"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A special report...

Seriously.  A commentor, ck alerted us to a very sensitive study from the Catholic Medical Association on the subject of homosexuality, appropriately titled Homosexuality and Hope.  I will reprint a couple of points that are important to consider in examining this issue - especially for parents, whose children are at risk due to enormous social and cultural pressures.
Catholics believe that sexuality was designed by God as a sign of the love of Christ, the bridegroom, for his Bride, the Church, and therefore sexual activity is appropriate only in marriage. Healthy psycho-sexual development leads naturally to attraction in persons of each sex for the other sex. Trauma, erroneous education, and sin can cause a deviation from this pattern. Persons should not be identified with their emotional or developmental conflicts as though this was the essence of their identity. In the debate between essentialism and social constructionism, the believer in natural law would hold that human beings have an essential nature --either male or female --and that sinful inclinations --such as the desire to engage in homosexual acts --are constructed and can, therefore, be deconstructed. 
It is, therefore, probably wise to avoid wherever possible using the words "homosexual" and "heterosexual" as nouns since such usage implies a fixed state and an equivalence between the natural state of man and woman as created by God and persons experiencing same sex attractions or behaviors.
Individuals experience same-sex attractions for different reasons. While there are similarities in the patterns of development, each individual has a unique, personal history. In the histories of persons who experience same-sex attraction, one frequently finds one or more of the following:
•Alienation from the father in early childhood, because the father was perceived as hostile or distant, violent or alcoholic, (Apperson 1968 17 ; Bene 1965 18 ; Bieber 1962 19 ; Fisher 1996 20 ; Pillard 1988 21 ; Sipova 1983 22 )

•Mother was overprotective (boys), (Bieber, T. 1971 23 ; Bieber 1962 24 ; Snortum 1969 25 )

•Mother was needy and demanding (boys), (Fitzgibbons 1999 26 )

•Mother emotionally unavailable (girls), (Bradley 1997 27 ; Eisenbud 1982 28 )

•Parents failed to encourage same-sex identification, (Zucker 1995 29)

•Lack of rough and tumble play (boys), (Friedman 1980 30 ; Hadden 1967a 31 )

•Failure to identify with same/ sex peers, (Hockenberry 1987 32 ; Whitman 1977 33 )

•Dislike of team sports (boys), (Thompson 1973 34 )

•Lack of hand/ eye coordination and resultant teasing by peers (boys), (Bailey 1993 35 ; Fitzgibbons 1999 36 ; Newman 1976 37 )

•Sexual abuse or rape, (Beitchman 1991 38 ; Bradley 1997 39 ; Engel 1981 40 ; Finkelhor 1984; Gundlach 1967 41 )

•Social phobia or extreme shyness, (Golwyn 1993 42 )

•Parental loss through death or divorce, (Zucker 1995)

•Separation from parent during critical developmental stages. (Zucker 1995)
While a number of studies have shown that children who have been sexually abused, children exhibiting the symptoms of GID, and boys with chronic juvenile unmasculinity are at risk for same-sex attractions in adolescence and adulthood, it is important to note that a significant percentage of these children do not become homosexually active as adults. (Green 1985 57 ; Bradley 1998)
For some, negative childhood experiences are overcome by later positive interactions. Some make a conscious decision to turn away from temptation. The presence and the power of God's grace, while not always measurable, cannot be discounted as a factor in helping an at-risk individual turn away from same-sex attraction. The labeling of an adolescent, or worse a child, as unchangeably "homosexual" does the individual a grave disservice. Such adolescents or children can, with appropriate, positive intervention, be given proper guidance to deal with early emotional traumas. - Catholic Culture
Art:  St. Louis King of France: along with St. Joseph, he is a patron and model for dads. 
From a letter by St. Louis to his son:
My dearest son, my first instruction is that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength. Without this there is no salvation. Keep yourself, my son, from everything that you know displeases God, that is to say, from every mortal sin. You should permit yourself to be tormented by every kind of martyrdom before you would allow yourself to commit a mortal sin. If the Lord has permitted you to have some trial, bear it willingly and with gratitude, considering that it has happened for your good and that perhaps you well deserved it. If the Lord bestows upon you any kind of prosperity, thank him humbly and see that you become no worse for it, either though vain pride or anything else, because you ought not to oppose God or offend him in the matter of his gifts. Be kindhearted to the poor, the unfortunate and the afflicted. Give them as much help and consolation as you can.
Thank God for all the benefits he has bestowed upon you, that you may be worthy to receive greater. Always side with the poor rather than with the rich, until you are certain of the truth. Be devout and obedient to our mother the Church of Rome and the Supreme Pontiff as your spiritual father. In conclusion, dearest son, I give you every blessing that a loving father can give a sons. May the three Persons of the Holy Trinity and all the saints protect you from every evil. And may the Lord give you the grace to do his will so that he may be served and honored through you, that in the next life we may together come to see him, love him and praise him unceasingly. Amen. - Air Maria
Please remember to pray for parents.
Thanks to ck for the link to Catholic Culture.


