Julio Severo

Therapists who treat homosexuality ‘terrorized’ by Brazil’s psychology council says expert

Julio Severo
Julio Severo
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Translated from the Portuguese original by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

July 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Marisa Lobo, a Brazilian psychologist who identifies publicly as a Christian, answers questions from pro-family activist Julio Severo about her struggle against Brazil’s leftist Federal Council of Psychology (CFP), which has forbidden her to publicly associate her Christianity with her identity as a psychologist, a ruling that has recently been condemned by the Religious Right and Liberty Committee of the Order of Attorneys of Brazil as unconstitutional.

Lobo says that she was threatened with the loss of her license by the CFP in response to complaints from homosexual activists over her blog and Twitter posts condemning the “gay kit” that the Brazilian government tried to distribute to public school students in 2011, with the stated purpose of fighting “homophobia.” The kit’s explicit contents and positive portrayal of homosexual behavior provoked outrage among Brazilians and the program was suspended by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as a result.

Some of the questions of the original interview were eliminated for the sake of brevity, and paragraph breaks have been added for the sake of readability.

Julio Severo: Why is the Federal Council of Psychology threatening you?

Marisa Lobo: For revealing myself on the Internet as a Christian psychologist, for defending my faith and principally for questioning the gay kit, which for me is not a form of preventing prejudice, and is an incentive for homosexual practices. The gay kit is very explicit, and from what I understand about public policy, its applicability is not justified in such a personal way. The gay kit is a way of giving privileges and creating an even greater form of prejudice.

With children things should happen at the appropriate time, in a natural and general way. We should have kits that speak of prejudice as a whole, about bullying suffered by overweight people, nerds, short people, Evangelicals, homosexuals, ugly people, blacks, blind people, etc. In sum: if we give a privileged attention only to one category, we are discriminating against the others. That doesn’t eliminate prejudice; it is just a Machiavellian tactic for privileging and instituting a dictatorship and a superior group, and I am principally in favor of equality.

Julio Severo: If someone involved in homosexuality asks you for help to abandon the lifestyle, what do you do?

Marisa Lobo: I treat them. My oath, my code of ethics, tells me that I have to treat, to listen to psychic suffering, and if the fact of being homosexual is causing any kind of suffering, I do treat them. It’s my obligation, even if it is to change their orientation, condition, or choice, if that is their absolute desire. I could not deny it to them. I would be violating the code of ethics, would I not?  But it’s evident that, as a psychologist, I must respect resolution 01/1999 (the CFP resolution which does not permit treatment of homosexuality as an illness – ed.). The World Health Organization says that homosexuality is not an illness, however at the same time I don’t understand why there is so much pressure from gay militants who fear psychologists who do not refuse such help. Gay militants distort what we do and continue to monitor us.

What happens in the therapeutic setting should be determined by the patient. The neurosis is such that psychologists are fearful and are induced to make clear to the patient that it isn’t an illness, whether it is or not. But if he’s going to therapy it’s because he’s suffering. And if, I repeat, it is his will, I have to be a channel, without imposing, something I have never done. What they say about me is a lie and another strategy for condemning people who are Christian.

Julio Severo: Are the threats of the CFP impeding you from helping homosexuals?

Marisa Lobo: The decision of the person should always be respected. We must always keep in mind the demands of the patient. We should respect his will without pressure. A reversion (of his condition) can happen in many cases. The terrorism of the CFP does not permit homosexuals to believe this. The CFP thinks that when someone says they want to change, it is because of an imposition of religion, and, since they don’t believe in God—because God for many of them is a myth—they always are going to treat this topic with religious prejudice. I now let my patient decide. If it’s what he wants, we go there, and in the process, he will determine and even confirm if that is what he wants.

Julio Severo: Why is the CFP, which doesn’t impede Spiritist psychologists from applying Spiritist techniques in their treatment, so involved in what you do as a Christian that they busy themselves with your clients?

