able to fully defend itself against the accusation of being a pseudo-science. The above issue is one example of why this has been so. Here we hear scientific language being used to make a non-scientific assertions. For instance we hear of "positive variant", as if this has somehow been determined through the scientific methodolgy and will have a predictive power in its application. Most of the scientific community today accepts evolutionary principles as having a fairly adequate explanitory power, including biology, which would find such variants difficult to identify as something "positive" for the preservation of the species within evolution by natural selection. Then we have "the client determines the ultimate manner" which sounds more like the Neichzaen will to power than any conclusion from empirical observations. And, of course, we have "maximize their clients’ self-determination" which is really what the whole issue is about, viz, ultimate sexual freedom, an ideology that most baby-boomers live for. Again, none of this has anything to do with science.


It's a fascinating history how the effective lobbying of a relatively few LGBT advocates have redefined ("evolved") the APA's definition of homosexuality in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual)from a "sexual identity dysfunction" into an almost persecuted, cause-celebre`. (See Ronald Bayer, “Homosexuality and American Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagnosis,” 1981, and others.) We must pray for those who refuse to see and live the truth, even ourselves.

A classic demonstration that if you repeat a lie often enough, it ultimately becomes perceived as the truth.

Timothy Simmons

Fr Groeschel is a very good and holy man. Whenever I watch his show on EWTN, his responses to questions and problems always strike me as exceptionally compassionate and wise. It is therefore distressing to see him not only lash out at, but also misrepresent the APA's new report.

He says, for example, that the committee that prepared the report claimed "that there are at least 80 studies indicating that reparative treatment is not helpful to people of homosexual orientation." What the committee actually claimed, however, is that the 80+ studies they reviewed had failed to show that various kinds of therapeutic interventions really do succeed in changing sexual orientation. The difference between these two claims is crucial since Spitzer (2003) falls under the second description ("failing to show change") but not the first ("showing failure to change").

Again, Father insinuates that the APA report recommends therapists to steer their clients away from religions that make difficult demands. But in fact, the report is quite respectful about religion, and the committee even suggested positive strategies for helping clients cope with their sexuality while remaining faithful to whatever denomination they have committed themselves to. Indeed, as per one of the quotes in Father's article, the client must always remain in control of the therapeutic process.

These mix ups probably indicate that Father did not read the report before commenting on it. (Ted K shows definite signs of the same mistake: e.g., "self-determination" is clearly defined in the document, and the meaning attached to it is much broader that "ultimate sexual freedom"; in fact, mental heathcare providers are not necessarily in favor in such freedom, since paraphilias are still recognized in the DSM and since hypersexuality, let's say, can be a sign various psychopathologies.)

I look forward to forgetting that Fr Groeschel ever wrote this awful article.

Guglielmo Pescatore

The advice to switch from an anti-gay church to a gay-tolerant or gay-affirming one clearly wasn’t given by the American Psychological Association, nor was it the Association’s function to give it. Nonetheless, such advice may be wise and prudent.

If you belong to a church which insists that your natural homosexual orientation is “intrinsically disordered” and that you are forbidden to form a same-sex sexual relationship, and which fights against civil measures designed to ensure that you are treated as decently as everyone else, you may well eventually come to the conclusion that this is abuse – for all that you may have been complicit in it by listening to such pernicious nonsense in the first place – and that the time has come to find another denomination to worship in. After all, why stay where you are being abused?

A relative of mine, one of the best and kindest men that I have ever known, was educated at a Catholic boarding school run by a religious order. After leaving school, he never set foot in a Catholic church again. He married a non-Catholic woman without applying for a dispensation, and when told by the local Catholic priest that his soul would burn in hell he told the priest where to go. He did, however, occasionally attend services at the local Anglican church. I can’t believe that it was a matter of theology, since he simply wasn’t the sort of man to concern himself with theological niceties. As far as the Catholic Church was concerned, he told my father that he refused to have anything to do with it, but would never say why. The probable explanation has only occurred to me in the last few years, as a result of what has come to light during the past decade about the sexual abuse perpetrated by some Catholic priests and religious and its deliberate cover-up by the hierarchy. I can’t, obviously, be sure of it, and I can’t ask him because he died before the scandal broke, but, as Sherlock Holmes would say, “the probability tends in that direction.” I can well understand that a man of his age – he was considerably older than my father – would have felt unable to talk about such things, even to a member of his family.

