Three years ago, Msgr. Tony Anatrella came to speak at a conference sponsored by the Catholic Organization for Life and Family. Here’s a link to the story I wrote on him and an excerpt:
One of civilization’s pillars, the objective recognition of sexual difference, is collapsing, a priest psychoanalyst warned the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) annual seminar here March 22-23.
Gender theory, an ideology which developed in the 1950s, has redefined sexuality, moving it away from objective sexual differences to subjective notions based on sexual orientation, said Msgr. Tony Anatrella, a Paris psychoanalyst and specialist in social psychiatry.
Among those problems: a rise in suicide rates even among children, increasing narcissism that keeps adults trapped in infantile forms of sexuality such as masturbation, rising rates of homosexuality, and the inability of young people to form permanent male-female bonds that children need for their healthy psychological development, he said.
On a psychological level, psychic life and the development of a proper relationship with external objective reality requires an integration of the objective fact of our biological sex as male or female, he said.
The marriage of a man and a woman allows a child to discover the meaning of objective truth outside his or her self, Msgr. Anatrella said. When we do not have objective reality, only the notion that we are creating ourselves, we are following the narcissistic myth of someone who does not need anyone else, not even God.
We must present the truth of the most basic human relationships grounded in the complementarity of the sexes, he said, not in the limited, unisexual, self-sufficiency model that says men and women do not need each other to marry, to have sex, and to conceive.
The father helps a child discover external reality and the law. He reveals and shows the child how to enter into the world, he said.
The mother helps cultivate a child’s internal reality, including his or her imagination and spiritual side through singing songs and telling stories. She helps the child discover relationship and provides support and recognition.
Q. Yet the theories of “gender” have managed to force their way into the legislations of numerous Western States. Is the cultural lobby that supports them really so powerful?A. Extremely powerful. The concept of “gender” was born in the United States during the Fifties, in the wake of the feminist movements and homosexual organizations. From the Seventies onwards, in a climate of libertarianism which claimed to annul all differences in the name of a more just society with equal rights for everyone, it expanded into becoming a political weapon, influencing national legislations. Furthermore, this push towards new liberties has become an oppressive instrument. When we arrive at cancelling the names of “father” and “mother” from civil code, as has happened for example in Spain and Canada, reality is trampled upon and grave injustice is done. This is even more intolerable as it comes directly from the State.Q. In your work as a psychotherapist you have met many children who lived with homosexual parents. Have you found any particular fragility in these young people?A. Unfortunately yes. The facts are irrefutable, and go beyond the biased statistics. The youngsters who have had two people of the same sex as models for parenthood, risk growing up with a confused identity and present widespread psychological unease. It’s as if their psyche was faced with an antinomy difficult to unite. And mine is not an ideological position. I have built it on the basis of direct observation throughout many years of psychoanalytical work.Q. For those who are not at ease with their own sexual orientation, is it conceivable to think of accompanying therapeutic interventions?A. The correct premise is that nobody imagines forcing therapy on those who don’t want it. Now, if one is ill at ease with their sexual orientation, and, freely, asks to be helped, accompanying psychoanalysis may be very useful. In my forty-year experience I have followed dozens of cases. One cannot generalize. Different forms of homosexuality exist and each individual presents a specific situation and story.