Marisa Lobo: Why? Look, I don’t know. It’s impossible that they still don’t know that a Brazilian Association of Spiritist Psychologists exists, or Buddhist psychology, or Jewish, or esoteric, or parapsychoology, etc. There exists a grand number [of such things]. You only need to go to Google to prove it. The Federal Council of Psychology is the most persecutory, unethical autocracy in history.  They have no moral standing to persecute me. They are activists for ideologies, policies, sexual orientation, atheism, and they vent their hatred and prejudice against Christians, principally Evangelicals.

But the response is clear: Christianity speaks openly about homosexuality. So they want to destroy us for being Christians. They combat the Bible punishing those who follow it, because of religious prejudice. It is necessary to put an end to the activism of the CFP, which should be investigated by public prosecutors, since it committs various crimes, it violates its policies, it’s hypocritical, unethical. It clearly persecutes those who oppose it. That’s why I have been persecuted. There is a war [against me] because today I question that Council and its director.

Julio Severo: If the CFP revokes your license, what will you do?

Marisa Lobo: I am not going to abandon my profession over that, nor anything else that is legal and moral.  The CFP has no morals, because it has gagged us, and no one dares to contest its decisions. We are obligated to accept them as the truth, even if they are lies.

They are social surfers, adopting themselves to the evolution of society, even if that evolution is bad, because they have lost the sense of what is right and wrong for the individual, of the family, of the necessity of rules, ethics, morality, principles. They are just surfing. As a result, family crises and inhumanity are on the increase, and now the legalization of abortion is coming, a record-breaking number of divorces, condoms in the schools, the legalization of drugs—and psychology adapts. Soon, we’re going to see sex on the beaches, and the whole world applauding because psychology is going to determine that it is a right to express one’s sexuality. That’s the direction humanity is going in.

Julio Severo: What caused the complaint against you in the CFP?

Marisa Lobo: The fact of my speaking of God in my social networks and of having asked the deputies to pay attention to the content of the gay kit, which was an aberration, with extremely inappropriate and sexualized content that in a sense eliminates prejudice, but creates even more. They didn’t like it. When they learned that it was a Christian talking, they began to persecute me, as a psychologist who categorizes herself as a Christian, and later in the process as a homophobe, because I said on Twitter that I love gays, but I prefer for my child to be heterosexual. And I still don’t understand why having an opinion instigates violence. Now I’m going to lose my right to say that I’m happy being a heterosexual, and that I prefer my children to be heterosexual?

They want society to think that I persecute gays, that I offer treatment for gays because I’m a fundamentalist, prejudiced. They decided that, and that’s that.  I don’t accept it. The truth is that they are contradictory. They are trying to use everything to qualify me as a “homophobe.” And in 15 years of work, never did any patient complain that I imposed my religious convictions in my practice. The case against me is religious persecution, religious prejudice. The CFP thought that I would shut up, because many people deify psychology.  Well I, Marisa Lobo, only have one God, and I don’t serve the insanity of these members of the Council. If they revoke my license, they are going to dig their moral grave.

Julio Severo: True Christianity is “lose for the purpose of winning.” Do you fear losing your psychology career because of Christian testimony?

Marisa: The only fear I have is that God might turn his face from me. God gave me the opportunity to be persecuted for the love of him, and I accepted. God wants to change something, and here I speak as a pastor. I am only an instrument. If my license is removed, I am going to fight in all venues. My greatest fear is that Jesus would deny me before the Father, and that will not happen, because I am not denying him before men.

Complete interview in Portuguese

Related LifeSiteNews coverage:

Brazilian psychology association seeks to revoke Christian therapist’s license

Gays disrupt hearings in Brazilian Congress on psychological treatment for homosexuality

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Wendy Davis facing trouble in Democratic stronghold over radical abortion stance

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By Dustin Siggins

State Senator Wendy Davis' outspoken support for late-term abortion made her a national figure, but it may have so turned off Hispanic voters that it could cost her, and her party, the votes of a Democratic-stronghold.

According to The Texas Tribune, Davis has a tremendous advantage in the Rio Grande Valley, a strongly Hispanic part of the state. Hidalgo County has not elected a Republican to a countywide post in "the modern era," the paper noted.

But her Republican challenger, Attorney General Greg Abbott, is looking to change that, targeting the area and the Hispanic vote with a new ad campaign.

