By their statements on homosexuals and homosexuality, the composers of the Interim Report at the Vatican’s Synod on the Family in October distracted public attention from the main subject, the urgency to strengthen Catholic marriage and family life, towards the completely subordinated issue of homosexuality. This effect of their words must not have surprised them, for everyone knows the eagerness of the secular media to exploit every word and gesture of Catholic authorities in favor of the gay normality ideology,i thereby putting pressure on the Church to give up its resistance and accept homosexuality the way they demand. The terrible truth is that the homosexuality-paragraphs of the Report did not disappoint them at all but wounded and confounded many ordinary Catholics and non-Catholics, including honestly Catholic people struggling with homosexual problems.
Let us peruse the contentions of paragraphs 50-52. Number 50 starts with: “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community.” If this is to mean anything (which person has not to offer “gifts and qualities”?), it suggests that people with same-sex desires have special “gifts” inherent to their “orientation.” What gifts, however, they do not say. Their gratuitous statement recalls the stereotypes popular in activist gay circles such as that homosexual men are peculiarly sensitive, artistic, gentle, or that many important figures in history and in the arts are said to have been homosexuals (not a few of them were not), as if that were an argument for the value of homosexual desires. It is elitist thinking: the homosexual “nature” is something special, and homosexuality is superior to “ordinary” heterosexuality (likewise homosexual pedophile André Gide extolled the superior value of homosexual pedophilia). Yet there is no reason to glorify the superior talents and achievements of people with homosexual feelings. The fact that relatively many of them are to be found in certain professions is more a question of interests than of gifts, and against those who excelled or became famous (which is not the same) stand the many who are thwarted by their emotional disorder or irresponsible lifestyle as to the development and deployment of their capacities and professional productivity. The disproportional psychological and medical problems of many practicing homosexuals constitute a considerable and steadily increasing social burden. However, much more dubious is the socially and morally degrading influence exerted by practicing (“active”) homosexuals in the human sciences, literature, politics, education, and in the Christian churches. In this connection the Church cannot forget that it was for the most part homosexual priests who had something else to “offer to the Christian community” than their “gifts and qualities”; the great majority of their victims were male adolescents and not pedophiles but adult homosexual men (over 30% of them) feel attracted to them.ii So: be careful in indiscriminately selling “homosexuals” to the Christian community.
Otherwise, with this very first word of number 50, “Homosexuals,” an ambiguous and misleading term is introduced, which is subsequently used throughout the paragraphs. Now who are these “homosexuals” the authors have in mind? Whom exactly are the faithful admonished to “provide … a place of fellowship in our communities” because they would “oftentimes want to encounter a Church which offers them a welcoming home”? (number 50). This is an implicit accusation, by the way: until now, “homosexuals” were more or less rejected by “our communities” (thus by the parish, monastery, seminary?), not given the “fellowship” and “home” they longed for in vain. In other words, they were not welcome, treated in an un-Christian way; the catch-word “discrimination” is not far away and the representation of “homosexuals” as victims of cultural and religious condemnation which has proved such an immensely successful propaganda item in the gay rights movement. It is evident which category of homosexuals it is about in this piece. Not those – the minority today – who try to live chastely and according to the voice of their conscience, who are open to the perception of the unnaturalness and moral wrongness of same-sex behavior, who seek the help of God, prayer, and the Sacraments in their psychological and spiritual combat.iii These are not the ones who want this “place of fellowship” or “home”; the Church already is their home and they do not altogether cherish a wish to be accepted as homosexuals. One will not easily hear someone of this category complain about being unwelcome or rejected. Obviously, it is people of the other category, the greater one, that want to manifest themselves as leading a homosexual life and be accepted on that condition, i.e., the “gays.” Every sentence in these paragraphs smacks of their way of thinking, although not candid and frank but by insinuations and suggestions. Look at this one: “Are our communities capable of … accepting and valuing their sexual orientation?” Meant are those who dramatize/tragedize themselves because their desires are not “valued.” It is a clear echo of the usual gay talk, but now in a high-level document of the Catholic Church! Besides, the “orientation” is apparently presented as an intrinsic, fixed part of one’s personality or “nature,” not as the personality or behavioral disorder it undeniably is (scientific evidence aboundsiv), not other than homosexual and heterosexual pedophilia, transsexualism, transvestitism, etc., or compulsive womanizing, for that matter. And this suggestion reinforces instead of refutes the false opinion that “it’s in your genes,” or in your physiology, or in your brain, and that we have to do with a normal variant of human sexualityv
Also typically gay sounds the Report’s moralizing tone against “our communities.” Typically gay, because the teaching on the goodness – value – of the “homosexual orientation” combined with the moral duty to accept and value openly gays in their midst is imposed on 98% of the faithful without any sign of understanding for their natural and normal aversion to such valuing (probably the authors of the Report would brand it “homophobia”). They fail to observe that this forced acceptance will strain normal relationships within a community and certainly chase many who follow the insight and natural feelings of their common sense out of their religious clubs, orders, seminaries, and churches. This blindness points to the characteristic gay naivety and self-centeredness with its concomitant lack of interest in and comprehension of the feelings of men and women who have no problems in this area.
