Crusade Magazine: Dr. Nicolosi, would you please describe for our readers NARTH’s primary focus?
Dr. Joseph Nicolosi: NARTH is the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. Basically, our position is that homosexuality is neither normal nor natural. Rather, it is a developmental disorder that constitutes a treatable condition.
Crusade: What is your general impression of the sexual abuse scandal that has shocked the Catholic faithful?
Dr. Nicolosi: I do not consider it a pedophile crisis. Given the fact that at least 80 percent of the victims were adolescent males, I consider it a homosexual crisis. Even when the victims were younger, they were generally boys. So, this is definitely a homosexual crisis. I think that it is the result of not only the substantial number of homosexuals who have been ordained to the priesthood, but of the bishops’ lack of leadership in addressing this very serious problem.
Crusade: Do you feel that those who advocate homosexuality as “an alternative life style” are trying to take advantage of this sad situation?
Dr. Nicolosi: Well, that’s an interesting question because both the media and homosexual activists are, unfortunately, succeeding in deflecting attention away from the real problem, which is, of course, homosexuality. In fact, it is homosexual priests who have sexually abused boys. Yet those promoting the homosexual agenda are attacking the traditions of the Church, claiming that this is a problem of priestly celibacy — not homosexuality. Thus, they are attempting to deflect attention away from the real problem, namely, the prevalence of homosexuality among the clergy.
Crusade: Today, many psychiatrists and psychologists promote the idea that homosexuality is a normal condition, contrary to what was held by psychiatry and psychology in the past. Whereas persons with previously homosexual tendencies were offered professional help in overcoming this disorder, the current emphasis is on helping them fit into society as practicing homosexuals. As a clinical psychologist, what is your view of this radical about-face from treating the homosexual disorder to embracing it?
Dr. Nicolosi: The mental health profession has come under a great deal of pressure from homosexual activist organizations. Professional associations have many members who are promoting a homosexual agenda and have an intimidating effect on the general membership. Unfortunately, the mental health profession has moved away from sound science and scientific data and adopted a political and social agenda. The sad fact is that they have abandoned those who are struggling with homosexuality and who are seeking help to change their sexual orientation.
Crusade: So you would say that a young boy or girl who may feel some sort of attraction for those of the same sex is not necessarily destined to be a homosexual?
Dr. Nicolosi: Absolutely not. An at-risk youth might have same sex attractions and may even engage in same sex behavior, but, by no means, does this indicate that he or she is naturally homosexual. He may be seeking to meet emotional needs that have nothing to do with sexual orientation. Unfortunately, such at-risk youth are being encouraged to “come out” and label themselves as “gay.” In other words, they are being pushed into identifying themselves as members of the homosexual community, which is only too eager to claim such youth as their own.
Crusade: Have you treated adult practicing homosexuals? How successful have you been in treating those who grew up as practicing homosexuals? Is there hope for such persons to overcome their disorder?
Dr. Nicolosi: There is increasing scientific evidence that homosexuality is a treatable condition. The treatment for homosexuality, however, is a difficult therapy. Our view is a third, a third, a third. That is, a third, no change; a third, significant improvement; and a third, cured. We believe that a highly motivated person who wants to overcome his or her homosexuality can experience major changes and live the heterosexual life that they desire.
Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, who holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, is a co-founder and the president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), which has provided psychological therapy to homosexual men and women since 1992. (For further information, please visit NARTH’s website at //www.narth.com.)
The author of several books, Dr. Nicolosi recently co-authored A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality (Downers Grove, Ill., Inter Varsity Press, 2002) with his wife Linda Ames Nicolosi.