According to U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-TX, pro-life Democrats will find it more difficult to vote for Davis because of her abortion position. And the region, which is very Catholic, tends to send pro-life Democrats to the polls.

Even as Davis faces risks among Hispanic Catholics, Abbott is making a major push to the minority population, which is expected to become a plurality of the state's population by 2020. Abbott has launched ads in Spanish, and spoken about how his wife will be the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas. He has also brought volunteers in for a ground campaign in the Rio Grande Valley, reminiscent of the 1998 George W. Bush gubernatorial campaign.

Bush was considered a popular Republican among Hispanics, winning 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in his 2004 president re-election campaign. While Abbott has a 12 to 13-point advantage in many polls over Davis, and an enormous financial advantage, his efforts are seen as looking to the GOP's future in Texas.

Davis, meanwhile, has struggled with all voting blocs. She is losing to opponent Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott by 12 to 13 points -- including women, according to an April 2014 poll. Democrats have largely written off the race, especially with control of the U.S. Senate taking up enormous media and financial resources.

Since her filibuster, Davis has attempted to walk a tightrope on her abortion position in order to win more moderate voters. She has called herself "pro-life" because of her support for certain education policies, and indicated that she supports limitations on abortions done after the first trimester. However, she has also recently published a book describing how she aborted a child in 1997 to prevent the child from "suffering."

That claim has drawn enormous media coverage for Davis, who was in New York for a book signing, was on the Rachel Maddow show, and generally had her abortion claims widely covered in innumerable national media outlets.

The book has also brought new life to abortion's importance in the gubernatorial race. In the Davis-Abbott debate last week, the first between the candidates, Davis indicated she supported no restrictions on abortion. She was asked "What do you see as fair regulations on abortion?"
Davis responded that she has "always believed that women should be able to make this most personal and difficult of decisions themselves, guided by their faith and their family and with their doctor."
"I stood on the Senate floor for 13 hours to ensure that this most private of decisions could be made by women," Davis said, before attacking Abbott for, among other things, allegedly opposing abortion in cases of "brutal rape" and incest.

At no point did Davis indicate support for any "regulations on abortion."

In his response, Abbott said that he is "pro-life" and Catholic. He said that "all life is sacred," and said that "Texas is ensuring that we protect more life and do a better job of protecting the health care of women by providing that women still have five months to make a very difficult decision, but after that time the state has an interest in protecting innocent life."

When asked by Houston-area TV station KHOU whether he would sign a bill that would ban abortions for reasons of rape and incest, however, Abbott did not answer the question. Instead, he described his support for the lives of the unborn and women, and his support for HB2.

HB2 is the legislation that Davis filibustered last year.

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Abbott faces his own difficulties -- he favors border enforcement and has made comments about corruption in the Rio Grande Valley. University of Texas-Pan American political scientist Jerry Polinard told the Tribune that he expects Davis to pull at least 55 percent of Democratic voters in Hidalgo, Texas – simply because "this is the bluest part of a red state." 

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Paul Huff, 66, and Tom Wojtowick, 73, were “married” in Seattle in May 2013. Wojtowick was an organist at the parish, while Paul sang in the choir. Video screenshot
Lisa Bourne

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Bishop stands by priest who removed ‘married’ homosexual couple from parish ministry

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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'This is not animus against someone who happens to be a homosexual; this issue is the same-sex marriage,' said Bishop Warfel.

A Montana bishop is standing by one of his priests after the priest told a homosexual couple in his parish that they cannot receive Communion or participate in Church ministry due to the fact that they have contracted a civil “marriage.”

Paul Huff, 66, and Tom Wojtowick, 73, have reportedly been together for more than 30 years and were “married” in Seattle in May 2013, according to the Associated Press.

The men told the local ABC-FOX affiliate that Father Samuel Spiering approached them shortly after beginning his assignment as administrator of St. Leo the Great and asked if the rumor he’d heard of them being “married” was true. When they affirmed it was, he asked if he could meet with them the following day.

Father Spiering informed them the next day that they have broken Cannon Law, and that they would not be able to receive communion or continue in ministry.

Canon 915 holds that those persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.

