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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Dr. Miriam Grossman speaks to large audience in Mississauga, Ontario Steve Jalsevac/LifeSite
Lianne Laurence

VIDEO: How DO you to talk to kids about sex? US sex-ed critic gives practical tips

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

MISSISSAUGA, ON, August 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Talking to their children about sex is “anxiety provoking to say the least,” for parents, says American sex-ed expert, Dr. Miriam Grossman.

“Some people just can’t even do it, and that’s okay,” the New York-based psychiatrist told the crowd of 1,000 who packed a Mississauga conference hall August 18 to hear her critique of the Ontario Liberal government’s controversial sex-ed curriculum.

After Grossman explained how the Liberal sex-ed curriculum is dangerously flawed and ideologically driven, she used the question-and-answer session to give parents much appreciated and sometimes humorous practical advice on how to teach their children about “the birds and the bees.”

“If you feel you can’t do it, maybe there’s someone else in the family or in the constellation of people that you know you can trust that could do it,” said Grossman, author of “You’re teaching my child WHAT?” and an internationally sought-after speaker on sex education.

A child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist with 12 years’ clinical experience treating students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) clinic, Grossman said explaining sexuality and procreation to children is “a process,” that “shouldn’t ideally happen all at once. A child is not a miniature adult, and absorbs…new information differently than adults do.”

And parents need to be sure just what their child wants to know.

To illustrate this, Grossman referred to her earlier story about a father who gave his son every detail on human procreation after the boy asked him, “Dad, where do I come from?”

After the father finished, his son replied, “Well, that’s funny, because Johnny told me that he came from Montreal.”

“Try to find out what your child is really getting at, and, don’t give it all at once,” Grossman said. “You start with a little bit at a time…and you know, there’s so many variables here, and people have their own traditions and their own ways of explaining things, and something that might be right for my family might not be right for your family.”

She also advised that, when confronted with a four, five, six or seven-year-old asking about a pregnant woman, or where babies come, a parent can ask, “What a good question that is. What do you think?”

And parents can also legitimately put off the discussion when appropriate, telling the child, “That’s really not something you need to know about right now.”

“Wow, what a novel idea: Telling a child that they could wait until they’re older to discuss that subject,” Grossman said, adding that parents wouldn’t brook a six- or even fifteen-year-old child asking how much money they made or had in the bank. “Excuse me? Not every subject has to be an open book.”

However, the time will come when a child needs to know “about how her body’s going to change, about reproduction, about how a new life is created.”

That time, Grossman advised, is puberty, or “as puberty is beginning,” and this is especially so for girls, who, if unprepared for the surprise onset of menstruation “might think [they’re] dying.”

“The actual nitty-gritty about the birds and the bees and intercourse” can “be told in bits and pieces, or it can be told all at once, if you feel it’s necessary,” she said, adding that it’s beneficial if the parent acknowledges his or her awkwardness, because the child will think: “This must be such an important subject that my mother or my father is sitting there squirming, but he’s doing it anyway. I’m really loved.”

“And the children need to understand that as you grow up, you change a lot, not only physically but emotionally,” Grossman said, “and what may seem odd or disgusting when you’re ten years old, or whatever age, it becomes something very special and beautiful when you’re older and you’ll understand it later. You don’t have to understand it now.”


Know your child and guard your home

But as an essential foundation for this discussion, parents must both know their children and guard their home from the encroachments of a culture that Grossman described as “very, very sexualized” and “really horrible.”

“Children need parents who are loving but are also firm and authoritative,” she asserted.  “They don’t need best friends. They need us to guide them, to know what they’re doing, to be on top of what they’re doing.

So parents need to be aware of whom their child is “hanging around with, and what kind of movies are they watching…what’s going on with your child.”

“You need to know that anyway, even if it’s not about sex education,” she pointed out. “Try and know your child. Every child is different.”

And Grossman emphasized that it is “extremely important to be careful about what your child is exposed to in the home, in terms of television and Internet, obviously.”

