Saturday, March 11, 2017

Dr. Joseph Nicolosi RIP

+Prayers for the repose of his soul and prayers for the consolation of the Nicolosi family.+

Linda Nicolosi, Joe's lifelong collaborator and also his wife of 39 years, is grateful for everyone's prayers and words of appreciation and has shared these words: 
"Joe was certainly a larger-than-life, one-of-a-kind guy. Never worried about political correctness, he was happy to swim against the cultural tide when he was sure the culture was going in the wrong direction. That got him into trouble quite a few times. Gay-activist web sites, for example, are still fond of quoting the occasional risqué jokes he made during his life in the public eye, and of showing and re-showing him tossing a mic back at a rude TV interviewer. But Joe had ardent convictions about the truth of male and female design, and because of his conviction and courage, his awareness that he would face biased reporters didn't stop him from appearing on Oprah Winfrey, Larry King Live, Hannity and Colmes, O'Reilly Factor, 20/20, Dr. Phil, BBC News, etc. 
Dr. Nicolosi had always hoped for his legacy as the creator of Reparative Therapy to go on. His career was dedicated to helping people align their lives with their deeply held convictions. Anyone, he stressed, is free to live his life as gay; but we are inevitably gendered beings, and our fullest humanity calls us to live out our biological design." - Facebook

What a shock for his wife Linda and their son.  My deepest sympathy.

I was surprised by the mean spirited comments left on the Facebook page.

There were aspects of Nicolosi's thought I would have to disagree with, but generally his research into the nature and causes of male homosexuality has been helpful for many, including myself.  LGBT activists are vehemently against any type of Reparative Therapy, pretty much based upon horrible attempts to eradicate homosexual inclination in the past - and in the present, as evidenced by ABC Brian Ross's report on Conversion Therapy, part of which I caught on Night Line last night.  I also understand families do send unwilling individuals into such therapy, perhaps causing even more psychological damage.  

I may be wrong, but I was always under the impression that Nicolosi accepted the fact that many are neither interested in, nor willing to change, while some may not be able to do so, especially adults who have lived or identified with gay culture most of their lives.  Nevertheless, I believe his research has helped such individuals who were unhappy with their sexual orientation, to understand themselves better, and to help them recognize the psychological motivations of their individual homosexual experience.  Such self-knowledge helped many to integrate themselves into the Church, especially withing the context of a Catholic community (parish).  I believe his work has been helpful in pastoral care as well - with the understanding his work should not be taken as the sole authority when it comes to ministering to gay people.  The response to the news of his death should make that very clear.  

I will admit I know little about NARTH, but most everything I've read by Dr. Nicolosi is certainly worthy of consideration in how Catholics respond to the issues related to homosexuality - especially those who wish to live faithful, chaste lives in accord with Catholic teaching.  Catholic teaching does not insist that a person go into therapy, or seek Reparative Therapy to change what he perceives to be his sexual orientation, but rather to live a chaste and holy life according to his station in life.  It's the same for unmarried men and women.  I believe it is the wrong focus to attempt to 'pray away the gay' or throw all of one's energies into changing so-called sexual orientation.

I personally believe that unless an individual is highly motivated to change, any form of Reparative Therapy with an expectation to suddenly be straight or free of homosexual temptation, can drive gay people away from the Church, and more specifically the Sacraments, not to mention cause greater psychological and moral harm.  I am also opposed to recommending gay people require therapy, especially that type which they may not want, and/or may not be able to afford, much less have the insurance to cover the expenses of such treatment.  I believe a devout life and the Sacraments are enough for salvation. 


  1. I know very little about Joseph, but will include him in my prayers.

    Some of those comments on his facecrap page are horrific. One thing I know for certain is that you never, never, never wish for someone to burn in hell.

    1. I know! Just evil, mean-spirited comments.

  2. Reading a few of his books were like receiving therapy in person, and shined a light (metaphorically but I also mean this literally, as an interior light I truly experienced) on my own experience. I am grateful that I was able to thank him in person some years ago for the tremendous work he did. I did not agree w/everything, but it made it no less valuable for me.


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