Of course, preaching the “value” of same-sex proclivities cannot go together with preaching the duty to live chastely. Indirectly the Report justifies some form of homosexual behavior, perhaps in the quite unrealistic belief that certain same-sex relations can mirror normal marriage and genuine enduring mutual love. For a strict prohibition of acting on a worthy and valuable longing (“orientation”) which moreover would be esteemed by the imaginary welcoming religious community (parish, seminary, etc.) would be absurd. Also the following affirmation testifies to the suspect thinking of the Report: “serious reflection [is required] on how to devise … approaches to affective growth [of people with this penchant] … and maturation in the Gospel, while integrating the sexual aspect…” (number 51). “Integrating the sexual aspect” usually stands for “making it a component of” and in our case that would mean “a component of maturation in the Gospel.” It goes without saying that the way to holiness, but no less to affective maturation, requires a battle against anything homosexual within the person. The integration of homosexual behavior, emotionality, or “love” with the striving for holiness is a Gnostic invention. Quite the opposite should have been written instead: particularly persons with sexual temptations must be encouraged to exercise the virtue of chastity—a word of recommendation and support should have been addressed to the exemplary initiative of the Catholic organization Courage and to those who make efforts to live in harmony with the pure Catholic moral doctrine. Formulations in the Report such as that “Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony” should not be compromised (number 50), or that “the Church affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same level as marriage between man and woman” (nr. 51) may have a pious ring, yet they are anything but pious. It is a shame that the authors dare insinuate that the Mystical Body of Christ were open to whatever positive consideration for same-sex relationships (gay cohabitation, gay “marriage”), the addition on the higher status of true marriage does nothing to lessen this shame. Unholy gay coupling is a travesty of holy marriage, biologically, psychologically, and morally. It is a folie à deux, i.e., a psycho-spiritual pathology shared by two persons. Psychologically normal gay partnerships do not exist, not in the exceptional cases that they last longer than a couple of years in the case of men and some years more in the case of women, either. Promiscuity among these people is excessive, as is the occurrence of pathological jealousy, feuds, fights, and domestic violence. Any similarity with marriage exits only in the fantasy of those who do not know or do not like to know the reality.vi
Still the Report persists: “Without denying the moral problems associated with homosexual unions, there are instances where mutual assistance to the point of sacrifice is a valuable support in the life of these persons” (number 52). Thus although a gay affair or liaison may not claim equal value to normal marriage, it nevertheless would sometimes be a noble, self-sacrificing “union.” Wouldn’t that be a convincing argument for the sanctioning of same-sex partnerships in such instances? It would amount to trying to breach the rule by permitting the exception (under strict conditions, after conscientious consideration, and all that, of course). For it is well known that once there is a hole in the levee it will give way sooner or later.
Finally: what to think of this communication (number 52): “…the Church pays special attention to … children who live with same-sex couples and stresses that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority”? Priority to what? The only acceptable answer of human compassion, common sense, and Christian morality can be: priority to the egoistic demands of gay adults who live together (for the time being) and violate the needs and rights of the child(ren) to be raised by a father and mother. That is valid for children who live with their own mother or father and her (his) gay partner and even more for adoptive children with gay “parents.” The authors leave the impression that they in principle accept these pseudo-families and the habit of gay parenting. At any rate, they lamentably fail to unambiguously denounce this modern barbarism of massively sacrificing innocent and defenseless children and teenagers on the altar of the gay ideology. These children are emotionally, characterologically, and morally damaged for lifevii; sugary words on “paying attention to the needs of the little ones” do not substitute for the duty to speak out against this crying injustice. The urgency of the matter is illustrated, among other things, by the explosive increase in adoptions by gays and lesbians in the U.S.; between 2001-2011 the number nearly tripled and in the latter year amounted to more than 32,000viii We must remember that many of these children and teenagers (they also belong to the category of the abused “little ones”) are already traumatized by their parents’ divorce or other hurting experiences before they are placed in the custody of a gay couple and exposed to its distressing, deforming influences.
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This Report has incited much doubt and discouragement. Perhaps the most shocked are good-intentioned persons with same-sex attractions; and parents, marriage partners and family members of “active” homosexuals. They feel abandoned, as if the rug has been pulled from under their feet. One illustration only: one man, a convert to Catholicism who had overcome his same-sex drive for the most part, felt upset and disillusioned: “I had always realized that gay was not the right thing but felt depressed and alone because every day the whole world around me sang the praise of gay life. Only the Catholic Church was a beacon of hope to me, but now… it seems that I can only have recourse to Putin!”