  1. Good post but I think the point about not liking team sports is weird.

  2. Angela - I think it has more to do with feeling inferior to same-sex peers than a dislike for sports. A dislike for team sports in itself should not be worrisome. There are gay team sportsmen as well.

    Synchronized swimming is a team sport too - I'd be worried if my son wanted to do that... LOL! Just kidding.

  3. Has this "study" been peer-reviewed, or do Catholic scientists get a break from accepted norms of scientific research?

  4. I'm a girl, but a fat chick, so believe me, being bad at sports makes you feel VERY alienated from your peers. Sports is even more important to guy-bonding and it can ostracize them from their gender group - no high fives for the clutz.

    Thom: read the endnotes and bibliography

  5. I did, but that doesn't answer my question. :-)

    I also noted that they cite George Rekers... classy and ironic, since he was just busted with a rentboy. Ex-gay, eh? ;-)

  6. From the bibliography:

    American Psychiatric Association:

    Journal of Abnormal Psychology:

    Archives of General Psychiatry:

    Archives of Sexual Behavior:

    These sources are peer reviewed, non-Catholic, and supportive of the gay lifestyle.

    I'd give you all the citations, but I have to work for a living here. :-)

  7. I didn't ask if you sources are peer-reviewed, I asked if the CMA "study" was.

  8. If this is being presented as science, it shouldn't be a parable. I don't get your prooftext.

  9. It is not a “study” it is a summary of existing peer reviewed studies. Cutting and pasting does not remove peer reviewed status. You said in a different post that the church should build on science. Here is proof that they are, but you will not see or hear it. Please read the document in its entirety and say what you object to.

  10. Just off the top of my head with no serious inquiry I can tell you that Rekers is not a peer-reviewed source.

    Throwing in the likes of him with some snippets from the APA, etc, does not legitimate a cobbled-together approach.

    If this CMA document is to be regarded as authoritative, its thesis must be peer-reviewed.

    Is there documentation of this review? In what journal was this research published?

  11. I can believe, (and it is by no means a new idea) that someone's childhood experiences can influence their sexuality and indeed many aspects of their personality. However these studies don't seem to take into account the complex interaction of environment with genetics and biochemistry (and there are also studies linking genetics and biochemistry to sexuality). We can play armchair psychologists all day (it was all their parents' fault!). However for the most part people don't choose what kind of childhood they have. Whether it is nature or nurture, they pretty much have to play the hand that was dealt them.
    Those of us who are parents should of course always strive to provide the best example and environment we possibly can for our children. But to conclude "We gotta make sure our boys are in team sports and rough house with them to butch them up" is not helpful. We have a limited amount of control over kids' likes and dislikes. The best thing mothers and fathers can do for their children to make them secure and happy adults is to provide a good moral example and to take good care of their own marriage.

  12. I think this information is helpful for parents whose children are in their formative years and still developing - especially teens who are exposed to every type of sexuality. Parents are the ones responsible for raising their children.

  13. michael r.6:14 PM

    I love the list, especially "lack of eye/hand coordination." It sounds like Dr. Nicolosi. Sure enough he is there in the list of sources. He apparently encourages his male clients to drink Gatorade and call friends 'dude' to become more masculine. He also says that male children should avoid activities considered of interest to homosexuals, such as art museums and classical music. So parents do need to make their boys butch it up or they might end up homosexual. That means no music or art lessons, right, unless they are followed by rough and tumble team sports. Does anyone really believe any of this nonsense? There are people who practice good science and there are quacks also, who attempt to sell anything. BTW, the Catholic Medical Association sounds like an authoritative body. I don't believe that it is. I believe it's the remnant of a much larger organization that fell apart in the late 1990's over these very kinds of issues. It has a very small number of doctors in membership.