Both men sang in the choir and Wojtowick was an organist.

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The men agreed to write a restoration statement that, in part, would uphold the concept of marriage being between a man and a woman, during an August 25 conference call with Father Spiering, Bishop Warfel and other diocesan officials. They said they did not intend to challenge the Church’s concept of marriage with their union, rather they just wanted civil protection.

However, the statement also included a timeline for the two men to cease living together and divorce, which they would not agree to.

In an interview with the Billings Gazette last week Bishop Warfel said he knows Wojtowick and Huff “to be good people.”

“This is not animus against someone who happens to be a homosexual; this issue is the same-sex marriage,” Bishop Warfel said. “A lot of people put those two together, and obviously there’s a connection, but it’s not the same thing.”

After meeting with parishioners on Sunday, the bishop said that he would like to “effect healing” at the parish, but pointed out that he also has to uphold Catholic teaching.

The bishop also confirmed for ABC-FOX-Montana on Saturday that Huff and Wojtowick could not receive Communion.

While Bishop Warfel acknowledged growing support for homosexual “marriage” when speaking with the Billings Gazette, he said the fact remains that it stands in conflict with Catholic teachings.

“As a Catholic bishop I have a responsibility to uphold our teaching of marriage between one man and one woman,” said Bishop Warfel. “And I think there’s very solid scriptural teaching on it and our sacred tradition is very strong on it.”

Those teachings leave him little choice, he continued.

“Either I uphold what Catholic teachings are or, by ignoring it or permitting it, I’m saying I disagree with what I’m ordained to uphold,” the bishop said.

“Everyone is welcome to the journey of conversion,” said Bishop Warfel. “But there are certain convictions, beliefs or behaviors that are in direct contradiction to what we believe and teach, and this would be one of them.”

Father Spiering has declined to speak publicly and there has not been an official diocesan statement on the issue since the meeting at the parish on Saturday.
 

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New archbishops in Chicago and Madrid: Ratzingerians out, ‘inclusiveness’ in

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By Hilary White
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Chicago's Archbishop-elect, Blase Cupich

Pope Francis announced Saturday that he is appointing as archbishop of Chicago a prelate best known in pro-life circles as the man who ordered his priests in 2011 not to participate in local 40 Days for Life prayer vigils. The media and Church watchers describe him as “progressive,” “inclusive,” and “left-of-center.”

The appointment of Bishop Blase Cupich, current head of the Spokane diocese in Washington, to America’s third most prominent see – an appointment which Vatican watchers predicted would signal the pope’s priorities for the direction of the U.S. Church – has been widely praised by liberal Catholics and opponents of Church teaching but met with concern by many Catholic activists.

The archbishop-elect gave a sense of his approach to the U.S. “culture war” in an interview Sunday with Chicago’s CBS affiliate, in which he suggested he would be open to giving Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians and a person wearing a button in favour of same-sex “marriage.”

“As long as they’re in church, are willing to hear the word of God, be open to Christ’s call of conversion for each one of us, then I think that that’s sufficient for me,” he said. “We cannot politicize the Communion rail and I just don’t think that that works in the long run.”

Cupich will replace the ailing Cardinal Francis George, known in the US as a “Ratzingerian” for his strong defense of Catholic orthodoxy, particularly on issues of sexual morality, but who is suffering from cancer and is overdue for retirement at age 77. The archbishop of Chicago is also normally granted the “red hat” and made a cardinal, which would make Cupich eligible to vote in upcoming papal conclaves. Cupich is scheduled to be installed in Chicago November 18.

The Chicago appointment mirrors that of another outside the US in recent weeks. Rome announced August 28 that Carlos Osoro Sierra, 69, will be installed as the new archbishop of Madrid, Spain’s capital city and largest archdiocese. But the story in Madrid has less to do with the new appointee and more to do with the would-be appointee who was demoted.

Until just before the appointment, most Vatican watchers expected the prominent post to be given to 68-year-old Vatican Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, dubbed the “little Ratzinger” for his orthodoxy in line with Pope Benedict XVI.  When LifeSiteNews interviewed Cardinal Cañizares in 2009 at the time of his appointment as prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, he noted that denying communion to pro-abortion politicians was a charitable act.

