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Prof. Gerard van den Aardweg speaks at the John Paul II Academy for Human and Life and the Family conference in Rome May 21, 2018Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews

Editor’s note: This is part one of the interview with Dr. Van den Aardweg. The second part can be found HERE.

(LifeSiteNews) – As LifeSiteNews has reported in recent articles, Opus Dei has gathered negative media attention, because on two occasions this organization has shown itself to align with Pope Francis and his new policy toward homosexuality. In the first instance, Opus Dei suspended a priest, Father Jesusmary, for criticizing Pope Francis’ support of same-sex civil unions in public. In a second case, an Opus Dei bishop in Switzerland, Bishop Joseph Bonnemain, has now publicly done the same as Pope Francis and endorsed such civil unions. He goes even further than the Pope by saying that homosexual couples should have equal rights as heterosexual marriages.

LifeSiteNews reached out to Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg who is not only an expert in the matter of homosexuality, but also an expert on Opus Dei, since he was once a long-term member of it.

In the following interview, we intended first to discuss the claims made by Bishop Bonnemain and to put them into the right light of Catholic doctrine and scientific evidence, and secondly to hear from Dr. van den Aardweg what his concerns are with the new development of Opus Dei. The latter part is presented in a second part of the interview, published later.

The psychologist points out that he speaks as an insider: “The reason I mentioned my former membership [in Opus Dei] in this interview is to show that I do not talk as an outsider, but as a sympathizing and grateful ex-member whose opinion is that repair is needed in the two recent cases of Fr. Jesusmary and bishop Bonnemain. They are a wake-up call. Suppressing the reality of this pope [who supports same-sex civil unions], denial, doesn’t work out well, neither inside nor outside of Opus Dei.”

Please see here the first part of a two-part interview.

Assessing Bishop Joseph Bonnemain’s remarks on same-sex partnerships

LifeSite: Bishop Bonnemain, the bishop of Chur, claimed in his recent comments that “it is good and right that, in the realm of the state, different forms of stable relationships are given rights and duties.” What would you say about it?

Van den Aardweg: I am a Catholic, a psychologist, and an ex-member of Opus Dei: in this order. That is why I have to strongly denounce these claims. They reject the moral doctrine of the Church on sexuality, marriage, and the family; psychologically, they are insane; and for Opus Dei, which I am sure is essentially a beautiful, divinely inspired enterprise, they are most shameful. And see how the gate is opened to the whole neo-pagan sexual ideology of international atheist Humanism, Masonry, the World Health Organization, the United Nations, the EU. Step by step, any form of sexual contact and “relationship” is to receive its “equal rights,” polygamy and pedophile ones not excluded (Oh, of course, provided there is “mutual consent”). These claims are big steps down the slippery slope. And as regards these “stable” relationships, that depends on how you like to define them. Of one year duration, two years? How many outside sexual partners fit into a stable relation?

LifeSite: According to this Swiss bishop – who commented on the September 25 Swiss referendum regarding “Marriage for all” – the voter must be allowed to “decide freely and based on one’s own conviction what is best to protect and promote these partnerships.” What kind of freedom is the bishop talking of here?

Van den Aardweg: May I first make clear that when I use the word “gay” there is some reference to the mentality of people who identify with their same-sex attractions, rationalize them and practice them, so “gay ideology,” a “gay man,” and the like. The word “homosexual” is mostly less specific, but not always the best to indicate an individual person.

The freedom to choose unconcernedly the anti-Christian gay ideology that puts godless and sick sexual relations and “families” on a par with the holy creation of God, marriage and the real family; the freedom to refuse to listen to your innate awareness of the demands of natural law, for, Christian or not, every human being feels the unnaturalness and uncleanness of homo-sex and the nobility of marriage and the family; if there is any lack of freedom, it is obviously the case for the No voters. Homo-tyranny reigns supreme in the media, in the political parties, the social establishment, the schools, the churches. Abnormal partnerships must be “protected and promoted.” For this Swiss bishop, the morally right vote, the vote for justice and charity, is Yes to their recognition. Your conscience shouldn’t feel “free” if you still vote No, the bishop warns.

LifeSite: Bishop Bonnemain is explicitly endorsing the plan to give homosexual unions the same rights as marriage between a man and a woman, when he says: “Yes, I have nothing against our country giving them [new forms of “marriage”] equal rights.” Could you comment on this statement for us?

Van den Aardweg: It is necessary to open people’s eyes to the terribly destructive ideas in the head of this bishop. He degrades normally married people who assist God in creating and bringing up children to the moral level of sexually disordered people enslaved to filthy sexual practices. He grievously misleads and seduces his faithful and the public at large at the critical moment when Switzerland votes on accepting the rights of perversion and depriving marriage of its privileged natural position. There is no playing down the seriousness of this offense against God and men.

