Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Last month I attended a talk on “How to Effectively Defend the Church’s Controversial Moral Teachings,” presented by Father Robert Spitzer, SJ, Ph.D., president of the Magis Center for Reason and Faith. Recognizing the need to spread this crucial information as widely as possible, Father Spitzer generously made his data available to conference participants.

The challenge, as Father Spitzer describes it, can be summed up in the following four points:

  1. Less than 10 percent of young Catholics and 21 percent of adult Catholics turn to the Church for moral guidance. (Pew Research Survey 2016)
  2. The majority of young Catholics disagree with the Church’s moral teaching on homosexual lifestyle, transgenderism, cohabitation, premarital sex, artificial birth control, and abortion (56 percent - 2019 Pew Research Survey).
  3. Most young Catholics are embarrassed by Church teaching on gay lifestyle and transgenderism because they believe it is prejudicial and even manifests hatred of minority groups. This causes them to lose faith in the Church itself.
  4. Most high school and catechetical teachers (including those who agree strongly with Church teaching) are at a loss about how to present the church’s teaching on gay lifestyle and transgenderism in a light that will be non-scandalous and partially positive.

The solution can also be summed up in four points, as described by Father Spitzer:

  1. The approach should not criticize individual people or groups. God alone can judge, and we must respect them in the imitation of Christ.
  2. The focus should always be on the effects of the lifestyle, not only on spiritual well-being, but on emotional health, relational health, as well as marital and familial longevity, satisfaction, and security. We know from Christ that as spiritual well-being goes, so goes temporal well-being — emotional, relational, and marital health.
  3. To avoid the accusation of religious bias, secular statistical studies should be used to justify data on lifestyles.
  4. Teachers need not be embarrassed by presenting secular statistical studies about lifestyles, because it is out of concern and love for the groups practicing them — not prejudice and hatred.

Using secular statistics about some specific lifestyle choices, there are very significant indicators that illustrate the negative consequences to emotional health, relational health, and spiritual health resulting from a homosexual lifestyle.

With regard to the negative consequences for emotional health:

  • Suicidal contemplation is seven times higher than the general population (i.e., 40 percent of homosexual population has contemplated suicide vs. 5.6 percent of the general population).
  • Major depression is three times higher than the general population.
  • Panic disorder is five times higher than the general population.
  • Substance abuse is 3.5 times higher than the general population.

With regard to the negative consequences for relational health:

  • The number of sexual partners in a lifetime of those living a homosexual lifestyle ranges between 100 to 500, with the median being 300 sexual partners (Van de Ven Study), by comparison to 5.5 in the lifetime of the heterosexual population (National Center of Health Statistics).
  • The average duration of relationship for homosexual couples is 1.5 years; in contrast, 50 percent of heterosexual marriages last a lifetime.
  • With regard to monogamy, no homosexual relationships lasting longer than five years are monogamous (McWhirter Study); in contrast, 80 percent of heterosexuals are monogamous throughout marriage.

With regard to the negative consequences for spiritual health:

  • The homosexual population practices religion 50 percent less than the general population in terms of prayer, Bible reading, and church attendance (Pew Research Survey 2014).

With regard to transgenderism, Father Spitzer offers the following facts:

  • There is no genetic cause of cross-gender confusion. Hence, there is no genetic cause of a woman being trapped in a man’s body and vice-versa (Source: Johns Hopkins University, 2016)
  • The most likely cause of cross-gender confusion is childhood abuse (50 percent), anxiety in the household (for boy, mother’s anxiety — about 80 percent), and latent homosexual desire (Zucker and Bradley, 1995).
  • With therapy before adolescence, most cross-gender confused children will migrate back to their biological sexual identity (Johns Hopkins 2016)
  • Those who have sexual reassignment surgery are five times more likely to contemplate suicide and 19 times more likely to die from it (Johns Hopkins 2016).
  • Therefore, preadolescent therapy is essential. Encouragement of sex change leads to very bad results for emotional /relational health. It is abusive and medically unethical.

Father Spitzer also provides statistics for the negative consequences of pornography, artificial birth control, and abortion, which I will summarize in the next issue of Catholic Times. I am grateful to Father Spitzer for sharing this information and I pray that it will be helpful in effectively defending the Church’s moral teachings.

May God give us this grace. Amen.