…Growing out of my work as a professor of Christian Ethics at Yale University Divinity School, this book was designed to help people, especially Christians but also others, to think through their questions about human sexuality. It suggests the importance of moving from what frequently functions as a taboo morality to a morality and sexual ethics based on the discernment of what counts as wise, truthful, and recognizably just loves. Photo
Although my responses to some particular sexual ethical questions do depart from some traditional Christian responses, I have tried to show that they nonetheless reflect a deep coherence with the central aims and insights of these theological and moral traditions. Whether through interpretation of biblical texts, or through an attempt to understand “concrete reality” (an approach at the heart of “natural law”), the fact that Christians (and others) have achieved new knowledge and deeper understanding of human embodiment and sexuality seems to require that we at least examine the possibility of development in sexual ethics. This is what my book, Just Love, is about… Read more:
Sister MARGARET FARLEY – At meeting in St. Louis, Catholic theologians defend one of their own – 6/11/12
…Defiance was top of mind at the group's annual convention downtown. One of their own had been targeted by the Vatican earlier in the week, and there was a sense in the Hyatt Regency ballroom that the Catholic bishops had finally gone too far.
Over the last 50 years…As Catholic theology has branched out, bishops — who have the ultimate teaching authority in the church — have struggled to curb theological thinking they consider a potential source of confusion for the lay faithful. As a result, in recent years the bishops have criticized the work of a number of prestigious American theologians. And in St. Louis last weekend, the theologians were girding for a fight.
They spoke in protest against the Vatican's denunciation of Sister Margaret Farley's 2006 book, "Just Love: A Framework for Christian Social Ethics" in which the bishops found "grave problems."
We must "learn to say 'stop' to those who abuse authority only to preserve it," O'Neill, of the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, told the assembled scholars.
On June 4, the Vatican's orthodoxy watchdog office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, released a five-page "notification" about Farley's book, saying her writing on sexual ethics did not conform to the teachings of the Magisterium, the church's teaching authority through the pope and bishops. Pope Benedict XVI had approved the notification March 16.
…A "profoundly important" question for Catholic theologians, Farley said, is: "Should power settle questions of truth?"
… Her students asked her all the time why she stayed in a church that so often pushed back against her work.
Because the church "is still a source of real life for me," she would tell them. "It's worth the struggle. It's worth getting a real backbone that has compassion tied to it." … Read complete news article:
Could it be that Benedict XVI is unconsciously repeating Hitler's crime against humanity? Fierce relentless promulgation of UNSUBSTANTIATED ANTIGAY statements
It appears the Catholic Church has things all turned around – 4/27/12
Really? [Catholic] Women religious in America will now have a bishop grading their morals?
Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Given the sex-abuse scandals – in which many Roman Catholic bishops looked the other way at best and moved child molesters from parish to parish, perpetrating evil, at worst – you would think that a ruler rap on the hierarchical knuckles would be in order.
“Sister” should have stepped in years ago. Instead, the Vatican has assigned a bishop to crack down on the nuns...
VATICAN CRACKDOWN ON NUNS – 5/7/12
“…conservative American churchmen living in Rome — including disgraced former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law [Child Sexual-Abuse Crisis they created] — were key players in pushing the hostile takeover of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious…for emphasizing social justice work over loyalty to the hierarchy and issues like abortion and Gay Marriage…
US Nuns, Rebuked by Vatican, Plan Road Trip to Spotlight SOCIAL JUSTICE Issues - To Highlight Their Work With The Nation’s Poor And Disenfranchised – 6/5/12
As SCIENCE moves forward on Research & Understanding Homosexuality -- RATZINGER/BENEDICT XVI Ignoring Science - Sanctions Ignorance & Silence Promoting discrimination of Homosexuality – A Timeline
"Reparative Therapy" or "Conversion Therapy" – To Change Sexual Orientation - Lack Medical Justification, THREATEN HEALTH - Are ETHICALLY UNACCEPTABLE
Gay Catholic Priest - Fr. Marty Kurylowicz - 1997 “Coming Out” For Protection of Children from lifetime harm caused to children being raised in Social Environments influenced by antigay religious norms, such as,
Vatican’s Unsubstantiated Antigay Teachings – as documented by clinical research
– was then Threatened by Vatican to be sent away to be
reeducated on sexual orientation - REPARATIVE THERAPY
WHISTLEBLOWING to protect gay children from the Severity of Antigay Social & Religious Norms - FLEES – Hostile Working Environment Incapacitating Retaliation - NOW – Vatican Twist Flees to Refusing to Return – to remove from Clerical State - Gay Priest is Defenseless has No Civil Protection
This posting was sent out as a US group mailing prior to posting it here on the Thalamus Center.