Leaving his Vatican post, he was considered a natural for the Madrid spot. But instead it went to the archbishop of Valencia, and Cañizares is to fill that vacancy instead.

The former archbishop of Valencia is known for his strong “liberal” leanings and he will be replacing Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, 78, who, like Cañizares, is also known for following the lead of the retired Pope Benedict XVI.

El Pais wrote of the new appointee that Catholics of the Madrid archdiocese, accustomed to the “hieratic” Varela, will be seeing “an entirely different model.”

“Shortly after the announcement of his appointment, the most repeated words to define his figure were ‘dialogue’ and ‘moderation.’”

“During the 12 years he has been the head of the Catholic Church [in Madrid], Rouco Varela has too often mixed faith and politics, with an overdose of intransigence. Defending the (exclusively traditional) family and attacking laws that recognize the right of women to abortion are the main workhorses.”

Catholic News Agency’s Vatican-watcher, Andrea Gagliarducci, wrote that the appointment marks a “new course for Spain’s bishops.” He is described in the Spanish press as “affable,” “friendly,” and “extremely gregarious.” 

As for Cupich, David Gibson of Religion News Service described him as “a prelate closely identified with the Catholic Church’s progressive wing.”

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Vatican watcher Rocco Palmo, author of the “Whispers in the Loggia” blog, wrote that the appointment is “the most shocking major move the American hierarchy has seen in the last decade and a half.” Another Vatican veteran, John Allen Jr., wrote for the US Catholic online magazine Crux that Cupich so closely mirrors Pope Francis’ theology and style that he could be called the “American Pope Francis in Chicago.”

On his blog, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida, known for his icy relations with the pro-life movement, shared his excitement over the “new breeze” brought by Cupich’s appointment. The bishop noted that Cupich “admires deeply the ecclesiology and vision” of leftist prelates such as former San Francisco Archbishop John Quinn and former Galveston-Houston Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza.

The news of Cupich’s appointment was met with praise in the mainstream press. According to The New York Times Francis has “set the tone” for US appointments by “replacing a combative conservative with a prelate whose pastoral approach to upholding church doctrine is more in keeping with the pope’s inclusive tone.”

It has also been praised by dissident Catholic groups such as the homosexual activist group New Ways Ministries. Last year, the group issued a roundup of evaluations of the various leading members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops who were set to elect a new president. New Ways praised Cupich for his intervention in the 2012 debate leading up to a referendum on “gay marriage” in Washington State. Cupich’s only intervention was a pastoral letter in which he asked voters to uphold traditional marriage, but also called for a “more civil and honest conversation about Catholic positions on equality.”

“I also want to be very clear that in stating our position, the Catholic Church has no tolerance for the misuse of this moment to incite hostility toward homosexual persons or promote an agenda that is hateful and disrespectful of their human dignity,” Cupich wrote.

Cupich stood out from his fellow US bishops in his response to the abortion-funding Obamacare. Though he joined his other bishops in condemning the Obama administration’s mandate that Catholic employers cover abortifacients and contraceptives, he encouraged Catholic Charities in his diocese to act as an Obamacare navigator and help people sign up for coverage that could fund the destruction of unborn life.

He also condemned the line of other US bishops when they threatened to shut down Catholic social services. “These kind of scare tactics and worse-case scenario predictions are uncalled for,” Cupich wrote in a letter to diocesan employees. “I am confident we can find a way to move forward.”

Today the anti-Catholic organization Call to Action issued a press release saying they are “relieved” at the appointment. “At a time when numerous U.S. Bishops are choosing to fight ideological battles, Pope Francis’ selection of Cupich demonstrates a desire for a humbler, more pastoral church.”  

Call to Action, like New Ways Ministries, works to overturn Catholic doctrine, particularly on sexual matters, from within the Church, and has received the censure of the US bishops for their activities. They wrote, “The choice of Cupich shows promise for a church which can be closer to the people. Catholics in Chicago and beyond yearn for a faith rooted in the Gospel call of love and justice over rigid orthodoxy.”

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