Children need to understand that “just like you have garbage you take out of the house, you put it in the garbage bin, it’s dirty, it smells…there are other things that also don’t belong in the house.”

And children learn quickly what is, and is not, permissible inside the home, Grossman said. “Me, I keep kosher…If I go into a store, my kids know from a very young age, we don’t eat that.”

So they are used to the idea of “the world outside and the inside world, of inside your home, and inside your heart as well.”

Parents can also convey this by telling their children that “the world is an upside-down place, and sometimes the most special, holy subjects are…just thrown in the gutter. And that’s a bad thing. In our family, in our tradition, we don’t do that.”

“Sexuality is one of the subjects that in this upside-down world, it is sometimes just in the gutter,” she said. “And so I want you to tell your child to come to me when you have questions, I will give you the straight story about it.”

Grossman herself is “not even sure,” as she stated in her seminar, that sex education should be in the schools: “I believe sex education should be at home for those parents that want to do it.”

She also noted that parents “can make mistakes. We all make lots of mistakes but it’s okay, you can always come back and do it differently,” adding that this is “another wonderful message for your child. You know what, it’s okay to make mistakes, you can always go back and try and fix it.”

Grossman urged parents to visit her Facebook page, website and blog. “I have so much information you can get there that you’ll find useful,” and added that she will be publishing books for children, and has posted her critique of New York City’s sex-ed curriculum, which is similar to Ontario’s.

The parental backlash to that sex-ed curriculum, set to roll out in the province’s publicly funded schools this September, has been “amazing” Grossman noted.

Grossman’s seminar was sponsored by Mississauga-based HOWA Voice of Change along with the Canadian Families Alliance, an umbrella group representing more than 25 associations and 200,000 Ontarians opposed to the curriculum. The report on her devastating critique of the sex-ed curriculum can be found here, and the video here.

Ontario readers may find information and sign up for a September 2 province-wide protests at MPPs offices here. So far, there are protests planned for 92 of Ontario’s 107 constituencies. The parents’ movement seeking removal of the curriculum is urging all concerned citizens to join this special effort to influence individual Ontario legislators.

See related reports:

Ontario’s dangerous sex-ed is indoctrination not science says U.S. psychiatrist to large audience

Videos: US psychiatrist tells parents “stand firm” against dangerous sex-ed

See the LifeSiteNews feature page on the Ontario sex-ed curriculum containing nearly 100 LifeSite articles related to the issue

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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Did the pope just endorse a gay children’s book? Of course not, says Vatican

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

ROME, August 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- While mainstream media is gushing with news today that Pope Francis allegedly praised a children’s book that promotes gender theory, the Vatican is decrying what they called the "manipulation" of a cordial letter from an official in the Secretariat of State to suggest that the Vatican is promoting teachings contrary to the Gospel.

Italian children’s author Francesca Pardi was reported by The Guardian to have submitted a parcel of children’s books promoting the acceptance of homosexuality and gender theory to Pope Francis in June after Venice’s mayor Luigi Brugnaro publicly banned the author’s newest book, Piccolo Uovo (Little Egg), from children’s schools. The book was criticized by pro-family leaders for promoting non-natural family structures of two men and two women.

In a letter accompanying the books, Pardi wrote: “Many parishes across the country are in this period sullying our name and telling falsehoods about our work which deeply offends us. We have respect for Catholics. ... A lot of Catholics give back the same respect, why can’t we have the whole hierarchy of the church behind us?”

The Guardian is reporting that Pardi has now “found an unlikely supporter in Pope Francis,” who through his staff has responded to the author and is presented as “praising her work.” It quotes the following from a July 9 letter to Pardi from the Vatican.

“His holiness is grateful for the thoughtful gesture and for the feelings which it evoked, hoping for an always more fruitful activity in the service of young generations and the spread of genuine human and Christian values,” wrote Peter B. Wells, a senior official at the Vatican Secretariat of State, in a the letter The Guardian is reporting it has seen.  