Updated Background information added below 8/09/12
Removing my Clerical State
Presently June 2012, my Bishop Hurley of the Grand Rapids Diocese is seeking to remove my clerical state and even suggested that I voluntary seek this change. I am a priest and the fact that I am is the reason I felt morality responsible to “come out” for the protection of gay children growing up by making helping to make the public aware of the documented evidence of the life time harm that is caused to children who grow up gay and who are living in antigay social environments.
For the Vatican this once again is the same problem they got into regarding Galileo, which nearly 400 years later, Pope John Paul II said the Vatican was wrong and Galileo obviously was right. Only, this time millions of very young children globally are at risk who are not able to protect themselves and are being harm for life being raised in antigay social environments. The Vatican for the sake of these children around the world needs to immediately renounce all their antigay teachings, because they are not based on truth. They are all unsubstantiated. Photo
One of the major sources that significantly is responsible for creating antigay social environment is the Vatican antigay teaching, which are in fact unsubstantiated, because they are not supported by scripture scholars or by science.
The Reason - for removing my
Bishop Hurley states is my
REFUSAL TO RETURN to the Diocese
Not True - In 1997
I was being Forced Out by Vatican’s Hostile Treatment
In 1997, nearly 2 months after having “come out” I was completely surprised by the Vatican’s unethical and malicious directive that I be sent away (location was not given) for a period of several months to be reeducated on homosexuality and sexual orientation, which essentially is reparative therapy. It was starling for me to find that all my years of faithful dedication, achievements that contributed to my favorable status in the Diocese were totally wiped away. It was as if, I was not deserving of even plain human respect. The issuing of this dehumanizing directive from the Vatican was like a traumatic shock that instantly made it vividly clear to me that my personal safety and wellbeing were no longer of any importance in the Diocese. My life had been threatened and no one was willing to protect me, which meant it was no longer safe for me to remain in the Diocese of Grand Rapids. Photo
The Vatican’s directive was a hostile threat I felt to force or to scare me so that out of fear I would flee to leave the priesthood voluntary. I believe this was their plan or at least it seemed to be so. However, it was because I was a priest and that it was my duty as priest to be willing to die for others, especially children. I knew very well that I had done no wrong. (1) There was ample research and clinical documentation, as well as, my personal experience and extensive observations of LGBT students, adults, communities, and PFLAG parents that overwhelming supported the fact of the life time harm that is caused to children growing up gay raised in antigay social environments. (2) The Vatican’s antigay teachings are unsubstantiated because they are not supported by scripture scholars or by science. They are fraudulent because of the life threatening harm and violence they perpetuate, globally. It is a case like the Vatican condemning Galileo, which Pope John Paul II agreed and apologized for the Vatican’s wrongdoing.
There was no reason for me to leave the priesthood personally or otherwise and to do would be running out on children, who are not able to protect themselves. It would mean failing to continue standing up for the truth, which IS the core foundation of being a priest. It was and still is my life.
The Key Reason for Leaving Diocese
Escape Vatican’s Relentless Hostile Discrimination
However, I asked of instead of being sent away to be reeducated on my homosexuality and sexual orientation, if I could study psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, if I paid for it. The Vatican in the same mean-spirited and hostile manner granted me an educational leave of absence that was left opened ended. In addition, this also meant I would have to give up my regular monthly priest salary that included room and board. It was clear that the Vatican by their demonstrated hostility towards me that they did not want me anymore and that they truly wanted me to leave. I left the Diocese of Grand Rapids because I was no longer safe; in fact it was out of fear for my life that I left. I was so surprised by their hostility, which never ended and it is back again, today 2012, with great even greater force.
The hostility continued even after I left the Diocese June 1997 though not during the years that Pope John Paul II was alive. I began thinking that after 8 years I had appeased the Vatican, I was financially supporting myself and my educational costs though just barely. I was faithfully continuing my studying psychology as my finances allowed pursuing advance degrees. I was involved in community mental health clinical work during the week and saying masses at parishes that need help on the weekends and major feast days.