LifeSite: Bishop Bonnemain merely wishes that society does not forget traditional marriage because it is an “enrichment” for society, as he puts it.

Van den Aardweg: What a relief that he still sees some positive social value in marriage and the family in his world already so rich in “diverse” relationships and marriages! How much must his parents, if they are still alive, have enjoyed – would have enjoyed should they be deceased – this wonderful filial appreciation of their relationship!

LifeSite: Finally, Bonnemain also proposes an intermittent specialized pastoral care for homosexuals in parishes, but adds that after an “integration of a diversity” and “independent of the sexual orientation,” each person “can be integrated into one’s own parish.” Would such a concept work?

Van den Aardweg: It is typically a gay idea. Completely naïve, blind to the feelings of non-gay people, and tyrannical at the same time. Creating unnatural ways of communicating and of tensions, it would work as an effective solvent of the parish community or transform a cohesive group into a gay meeting center.

LifeSite: What is your general conclusion concerning the recent statements made by the Opus Dei bishop in Switzerland?

Van den Aardweg: A priest of one the Catholic organizations most loyal to the Magisterium has defected to the enemy of the Church and mankind. He publicly demonstrates himself to be perfectly unfit to function as a bishop. The correct word for his performance is treason.

LifeSite: Could you explain these words a little more to us?

Van den Aardweg: Above all, he betrays the divine truth of the Catholic Church. St. John Paul II reacted in his Angelus address of February 20, 1994 with these words to the resolution of the European Parliament, which had shortly before called on the nations of Europe to legally protect homosexual relationships:

“The legal approbation of active homosexuality is not morally admissible. … The Resolution of the European Parliament has called for the legitimization of a moral disorder: the Parliament has unduly given institutional value to deviant behaviors which do not conform to God’s plan.”

In his book Conversations (Munich, 2005), the Pope came to the heart of the matter. Speaking about “grave violations of the law of God,” he said: “For instance, I think of the strong pressure of the European Parliament to recognize homosexual relations as an alternative form of the family, that also permits the right to adoption. It is appropriate and even imperative to wonder if here isn’t a new Ideology of Evil at work—perhaps more cunning and concealed, which tries even to exploit the human rights against men and the family.”  Let me also recall the well-known letter of Sr. Lúcia (Fatima) to then-Archbishop Carlo Caffarra on the last all-out attack of Satan and his hordes of demons against marriage and the family, his strategy to definitively destroy the Church (1980).

Secondly, Bishop Bonnemain betrays Christians and all people who nowadays need encouragement for their natural instincts in regard to sexuality, marriage, and the family. In fact, psychological research refutes the gay ideology and supports good sense and moral sense. A bishop who parrots the dogmas of the gay ideology helps the current massive deception of people; helps in confusing and misleading the old and young; undermines the healthy resistance of persons troubled by same-sex inclinations; and collaborates with the impudent civil attempts to corrupt children and adolescents. A Catholic bishop should give true orientation. Among those who hunger for the truth there are families confronted with a problem of homosexuality of a family member, and no doubt persons suffering from this problem themselves but who do not want to live a homosexual way of life. Perhaps I can say something about the huge lie that the gay propaganda is founded on in psychological and medical or biological science, and show that science just confirms good sense and moral sense.

LifeSite: What should this bishop have done, had he not defected?

Van den Aardweg: Assuming a dignified appearance, in his outfit of a bishop, he should quietly and very clearly explain that homo- (trans, etc.) relations are unnatural and sinful; that under no condition a Christian may vote for so-called equal rights, because this is collaborating with evil, an act of rebellion against God and humanity. He should point to the grievous insult the Yes vote implies to all married people, whose marriage is robbed of their holiness and natural privileges because it is treated as equal to impure and counter-natural sexual relations. That it is a vote to increase social degradation, more homo-tyranny and human misery. That it is saying Yes to legalization of child abuse by the State, namely, to forced adoption of defenseless children with lesbian/gay couples and to terrible mutilation of so-called transgender children and youngsters.

A bishop who acts as a good and firm father would also have warned that acceptance of the gay policy leads to relentless gay and “gender” brainwashing of children without respecting parental rights, and with predictable miserable consequences.

By holding up the truth, he would encourage people with homosexual attractions not to make the wrong choice for a gay “identity” and not to start a homosexual way of life. He would have encouraged and wisely counseled parents and families to persevere on the right way. Bishop Bonnemain simply abandons these groups, is not interested in them. It seems they do not exist for him.

LifeSite: Would this different approach have made a difference at the vote?