  14. I probably should not have posted this then, huh.

  15. Aceman2:17 PM

    No Terry-I think that it's important that you did post it, to show where current Catholic research and thinking is on the topic.

    On the other hand, the Catholic parent(s) who may pay attention to it, are likely to be scared sh*tless that they aren't doing enough, giving enough, being enough, to make sure that they don't end up with "one of those" types of kids. And then have massive Catholic guilt when they do.

    In this age of so many activities for kids and families, it may just add another level of stress and strain to possibly already overloaded plates. To include more back-slapping sports and rough and tumble play could overwhelm an already full schedule.

    Two questions about these godly recommendations though:

    What about music lessons, singing, art, etc. How will these children learn to be Catholic if they cannot be schooled or participate in the Church's music and arts? Should they just offer it up?

    Is the rough and tumble and sports play recommended for girls as well? I don't really think that's a good idea. What else can a Catholic parent do to insure that a daughter doesn't end up...you know, I can't use that noun, as recommended by the CMA. What should parents of girls to do? This document seems to be silent on that.

    Ace ;-)

  16. I found this document years ago when someone I love confessed to having unwanted same-sex attraction. His dad's a jerk, his mom takes him shopping and other girl things trying to compensate, all his friends are girls, he's bad at sports, his male peers mocked him in high school, he's timid...well you get the picture. This document described him so well, I knew it couldn't be coincidence.

    I encouraged him to join a frat in college, get over some of his timidity and fears, to go to confession, etc, things I've done in my own life in the past, not to get over same-sex attraction, but just to conquer my own insecuries. The change in him has been remarkable.

    Here's the Catholic Medical Association's website:
    I suppose everyone will have to judge for themselves which sources they consider worthy of trust and omit the ones they don't. This document was such a godsend to me that I just wanted to share it if people wanted it.

  17. It's fine to share; I don't knock that, or the individual experiences of people.

    My only beef is that it shouldn't be presented at "science."

    (But a frat- seriously? I could never get my head that far up my....)


  18. See - that's your problem right there Thom.
    LOL! I'm kidding. I can't stay serious for very long.

  19. A couple of observations....

    Not being a parent my self but from what I've observed beingintheworld as long as I have...

    One experience that really struck me was when I was inthe military I rented a room from a young single mom with two young boys...going through a nasty divorce she was in her "I hate men" stage....it reflected in the fact that she was raising her little boys as little "GIRLS", no rough and tumble boy play as they "got dirty" and she "didn't want a dirty messy house...they couldn't run and yell and scream and expend energy...because she hated men she had no dates or other positive male role models--the dad visited like for two hours on Sundays but didn't do "guy things" with his sons...then I showed up along with my military guy coworkers and the little boys LOVED playing "soldier" with some of my friends....they were good "male" role models at the time when these young boys really needed good examples..

    As an adult my beautiful niece was practically "talked into" being a lesbian in college....she had plenty of boyfriends in high school, was athletic and got a soccer scholarship to a prestigious all-girls' college back East....well upon arriving she was picked on because her family was not wealthy by snobby rich girls, left out of activities, etc...and my understanding there weren't a whole lot of activities with young men outside campus (especially if you don't have a car)..well guess what?? the lesbians made her feel welcome and accepted, invited her to parties and activities, etc. So of course she went over to the Dark Side...

    A year ago this past spring I was invited to her and her partner's "blessing" ceremony in CA...and she is going on to Law School..

    We really need to nuture and care for our young folks....

  20. +JMJ+

    Building on what Aceman has said . . .

    I am not a parent myself, but I'm an adult in a house with two school-age boys and I can't pretend I don't have a hand in raising them. And so those recurring "Oh, God, I just realised I'm not doing it right!!!" posts on parenting blogs get to me as well.

    A few weeks ago, a mother wrote about some of her friends' who that attachment parenting is practically a guarantee that your child will grow up well adjusted. And they believe it so strongly that they stop being friends with anyone they know who uses a stroller instead of a sling. (You thought the Breast vs. Bottle battle was vicious? LOL!) And this mother wondered aloud how much "damage" in a person can be directly traced to his parents' choices. I'd say the answer is, "More than you think and less than you think." Which helps no one, of course. =P


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