While the letter gently calls the author to use her talents to spread “genuine human and Christian values,” The Guardian takes it as the pope’s endorsement of gender theory.

“Pope Francis sends letter praising gay children's book,” the paper’s headline states. “Italian book that explores different family types including same sex was banned by mayor of Venice, but pontiff becomes unlikely supporter,” reads the subtitle.

In a press release that Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi sent to LifeSiteNews on Friday, the vice speaker of the Vatican, Ciro Benedettini, made clear that the friendly reply letter to the author in no way approves of attitudes or positions that are contrary to Catholic teaching and the Gospels.

The Vatican's statement also says that in the original letter from the secretariat of state Wells merely "acknowledged receipt" of the materials sent by Pardi, and also made clear that the letter was private and not meant for publication. 

"In no way does a letter from the Secretary of State intend to endorse behaviors and teachings not in keeping with the Gospel," says the statement, decrying the "manipulation" of the letter.

Benedettini said the blessing of the pope at the end of the letter was meant to be for the author herself, and not to affirm positions concerning gender theory that are contrary to the Church's teaching. Using the letter to this end is erroneous, he said.

Pope Francis has strongly condemned the notion of “gender theory” on numerous occasions, saying that it is an “error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion.”

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Lisa Bourne

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Poll suggests most US Catholics wrongly believe Pope Francis backs gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

August 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- A considerable majority of U.S. Catholics are in conflict with Church teaching on abortion and marriage, a new study says, and a startling number of those also believe Pope Francis backs homosexual “marriage.”

Despite Church teachings, Catholics in America also closely parallel the general populace in their support for abortion and homosexual “marriage,” falling short in the Biblical call to be “in the world but not of the world.”

The findings suggest what many Catholics have said is a climate of confusion in the midst of the Francis pontificate. Concerns over that confusion prompted a coalition of pro-family groups to respond with an international petition effort asking the pope to reaffirm Church teaching, drawing more than a half-million signatures.

The survey, conducted by Public Religions Research Institute, found that 60 percent of all U.S. Catholics favor legalized homosexual “marriage,” compared to 55 percent of all Americans. Likewise, 51 percent of Catholics think that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, with 53 percent of the general population holding this view.

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman, mirroring Christ and the Church respectively as bridegroom and bride.

The Church also teaches that life begins at conception, that each human life possesses dignity as a child of God and is to be afforded protection, making abortion an intrinsic evil.

Catholics, accounting for 22 percent of adults in the U.S. population, have a favorable view of Pope Francis, the study said, but they are very confused about his take on homosexual “marriage.”

Of the Catholics who back homosexual “marriage,” 49-percent also think the leader of the Catholic Church backs it along with them. Fifteen percent of those Catholics who oppose homosexual “marriage” also mistakenly believe Pope Francis supports it.

Pope Francis has made numerous statements in support of life, marriage and family, but the confusion remains.

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"After Ireland and the U.S. Supreme Court both approved same-sex 'marriage,' a strong reaffirmation of Church teaching could save the sacred institution of marriage, strengthen the family and dispel the lies of the homosexual revolution," TFP Student Action Director John Ritchie stated.  "Young Catholics -- even non-Catholics -- look to the Church as a beacon of morality and stability in our Godless culture, but some of our shepherds have issued confusing statements."

TFP Student Action is a part of the lay Catholic organization American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, and is part of the alliance behind the Filial Appeal, the petition asking the Holy Father to reinforce Catholic teaching at the Vatican’s upcoming Synod on the Family in October.

Ritchie explained how the confusion was aiding the Church’s enemies, and warned of the potential consequences.

"This prayerful petition asks Pope Francis to clear up the moral confusion that's been spreading against Natural and Divine Law," he said. "If the enemies of the family continue to chip away at holy matrimony, the future of the family and civilization itself will be in even more serious peril."

At press time more than 500,000 signature had been gathered for the appeal, including five cardinals, 117 bishops and hundreds of well-known civic leaders.

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