Van den Aardweg: Perhaps not so much in Switzerland today, although a strong, unequivocal intervention of the Pope and the bishops of Ireland in 2015 before the vote there on this gay “marriage,” instead of some cowardly mumbling by them about following one’s conscience, would undoubtedly have had a considerable positive impact. Therefore we should not underestimate the influence of a firm, profoundly believing and saintly bishop who knows to touch a cord in the heart of his listeners by his words of moral truth and human wisdom. One or two of his presentations will not immediately sweep away the ignorance and bias produced by years of brainwashing, but he might inspire the beginning of a counter-reaction. He would have at least strengthened the confidence of many and given hope.

The Magisterium, results of psychological research on homosexual relationships, and the question of adoption       

LifeSite: Could you first reiterate for us the key points of the Church’s Magisterium concerning homosexual relationships, same-sex unions, and the possible adoption of children by them?

Van den Aardweg: My earlier quotes from Pope John Paul II reflect the doctrine of the Apostles and of 2000 years Church Magisterium. All and any homo-sex is objectively gravely sinful and can never be approved; it has always been described as one of the five sins that “cry to heaven for vengeance,” and by Thomas Aquinas as the worst kind of sexual sin. Persistence in homosexual behavior, writes St. Paul, leads to eternal damnation. Unless the sinner repents, of course. Let me add that the allegation that St. Paul, or the Church of all these ages did not know what we know now about the existence of “normal” homo-relations, and merely prohibited homosexual cults at pagan temples, is altogether false. Ancient Rome and Greece, the Apostles and Fathers of the Church were more familiar with the practice of homosexuality than many theologians, intellectuals, and the average civilian in our days.

As to adoption: the Church always taught the right of the child to his own father and mother and the right of the parents to rear their children according to their opinions and good conscience; and if this cannot be realized, the child has a right to a substitute mother and father; adoption by homosexual couples is absolutely immoral, even independent of the absolute inadmissibility of any and all homosexual arrangements.

LifeSite: Could you now tell our readers more about your psychological research with regard to homosexual relationships?

Van den Aardweg: Allow me to quote from a little book I wrote on gay “marriage,” which gives a review of the results of many studies done in many countries, very often by investigators who self-identified as “gay” or “lesbian,” over the course of a number of decades (Science says NO: The gay ‘marriage’ deception. See information at the end of the interview).

I give some quotes:

“The reality of homo-relations is kept out of public awareness, a false rosy image is cultivated. Here are some typical statistics: Half of practicing gay men had a “steady” partner, more than 50% of these were ‘open’ to outside contacts. 60% of “steady” relationships lasted less than a year, only 7% more than 5 years; about 60% of them did not live together. Only 4,5 % of gay men living together said they had been “monogamous” for as long as 5 years. I even doubt this, because when I could verify stories about such couples, they turned out not to be true without exception. Former gay activists confirm that couples presented internationally as role models for faithful gay unions were in reality very promiscuous and their relations conflict-ridden, loveless.”

“As for ‘steady’ unions or gay ‘marriages’: these men run a higher risk of HIV infections than those without a steady partner. [This is] logical, since on average they had 2,5 other partners in the first year of the union, increasing to 11 in the 6th year. No wonder militant gay authors insist on the specific nature of the gay ‘marriage’: it is open to more than one lover. Starting a ‘steady’ relation means giving up one’s resistances to gay sex, so the crave it is lived out without restraint. Like someone with alcoholic inclinations who starts drinking.”

So much for the deceptive fiction of the “stable, enduring, faithful, loving gay relationship” that is so popular among Christians. In my book, several Catholic gay people tell how they finally discovered that they had wasted an important part of their life by desperately seeking a “stable” loving relationship. They had been chasing an impossible illusion. A prominent gay priest, whose books had promoted that illusion, had to admit he had deceived them and himself  with that false idea; he had seduced them to fall into the gay lifestyle. It is the story of the serpent and the fascinating “apple.”

To drive this crucial insight home, here is the expert opinion of a middle-aged (non-Catholic) gay man: “Looking back, I can’t imagine why I thought gay life was so damned glamorous. It’s a rough world, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy…My own life is the counterpart of thousands of other homosexuals…Over the years, I lived with a succession of roommates, some of whom I professed to love. They swore they loved me. But homosexual ties begin and end with sex. There is little else to go on. After that first passionate fling, sex becomes less and less frequent. The partners become nervous. They want new thrills, new experiences. They begin to cheat each other, secretly at first, then more obviously…There are jealous rages and fights. Eventually you split and begin hustling around for a new lover.”

