Gay conversion therapy?


Do we believe in gay conversion therapy? Just curious



The Catholic Church does not condone gay conversion therapy. I think we condemn it, but I’m not certain. It instead encourages those with SSA to go to apostolate like Courage to fight their temptations, not shock them away.


Basically that’s it:


If they go to a counselor to help them with their predispositions, they are free to do so, but the Church does not endorse or require any particular form of therapy.


In before the flame war starts! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

There is no official Catholic position on it, and it probably means different things to different people. Frankly, if someone wants to try it and derives benefit from it, I see no reason not to try it. My opinion is biased because I have a friend from college who is a counselor and also has same sex attraction, and he is in favor of it. So I never really found a reason to disagree with him as I figure he knows better than I do.


The Church holds no official position on such therapies. I’ve heard faithful Catholics make arguments in favor of them, and faithful Catholic make arguments against.

I know of people who were aided by such therapy. There was one guy in my men’s group who’s attraction to men had started to dissipate once he was getting help and was out of the lifestyle.

Personally, I believe the visceral reaction against such things, as well as those against ex-gay testimonies, is that it does away with the sacred cow of “Born this way.” Since that false narrative is so integral to their arguments of equality, anything which shows its falsehood is made to appear bigoted or untrue.


And the very next sentence is also key:

Their helpfulness or effectiveness should be evaluated like any other treatment.

Basically, it’s not generally the Church’s job to evaluate therapy techniques. The psychological/scientific community does that.


I could go along with it for adults who choose to take the risks.

But the main question is whether minors should receive it:

article from USA Today


And we should definitely ask those types of questions. I’m personally a bit leery about politicians banning a specific therapy. It seems to me that it would be better to let the scientific community establish the benefits or side effects rather than legislating it.

Perhaps it would be useful to define what is meant by “gay conversion therapy.” Does it mean only one specific type of therapy?


That article, and other who wish to paint this therapy as bad, cherry-picks the worst stories, and ignore the testimony of those teens and young adults who are happy they received therapy. They ignore the very large subset of people who don’t want those inclinations, and who recognize them as disordered.

Also, the number of states banning it doesn’t actually impact its effectiveness or morality. At one point, a record number of states were allowing abortion, or were supporting gay marriage, or are now supporting legalized narcotics. Just because the state is okay with it doesn’t make it right.


Thank you for clarifying.


Hence why I said the Church does not condone them and that I wasn’t sure if we condemn it. Thank you for clarifying!


The Catholic Church is not infallible on matters of science nor are its health organisatiions regarded highly as a source of medical opinion on such questions.

Given that the Catechism, surveying modern scientific studies, prudentially observes that homosexuality is of unknown aetiology (ie it is open to it being genetic in origin) that suggests it agrees conversion therapy is not a silver bullet for many (or even most) who suffer from this disordered inclination.

Common sense and the majority opinion in the scientific community strongly suggests it is a waste of time for many gays.

Just because the Catholic Church teaches that freely acting on the inclination is immoral does not mean it must be curable in this life. Many conditions are not curable …that doesnt mean God doesnt exist or sufferers are condemned to hell.


Gay conversion therapy assumes that the problem is purely psychological. I think there is a psychological element to it, but i wouldn’t assume that it can simply be “fixed” in that way. I don’'t think it’s a mental illness, i think it’s a disorder in ones nature, a disorder in ones essence which is a bit different from somebody having mental issues. I think that people can mistakenly think they are gay because they have mental health problems, and perhaps therapy can help them to realize that is not the case because it wasn’t real in the first place.

Real Gay people fall in love with the same sex. .It’s not something they can control or “fix” with therapy because there is nothing wrong with them mentally. And that’s a very important think to realize when discussing homosexuality.

Gay people think that their desires are just a natural expression of their identity; hence the gay identity. And if they haven’t known any different since the day they were born it’s not a completely unreasonable assumption. That’s why the gay community deserves compassion. The only way they can be helped is by allowing them to recognize their true identity and nature under God. Not a therapy of the mind, but a conversion of the soul.


I think the jury has been in for some time.


It depends somewhat on what you mean by it. But certainly the Church teaches one can alter his behavior, temper his passions, and one can learn to love things he hates and hate things he loves. This is some sort of conversion. If the Church taught some people were irreformable then that would be problematic.

I don’t think this is really an area of science. It is a spiritual or mental issue. Science is outside of its dominion in such matters. Regardless it is now a legal issue as homosexual sex has been legally declared, in most of the West, to be a good and worthy act.


The Church does not promote or condemn it, as such, but there are different meanings.

The problem is the media has taken one rare form of conversion therapy, wherein people have electrodes hooked up to certain parts, and used the unpopularity of that to get ALL forms of conversion therapy banned, or professionally disdained.

Suppose a man has a sexual attraction to both men and women. He may seek counseling to help him focus only on women. In some places, the counselor may place himself in legal or professional jeopardy if he tries to help his client do THAT.


I experience SSA, I’ve been going to counseling and it has helped me greatly. I feel like my SSA stems from other issues, a lot of things happened in my past. I’ve had so much social anxiety and never got along well with peers. Well it’s been around a year and so much has changed. We all need relationships, finding a good community of Catholic men has been so helpful to me. I’m not sure if my SSA has gone away, but I think deep down it’s just a desire to get closer to another guy. It kind of makes sense considering I’ve gone so long without close friendships.

I do find some men physically attractive but I don’t really see me doing anything. I have strong desires sometimes to cuddle with another guy. I guess I’ve been trying to think more about women as of late. As far as just looking at someone and finding them physically attractive, I would say that happens a lot more often with men than women. Idk, for me, I think I need to get to know someone a little bit before I feel attraction towards them, at least with women. It’s like you see someone, you don’t think much of them, then you see good things they’re doing and they start to shine.

So I’m not really sure you would call regular counseling “conversion therapy”, that’s kind of ridiculous. Now if that means watching images and getting shocked, I would say that’s bad. I’ve been addicted to porn for so long. I’ve made it 3 months without, thought that may change some things but I really don’t feel anything. Maybe it’ll take more time. I just think a lot of people who experience SSA have some other issues underneath it that need to be addressed. Even if the attraction doesn’t go away, it should make life so much more fruitful.


Thanks for sharing. Yes, I get the feeling that when some people hear “gay conversion therapy” they get mental images of people being strapped down and shocked or being shown images against their will of people of the opposite sex for hours on end. What you have described sounds more like what I have heard with regards counseling experiences of those with SSA.

This is one of those cases where what I see described in the newspapers about it is pretty much unrecognizable when compared to what my counselor friends describe. So I’ve sort of stopped paying attention to what the press says about it.

I don’t think that any specific therapy is going to work 100% of the time with 100% of people. But if there are those like yourself who derive benefit from counseling, that’s really the main thing we should all be able to get behind. Ultimately, it’s about working through our issues rather than getting “cured.” I think that goes for anything, not just SSA.


It seems like a lot of people would benefit from counseling, not just those with SSA. There are people who struggle with other things too. Our experiences shape us, we can get a false belief about who we are growing up. I would still say my family was relatively good growing up, meanwhile there’s so much brokenness in this world. I just wonder how people raised by single parents, or same sex couples, or were in foster care for great lengths of time deal with stuff. It just seems to me that it shouldn’t be surprising how some people act if they were greatly wounded in the past.


Are gays not accepted in the catholic religion? I mean are they condemn for who they are? If that’s the case, what they should do? Just wondering.

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