It strikes me that, if you’re in this position, it must be more or less psychologically impossible to return to your original church. How can you, when every crucifix, monstrance, rosary, statue of the Virgin Mary or picture of the Sacred Heart that you see reminds you of the abuse that you suffered? A gay person who realises that he has been spiritually abused by “The Teaching of the Church” on homosexuality may start to experience similar reactions and may very reasonably decide, for the sake of his spiritual and psychological health, to move on elsewhere. He may be well advised to do so.

michael davis

How much longer are catholic clergy going to bang on about homosexuality? The issue has been settled in the West in favor of tolerance. Those clergy still anxious to push an ignorant view of human sexuality are not doing catholics any favors. Theologising about human sexuality may be useful to priests who are building careers as 'intellectuals' in the church but this does nothing for ordinary catholics who realize one day that they are in the same-sex category as far as human sexuality is concerned.

Those of us who understand same sex human sexuality on the basis of personal experience know that it is not the cosmic 'out in space' matter that all sorts of priests seem to think it is. Jesus made no mention of it so it can't be all that big a deal. The priestly agenda which comes through to me is the old one of control. The church authorities are trying to control too much in the lives of catholics as if this was still 1625.

It saddens me to see the steady collapse of the church's influence in the modern world, the West. This is because the leadership has not yet come to grips with the fact that modern man sees himself and herself as free. You can't preach anti-freedom to those of us who see themselves as free men. Babble about hellfire and 'gravely disordered' nonsense does not resonate in the West today.

The way out is easy, dear fathers ... walk away from any talk about human sexuality unless someone comes to you with a problem. You won't get any thanks from telling people like me that the life I had with the guy I lived with in great love and happiness for 22 years before he died in an accident was somehow bad for me or him or a social catastrophe. That was not our experience. Your book learning on this matter is as nothing compared to my actual life experience of it.

Brian J. Schuettler

Michael wrote: "The way out is easy, dear fathers ... walk away from any talk about human sexuality unless someone comes to you with a problem. You won't get any thanks from telling people like me that the life I had with the guy I lived with in great love and happiness for 22 years before he died in an accident was somehow bad for me or him or a social catastrophe. That was not our experience. Your book learning on this matter is as nothing compared to my actual life experience of it."

This isn't about a priest's "book learning", Michael. It is about his existential obligations as a pastor of souls.
As Thomas said in his Summa Article 33 on Fraternal Correction:
The correction of the wrongdoer is a remedy which should be employed against a man's sin. Now a man's sin may be considered in two ways, first as being harmful to the sinner, secondly as conducing to the harm of others, by hurting or scandalizing them, or by being detrimental to the common good, the justice of which is disturbed by that man's sin.

Saint John Chrysostom writes: “All passions are dishonorable, for the soul is even more prejudiced and degraded by sin than is the body by disease; but the worst of all passions is lust between men… There is nothing, absolutely nothing more mad or damaging than this perversity.” (St. John Chrysostom, In Epistulam ad Romanos)

Michael...Be still and listen to the Spirit of God speaking to you very personally through His priest.

Guglielmo Pescatore

Michael, I'm very sorry indeed to hear of your loss. It must be devastating to find yourself suddenly on your own again after 22 years. I hope that you will in due course find another guy to love and share your life with.

Brian, you just don't get it, do you? This is 2009, and the time for intimidating gays over their sexuality with the opinions of saints of past centuries has come and gone. Cardinal Manning is alleged to have said at the time of the First Vatican Council (although the saying may be apocryphal) that dogma must triumph over history. What seems to be happening here is that common sense and humanity are triumphing over outdated moral theology and obscurantism – a far more modest and desirable attainment.

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