Lesbian relations are more durable, due to feminine nature, yet the basic pattern is the same. An elderly lesbian gives sexual education:

“Knowing what I do of the life of a deviant, I would never practice sex if I were to live my life over and again be threatened by the same problem…abnormal sex can never produce the satisfactions of a normal relationship. Therefore, it doesn’t justify all the heartbreak that goes into it…When I was very young I tried to commit suicide because of an unhappy love affair. That would have been a mistake…when it is an abnormal love affair, the person is being stupid. Homosexuality has absolutely nothing to recommend it. As a way of life it is an embarrassment. …your circle of friends is limited. And finally your twilight years. No one is interested in me. I have no children, no grandchildren… so I sit here and wait for the end. I don’t think lesbians handle anything adroitly. Their only god is sex. They live with it from morning to night and become what the psychiatrists say they are—self-loving individuals who have changed rich full lives for the physical pleasures of the moment.”

Exact insights, relentless truths. This is what is everywhere sponsored – a poisonous lie. Remember the serpent and the apple; no invitation to love comes from that side. For gay/lesbian love, its essence is immature self-love, not authentic love. The causes are childhood and adolescent distress and frustrations, certain disordered ways of upbringing, underdeveloped or suppressed masculinity and femininity, problems with peer relations; but all the same, it revolves around a self-destroying variant of self-love.

The statistics of official agencies say it in their own language: practicing homosexuals and lesbians are disproportionally troubled by depressions, anxiety, manic-depressive moods, suicidal behavior, HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, neurotic and psychosomatic complaints, domestic violence, inclinations to molest youngsters and young adults, and their lifespan is on average many years lower than that of the population at large. The causes are to be found in the nature of homosexual relationships, to blame social discrimination is nonsense.

LifeSite: Could you further expound on the negative social consequences of civil recognition of homosexual relationships?

Van den Aardweg: It erodes and coarsens the natural perception of the unique ideal of marriage and of the intimate link between sexuality and procreation; especially in young people. Thus sexual morals, and normal marriage and the family, will be exposed to more influences of decay.

Recognition of counter-natural relations within the Church has an especially negative implication. Recognition of any form of homo-relations implies giving up the principle that only the heterosexual marriage which is open to procreation is morally admissible, so it will lead to the abolition of Humanae Vitae and to the recognition of cohabitation and of divorce and re-marriage. I suspect this abolition is indeed one of the planned objectives of pro-gay moral theologians and of the Vatican promoters of “some” recognition of “stable” homosexual relationships.

Specific consequences are increasing indoctrination of children and youths in schools, with the lies and corrupting ideas of gay and gender ideology, so we will have more young people with serious problems of gender confusion, more confusion among parents, more State restrictions of parental authority, increasing persecution of Christians, especially of orthodox Catholics.

Additional consequences will be:

– No obstacles any more for adoption for gay/lesbian couples; promotion of transgender delusions in youngsters and of their permanent mutilation;

– Steps towards legalization of polygamy, recognition of certain pedophile relations (which is part of the homosexual agenda);

– Prohibition of publications, public declarations, research, pastoral and psychological guidance identified as “homophobic”; and of counseling and therapy of sexual deviations.

LifeSite: Could you comment on homosexuals as parents and adoption of children by lesbian or homosexual couples?

Van den Aardweg: Above all practicing homosexuals harm their children. Girls risk being harmed in their feminine development and boys in their masculinity by a openly lesbian mother or an openly gay father. They suffer from various aspects inherent in the abnormal situation, and there are usually lifelong negative effects in their emotional life. All the more harmful are the effects of upbringing by a lesbian or gay couple. Many propagandistic, pseudo-scientific studies have been used in support of the falsehood that the sex and sexual lifestyle of parents are irrelevant to the mental health of the children, or that gay parenting would even be superior to parenting by the biological parents.

The right method to assess the consequences of homo-parenting or homo-adoption is not to question the children under such regimes, but to examine them when they are adults and live their own lives. The evidence is unequivocal. These people are in worse shape than even the adult children of divorced parents, single parents, (normal) foster or adoptive parents. And strikingly worse is their social and psychological health compared with that of those whose biological parents have stayed together. The latter are the most stable, socially and professionally successful, and mentally healthy, children of same-sex parents the least.

Bibliographical reference:

*Science says NO: The gay “marriage” deception. Castlemitchell South, Athy, Co. Kildare, Ireland: Lumen Fidei Institute, 2015.  Email: [email protected]

Italian: La Scienza dice NO. Chieti: Edizioni Solfanelli, 2016. Email: [email protected]

German: Die Wissenschaft sagt NEIN. Lage (Germany): Lichtzeichen Verlag, 2019.

Polish: Nauka mówi „Nie!“. Kraków: Aromat, 2021. Email: [email protected]

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Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli,, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana,, Der Dreizehnte,  Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.


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