However, the Hostility resumed in full force almost immediately after Benedict XVI became pope April 2005. Benedict XVI began to wrongly without evidence to publically attack gay priests endlessly attempting to shift the blame for decades of child sexual abuse cover-ups onto the issue of homosexuality. This was especially true because he was the person in charge for decades and the blame for the cover-ups was falling directly on him. Bishop Hurley was appointed bishop of the Grand Rapids Diocese in June 2005. Bishop Hurley and Benedict XVI though as Cardinal Ratzinger had been collaborating working together on antigay issues since 1987. When Hurley became bishop of Grand Rapids MI the hostility towards me resumed with the forever misleading and twisting of the facts in order to attack me publically and discredit me and seriously harm my reputation. This is likely because of the 1997 News Media coverage of my “coming out” as a gay Catholic priest and it was even noted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as being “unprecedented” as reported in The Grand Rapids Press. This would be especially true, now 2012 because the majority of Catholics support gay marriage, possibly more people are being responsible individually acquiring a well informed conscience and can plainly see that the Vatican’s antigay teachings are truly unsubstantiated and that they are life threatening to very young growing up gay around the world.
However, since 2005, to the present my reputation has been attacked severely several times harming my careers, making impossible to support myself, which has destroyed me completely financially – losing everything, my residence to foreclosure, my car, and all my savings.
I think that it would be quite easy for people to blame me for my problems that is, if it weren’t for the never-ending scandals: (1) of Benedict XVI 30 years of global child sexual cover-ups, (2) more recently the Vatileaks revealing the character assassinations, forged documents, secrecy, etc., (3) the Vatican Bank Scandals, the lack of transparency, publishing psychological documents of ousted ex-bank president because of his threatening evidence of even deeper corruption inside the Vatican and (4) the Vatican’s continuous public attacks on USA politicians who support gay marriage.
WRONG MAILING ADDRESSES
Bishop Hurley’s HOSTILE Treatment
Letters Regarding Removal of Clerical State
In June 2012, this same hostility through misleading information twisting the facts that began his present attempts to remove my clerical state. I explain this more in detail below. Just to mention here his letters to me regarding his removing me from my clerical state have all been addressed to the wrong mailing address, however, I have been receiving all other Diocesan mail for the past 2 years at my correct mailing address. Still in his letter to me dated July 31, 2012, he states, since I failed to respond to his first letter of June 29, 2012 (which I never received because had it sent to a wrong mailing address) therefore he has begun the process of removing my clerical state. He also, states that it is because of my refusal to return to the Diocese that has lead to having my clerical state removed. In 1997, they want me out of the Diocese making it clear that I was not safe staying nor should I expect fair treatment should I return. However, now 2012 they have twisted it around for the public that I refused to come back. Hurley used this same twist in May 2006 notifying me that I was no longer given permission to say mass publically, which is reported in The Grand Rapids Press.
Below is a copy of his letter July 31, 2012 sent to the wrong mailing address.
No Civil or Whistleblower Protection for
Gay Priests or any Priest
KILLING THE SECRECY only Hope
As a Gay Catholic Priest – I have no civil protection my bishop and the Vatican knows this. “Separation of Church and State” and the Vatican Diplomatic Immunity protect them from civil intervention. The only recourse, if anyone is listening and understands the relationship and life of a Roman Catholic priest, that I have or any priest has is to go public, do not keep the secrecy. Going public is absolutely no guarantee of receiving any help or support. The only hope this has is one of knowledge helping people become more aware of the secrecy of the Vatican’s corruption, especially these days and likely for the past 30 years. There is an identifiable manner in the way I have been treated since I came out 1997 that is similar to the 30 years of ongoing cover-ups of the Vatican, which has been exposed in part from the Vatileaks and the Vatican Bank Scandals. In particular, the opposition to the Vatican (unwanted or threatening personnel including secular persons) are ousted, documents are forged, misleading information is given, attacks are made on their reputations to destroy their credibility, and publically facts are always twisted to make the Vatican appear as the victim or the ones in the right.
Below is the letter sent to dated July 31, 2012 and my letter sent to Bishop Hurley.
Click on to enlarge
Fr. Marty Kurylowicz - return letter to Bishop Hurley
August 2, 2012
Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley
Bishop of Grand Rapids
I have not received any letter from your office dated June 29, 2012, because as you indicated in your letter dated July 31, 2012 it was sent to the wrong address. This seems like a deliberate attempt to make sure I did not receive this letter of yours dated June 29, 2012 and therefore you could state I did not respond to your directives.
The one and only letter that I did receive from your office was dated July 31, 2012 and it was sent to 682 Deer Street, Plymouth, Michigan, which is not my mailing address. It is surprising that I have been receiving all the diocesan mail for the past 2 years addressed to me at my correct mailing address.
It is interesting that your previous letters mailed to me in the past have been (1) notarized and (2) sent by certified mail so that you would have proof that I received your letter. If you followed this same procedure of yours and there is no reason to think that you would not, considering the extreme importance of the contents that you refer was in your letter dated June 29, 2012 then you would have proof that I did not receive it. This would be true; unless of course you did not intend that I should receive your letter dated June 29, 2012 so that you could speed up the process to alter my clerical state and falsely claim that I did not respond in the allotted time of 15 days. If this was indeed your intention your actions could rightly be called deceitful and ruthless.
