Psychologist: Vatican Document on Gender Theory Really a Compromise

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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  June 19, 2019   

Gerard van den Aardweg: 'Basically, it is an ideological document. It is not specifically Catholic, in spite of some lip service.'

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Dutch psychologist claims the Vatican's recent document against gender ideology still makes compromises with evil.

Dr. Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg spoke to LifeSiteNews in an interview published June 14. The Catholic psychologist and psychoanalyst pointed to insufficiencies in the recent document from the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education (CCE) titled "'Male and Female He Created Them': Towards a path of dialogue on the question of gender theory in education."

The document criticized gender ideology and affirmed that people are born male and female and cannot change their biological sex at will.

Many Catholics lauded the document as a stance against gender ideology. But van den Aardweg argued that it does not go far enough in condemning gender ideology, telling LifeSite, "Basically, it is an ideological document. It is not specifically Catholic, in spite of some lip service. It essentially makes a plea for a kind of atheist-humanist/socialist sex education, presented as more or less Catholic."

"It gushes over the boons of a social model of sexual education monitored by 'professional experts,'" the psychologist continued, "on the basis of naively supposed ever-deepening insights into sexuality in the current human sciences."


In exclusive comments to Church Militant, van den Aardweg additionally claimed that "the root source of gender ideology is the homosexual ideology" and complained that the CCE document fails to directly condemn pro-gay ideology.

He wrote, "Given that the authors of the document do not unambiguously criticize and condemn the prevailing pro-gay propaganda and sexual education in schools, political parties, and the media ... their disapproval of the extreme gender theory is not much more than cheap words."

Summarizing his criticism of the Vatican document, van den Aardweg said, "Instead of explaining to bishops, seminaries, teachers, and parents how to teach the Catholic view and morality on sexuality and marriage ... the document proposes a sort of bureaucratic sex education by 'experts' in alliance with the anti-Christian secular organizations."

Later in the LifeSiteNews interview, van den Aardweg warned against what the document states on sexual education, saying, "Parental rights in education are professed with words, but the whole, and in essence, socialistic-bureaucratic organization to educate the 'sexuality and affectivity' of children and youngsters about which these utopians are dreaming will no doubt soon squeeze the parents' rights into extinction."

He accused the document's authors of using outdated psychological theories from the 1960s, "but now proclaimed as 'higher wisdom' by a Vatican Congregation whose members run half a century behind the times."

"It is 'dialogue' and 'listening' and 'openness' all over again," he remarked. "But no listening to the divine teachings of the Catholic Church on sexuality, marriage and the family (for these seem in need of 'restructuring')."

Van den Aardweg also said of the document, "The observations on gender theory are ambiguous and unclear, and that makes them suspect."

He noted there are some good statements in the document, but argued they are insufficient, telling LifeSiteNews, "At face value, some phrases seem correct and 'orthodox.' ... However, they are simultaneously undermined by statements such as (I abbreviate): 'The approach to gender theory [is] the path of dialogue.' Why would that be so? No answer, because we are in the domain of ideology."

The psychologist remarked, "What is there to dialogue about? We know the effects of dialoguing from the experiences with the Communists. The enemies of Christianity will dialogue with you in their way, on their terms. The outcome is none other than dialoguing with the devil."

What is there to dialogue about? We know the effects of dialoguing from the experiences with the Communists. The enemies of Christianity will dialogue with you in their way, on their terms. The outcome is none other than dialoguing with the devil.

"The aggressive neo-pagan sexual ideology of the world has no wisdom we might share," he went on. "The task of the Church is not dialoguing but teaching and correcting, there is a relentless spiritual war going on in the field of sexuality, marriage, and the family."

Van den Aardweg also accused the document of containing subtle, ambiguously worded criticisms of traditional gender roles and family life.

When asked for some final remarks about the CCE document, van den Aardweg noted:

There is nothing in the Vatican text about sexual sin, the fight for chastity, masturbation, unfaithfulness in marriage, unmarried cohabitation, chastity in marriage; not one sentence of sound advice for parents who try to educate their children towards the virtues necessary for a Christian life and against the pressure of the neo-pagan environment, school, and even church; nothing about contraception, sterilization, and abortion.

He also criticized the document's style, saying, "Finally, the style of the piece is terrible: it is permeated by pompous and sentimental language, hypocritical unctuousness. The intellectual level is substandard. No concept that is used is defined, no statement proved or even supported by some argumentation."

Van den Aardweg added, "A Vatican congregation which dares to produce and issue such a document should seriously consider closing up shop."

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