An important step towards restoring confidence in Catholic moral doctrine and in the unmistakable and universal perception of human moral sense about the unnaturalness and impurity of homosexual and pedophile behavior seems a realistic orientation about what is going on in the Church. How is it possible that gay inspiration was given free rein in a high-level paper on the family where not long ago, “sodomy” was officially one of four singularly grave sins which “cried to Heaven for vengeance”? We cannot, should not, gloss over the reality that lies openly before everyone’s eyes: it is still a (small?) minority of Catholics who try to live in accordance with the divine law on sexuality and marriage. Since Catholics joined the secular world in adopting the contraceptive practice and mentality (in the sixties) this more and more dulled their sensitivity to the sanctity of sexuality and marriage and fostered their unwillingness to inquire after the Will of God in this matter. One effect of this is an increasing acceptance of homosexual relationships and gay “marriage,” as recent research has confirmed for U.S. Catholics.ix At the same time, many priests and prelates got more or less infected by the same attitude, in which climate the “gay lobby” within the Church could deploy its activities.
But the profoundest understanding of the situation, as well as solid guidance towards setting it in order, comes from the Pope who was exalted at the end of this particular Synod—not by accident, as we may trust. Already forty years ago Blessed Paul VI drew the attention to the “the smoke of Satan” which had entered the Church and about the same time he assured his listeners during a general audience that he was not “superstitious or unreal” when he said that “one of the greatest needs of the Church today is defense from that evil which is called the Devil.” “Today people … let themselves be caught up into ideological seductions of fashionable errors, which are cracks through which the Devil can easily penetrate and work upon the human mind.” Diabolical action manifests itself, among other things, “where hypocritical and blatant lies assert themselves”; he emphasized that Satan is “an effective agent, a living, spiritual being, perverted and perverting.x It is not hard to recognize the demonic footprint in the gay ideology, to understand that it is grist to Satan’s mill. In homo-sex (including pedophile homo-sex) God’s design of marriage and procreation is turned upside down, “perverted.” The basic assertions of the gay ideology are “blatant lies” aimed at “perverting” the afflicted individual, society and Christians alike: one is born that way, one’s core identity is gay, it is immutable, gay “unions” are nice and harmless, gay parenting is beneficial for children… Furthermore, as regards the pro-gay homily to the faithful, its sugary wordings and woolly sentimentalism certainly betray “hypocrisy.” On the other hand, Blessed Pope Paul’s remedy consists in the resolute rejection of compromises with the demon’s pro-gay suggestions, a firm “vade Satanas,” so to speak, hand in hand with the teaching of his Humanae Vitae in the manner he urged: “with humble firmness” and without fear of making Catholicism “a sign of contradiction” (#18).
Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg, PhD, is a Dutch psychologist and psychoanalyst with a research focus on homosexuality. He is the author of On the Origins and Treatment of Homosexuality: A Psychoanalytic Reinterpretation and The Battle for Normality: Self-Therapy for Homosexual Persons.
(i) I warmly recommend the thorough, informative book by Robert R. Reilly, Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything. San Francisco: Ignatius, 2014.
(ii) Fitzgibbons, R. & O’Leary, D. Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Clergy. The Linacre Quareterly, 2011, 78, 3, 252-273.
(iii) van den Aardweg, G.J.M. The Battle For Normality: A Guide For (Self-)Therapy of Homosexuality. San Francisco: Ignatius, 1997.
(iv) Survey of evidence on homosexuality as a psychological disorder: van den Aardweg, G.J.M. On The Psychogenesis of Homosexuality. The Linacre Quarterly, 2011, 78, 3, 330-354.
(v) Survey of the “biological evidence” on homosexuality: On Whitehead, N.E. & Whitehead, B.K. My Genes Made Me Do It!: Homosexuality And The Scientific Evidence. Belmont, Lower Hutt (New Zealand): Whitehead Associates, 2010.
(vi) See Note 4.
(vii) The most comprehensive study on the long-term effects of gay parenting: Regnerus, M. How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structure Study. Social Science Research, 2012, 41, 752-770. Very illustrative is the autobiography by Dawn Stefanowicz, the daughter of a practicing homosexual father: Out From Under: The Impact Of Homosexual Parenting. Enumclaw WA: Annotation Press, 2007.
(viii) Census Data Analysis by the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law. Los Angeles Times, October 2011.
(ix) Sullins, D.P. American Catholics and Same-Sex “Marriage”. The Catholic Social Science Review, 2010, 15, 97-123.
(x) Blessed Pope Paul VI, General Audience 11.15.1972. Osservatore Romano.