It is equally puzzling as you indicated in your letter to me dated July 31, 2012 that I failed to respond to you in the 15 days set down in your letter to me dated June 29, 2012 (which I did not receive), if you believe you sent this letter of June 29, 2012 to my correct address, why then would send your second letter dated July 31, 2012 to a different address that is not my mailing address? Unless, of course, again, you did not intend me to receive your second letter dated July 31, 2012. Then you would have been able to alter my clerical state without my ever knowing you had, until I would be quite surprised to be informed that my health care insurance had been discontinued. Later I would learn that I had no legal recourse because I did not respond to any of your letters, which I never received. In the Archdiocese of Detroit it has been stated among many who had legal dealings with you including attorneys that you are known to have ample precedents for being - deceitful and ruthless.
However, I am indeed deeply surprised by the contents in your letter dated July 31, 2012 and I can emphatically assure you that I have absolutely no intention whatever to give up my clerical state. It was because I took seriously my duty as a priest and stood up for the factual truth about sexual orientation by “coming out” to my parishioners in March 1997 for the safety and well being of children, as young as 4 and 5 years of age, as documented in the Grand Rapids Press at that time and because I did so the Vatican has continuously been mistreating me. My present situation for the past 15 years is entirely due to the hostile working environment imposed on me created by the threat that was made on my well-being, indeed my life that came from the bishop’s office May 1997, which were the Vatican’s directives ordering me to be sent away on a sabbatical for several months to be reeducated regarding sexual orientation, an intensive form of reparative therapy, also known as conversion therapy. It is a psychotherapy attempt to change a person’s homosexuality that is based on the debunked concept that homosexuality is a mental disorder in the 1970’s by both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association. Soon other national associations from both the medical and mental health professionals from their own independent research data followed suit. Since, then there is more than ample clinical documentation and research data that continued to assert through the 1980’s and 1990’s right up to 1997 that homosexual orientation is a natural part of human development and that any attempt to try to alter or change a person’s homosexuality was considered unethical because of the severe life threatening harm that was found could harm a person more.
The only type of mental problems that were found to be associated with homosexuals were those caused by the stress from being raised in hostile anti-gay social environments living under the constant possibility of encountering violent life threatening physical attacks, e.g. those created by the Vatican’s unsubstantiated anti-teachings, the unsubstantiated public remarks made about homosexuality by such clerics as Archbishop Tartaglia, along with Dolan, Nienstedt, Bertone, George and many many others including Benedict XVI.
The reason why I was to be subjected to the unethical practice of thos intense reparative therapy of being reeducated about the homosexual orientation that was ordered by the Vatican was because in March 1997, at the age of 47 years old I came out to my parishioners at Holy Family Parish, Sparta, Michigan to help stop the violence against gay people, most especially to children as young as 4 and 5 years old who grow up to be gay. The fact that I was a priest I felt not only morally obligated but that it was my duty as a priest to be willing to even sacrifice my life for the safety and well-being of children. As you know though you may have forgotten is true reason and meaning for being a priest. However, in truth I always hoped that that card would never fall into my lap, but fall it did and I believed that how a person responds in this kind of situation would define that person’s whole existence. There is no escape.
“In March 1997, after attending a National Symposium of the New Ways Ministry that was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I learned that children as young as 4 and 5 years of age know that they are different. This feeling "different" is only identified in their adult years as being gay. However, the harmful influence of antigay social and religious norms -- in particular, for Catholics, the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings -- are severe and last throughout a child’s lifetime.
The harmful effects are not isolated only to these children who grow up to be gay, but also affect their families, siblings, friends and anyone whom they might consider special in their lives. They are a prescribed societal sentence of implicit isolation, which place at risk of suicide so many innocent adolescents and young adults. They stifle an enormous amount of human potential in the world that otherwise could be put to use for finding cures for diseases, offering better ways of maintaining peace among people and improving the quality of life for everyone in the world.” (The above is taken from a letter that I wrote and sent July 2010 to the President of the United State, Vice President of the United States, United States Congress, United States Supreme Court Justices, United States Department of Justice, 50 United States Governors and to a great number of attorneys, journalists, news reporters, and organizations. I wrote this letter to bring to light that the idea of “Separation Between Church and State” does not give churches or Benedict XVI the freedom to abuse children or adults.)
