What is the Church's stance on conversion therapy for gays

Does it support it or is it against it? I’d like to think they’d support it, but then what if a devout Catholic family who has a chaste and devout, but homosexual son sends their son to conversion therapy to make him straight. Would that be wrong? Is it wrong to change orientation of a person if they truly have it (as i’ve been told the church believes that people can be on homosexual orientation. They just can’t act on it)

Well, I am aware of a group that the Catholic Church endorses for homosexuals and others with SSA called Courage. They use a twelve-step program format similar to that used in Alcoholics Anonymous. Their website is couragerc.net/ .

The problem with conversion therapies is that they tend to have really high rates of depression and suicide. To be safe I would stick to the Church approved group.

The Church has no official stance on it.

As said by the above poster the Church has no official stance regarding conversion therapy or “reparative” therapy.

There is no official stance on the conversion therapy. The Church only calls people with homosexual inclinations to chastity.

That aside, I don’t think the Holy Father would approve of these therapies based on the interviews he has given.

The Church teaches that while those with homosexual tendencies should be accepted with respect and compassion, this inclination is “objectively disordered.” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 2358). Being disordered it is conceivable that it could be cured by professional treatment. However, I don’t expect that the Church would officially endorse any type of therapy. What if a therapy was developed that didn’t work, for example? Whether to turn to some therapeutic treatment should be left to the judgement of the people involved, perhaps with the aid of good advice, rather than to the Church, which doesn’t claim to have expertise in such a matter.

The kind of “therapy” where the patient is made to masturbate while viewing pictures of the appropriate sex is clearly against Catholic teaching. I’d like to think that the kind of “therapy” where electric shocks are applied to the patient’s genitals is against Catholic teaching as well.

What exactly did the holy Father say and when?

It’s Absolutely fine. Plenty of people change. You just don’t hear about it because you will be mocked, pilloried and hated by an establishment which has a wicked agenda to pursue. Hen ce it will soon be illegal. CAF regularly has that Doctor from NARTH speak in their shows. Ergo It is not country to Church teaching

True. Not sure that that kind of ‘therapy’ is what the OP had in mind though

A solid orthodox priest that I know once put it this way “If these people disagree with the official guidebook for their profession on [conversion therapy] , what else do they disagree with?”

Basically, the vast majority of psychiatrist and psychologists do not consider homosexuality to be a mental illness. The vast majority of them do not believe that homosexuality can be cured. I would encourage you to read Melinda Selmys blog “Sexual Authenticity”. She is a Catholic who struggles with homosexual attractions and is also married to a man, and accepts the teachings of the Church. She talks about this a bit. Basically, her opinion is within the mainstream of scientific discourse on this subject.

It is also important to point out that most of the studies done on these therapies that claim “success” make chastity their indicator of success, and not “conversion” to heterosexuality or complete removal of homosexual attraction. Chastity is certainly a good thing, but it isn’t what the therapies are billed as to the people who are going to them. I think it is a bit dishonest for the doctors to go around talking about orientation change, etc. when this is a very unlikely result.

That being said, while there is no official Church teaching on this, I would say that if it were likely that the “treatment” could bring on depression and self-loathing because of lack of results, it should be avoided simply as a practical matter. That, plus shrinks are expensive. If people want to waste their money on a therapy that has a low chance of “curing” them, they can do that. If it helps them remain chaste, great. At the same time, they should go in with realistic expectations and know that it is VERY unlikely that they will ever be 100% heterosexual.

Also before I get attacked for being a heretic/überprogressive: I accept the teachings of the Catholic Church on this matter. Homosexual attractions are objectively disordered. This is not the same thing as a mental illness.

Best explanation ever! :slight_smile:

The ‘scientific community’ has been cowed into silence by a militant lobby

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Give us this day our daily bread.

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The main study that is touted by NARTH and the like was done by Jones and Yarhouse in 2007, and has major problems. They could not not even get 33% of their desired sample size to take part in the study (98 participants to begin with when they wanted 300). Of the 98, there were 25 who dropped out before the study could be completed and one didn’t give enough responses to count has completed.

Of the 72 participants who did complete the study, 11 reported some heterosexual feelings. These feelings were not required to be exclusive, and some reported that they were still had primarily homosexual attraction. After the study was published one of the 11 “cures” wrote to the authors to tell them that he was not actually cured, but that he wanted to be, so he answered that he was, and told them that he was now out and living an actively homosexual life.

As I mentioned above, the study counts as a success when someone refrains from having sex with other men.

This is the best study done on the matter, and the one that advocates for conversion therapies and reparative therapies cite the most. About 10% of the original 98 people said they experienced some heterosexual attraction. Okay, no one is saying that the two cannot simultaneously exist, even the “militant lobby” will concede this.

Even if you accept the study and ignore all the problems with the sample, the lack of a control group, and the irregularity of one of the “cures” repudiating the study, that leaves the percentage that develops heterosexual attractions at 10%, and the number that become exclusively heterosexual is lower if non-existent (I do not believe they give the number).

Like I said, if people want to waste their money on the chance that they could develop heterosexual feelings, fine. If they want to use the therapies as a way of maintaining chastity, and it works for them, even better. They should know the facts though, and the reparative therapists’ own numbers point out the incredibly low chance of not having homosexual attractions. Going into it with unrealistic expectations could have devastating results on the individual.

May St. Joseph pray for all those who are affected by this, and may God grant them peace.

I take that back your post is even better! hahaha Describes my own negative experiences at the hands of “ex-gay” therapy perfectly. I came out of it in worse condition than before. I was horribly depressed, and my homosexual orientation was even stronger.

(I’m a celibate homosexual; but I don’t identify as gay)

The Church states it is morally disordered and make no statement implying a mental disorder.

Its not the churches place to say whether something is a mental disorder or not, that’s up to medical professionals.

I was married to someone with a mental illness for 18 years and I’ve got to say that my homosexual son and daughter have got mental health issues…Just speaking from experience.

Right. I don’t think anyone was claiming that people with homosexual attractions are free from mental illness, simply that homosexual attractions themselves are not a mental illness.

I was merely commentng on thefact that many people think disordered refers to mental disorders.

I don’t recall say that homosexuals were free of mental illness, I would assume rates would be similar to hetersexuals and many heterosexuals do suffer from mental illness.

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