The Vatican’s antigay teachings are unsubstantiated, because they are not based on truth either from the bible or science. This is same mistake the Vatican made concerning Galileo by condemning him as a heretic. In 1992, Pope John Paul II made a public apology to Galileo nearly 400 years later stating that Galileo was right and the Vatican was wrong.
My “coming out” to my parishioners March 1997 as reported in The Grand Rapids Press was successful. There was no exodus of parishioners from my parish and there was not any drop in our regular weekly or monthly building fund collections. In addition, as reported in the Grand Rapids Press the spokesperson for the United Stated Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that my “coming out” as a priest was unprecedented. This fact was quite sad indeed because there should have been hundreds of others before me. What was significantly unique about my “coming out” was the fact the I did it for the safety and well-being of very young children, 4 and 5 years of age who grow up to be gay.
It is most interesting to note that in August 1997, the United Stated Conference of Catholic Bishops came out with the very first positive document on homosexuality that focused on the importance of caring for children who are growing up gay called “Always Our Children.” However, in October 1997 Cardinal Ratzinger now Benedict XVI had sanctioned the co-founders of the New Ways Ministry. Moreover, in 1998, Cardinal Ratzinger/Benedict XVI had altered the United Stated Conference of Catholic Bishops document “Always Our Children” making it less positive.
It was also conveyed to me at that same time in the bishop’s office May 1997 that my life was in danger of being seriously harmed, but never did I think that that violence would becoming from the Vatican. This was conveyed to me knowing full well the serious harm of reparative therapy, when I asked if I paid for my own sabbatical to study psychology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan would I be granted permission to go. I was granted an educational leave of absence, however, this was only granted to me if I was willing to forfeit my regular monthly priest salary, including finding and paying for my own living arrangements. I was given this permission just 2 weeks before I was scheduled to leave. It seemed an unnecessary cruel delay that deliberately prevented me from making any timely arrangements, i.e. finding work to support me financially, finding a place to live, and to workout a course of study in order to be able to begin my sabbatical on time. Because of this I had experienced many unnecessary setbacks. Considering all the above and what I was told I did not feel it would be safe for me to stay in the diocese.
Although, it was not until October 2005 that I once again felt morally obligated and that it was my duty as a priest again to protect the well-being of children to give my response based factual data, when I was asked by a Grand Rapids Press news reporter for my comments on the newly elected pope April 2005, Benedict XVI, regarding his new rules regarding gay priests.
Impending rules on gay priests create Catholic divide
– The Grand Rapids Press, October 8, 2005
When the Rev. Martin Kurylowicz came out to his Sparta parish eight years ago, he said he had struggled for years with his homosexuality.
The Catholic priest says the struggle would be made harder for many others if the Vatican issues new rules that reportedly would ban gays from becoming priests…
…"I sizzled when I read it," said Kurylowicz, 55. "It's very hurtful, is what it is. In this day and age, there's no reason for it. It sends a message that there's something wrong with gays."
Kurylowicz said he spoke out then to raise awareness of violence against gays and teach others homosexuality is not a choice…Church leaders still don't understand that and contribute to gays' poor self-esteem, he said…
…"Kids as young as 4 or 5 know they're different," said Kurylowicz, a psychotherapist… "They grow up with this pervasive guilt, which sabotages their growth and motivation." The result is thousands of dollars in therapy to accept their natural orientation, he said, adding, "Does the Vatican want to take that on, like the tobacco industry had to take on for the damage it caused consumers? "…
The recent Vatileaks and the Vatican Bank scandals has brought into the light the harm and life threatening deceptive antics of the Vatican i.e. character assassinations, leaking forged documents from Vatican against Dino Boffo the Vatican ousted Catholic editor. The Vatican published a confidential psychological document concerning the mental health of the Vatican's recently ousted bank chief. It was reported that it appeared to be aimed at further discrediting and humiliating the Vatican bank's ex-president for fear of the publication of his “secret dossier” believed to contain irrefutable evidence regarding money laundering, tax-evasive and Vatican’s financial transactions between many surprising people i.e. politicians, the mafia, all hidden behind the Vatican’s lack of transparency.
The Vatican’s leaking psychological documentation to discredit and to destroy the reputation of the Vatican bank's ex-president turned informant has a déjà vu quality to it that remains me of May 2006 when you publically disclosed to the news media – The Grand Rapids Press - the confidential psychological documentation related to me in order to discredit and to further humiliate me. However, your deliberate public disclosure backfired for you because it was all the psychological documentation that is the evidence that reveals the severe life long harmful effects caused to a child who out of blind obedience, including the child’s parents and family believes as true the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings. This is a most severe form of child abuse because it is hidden, not overtly visible, an implicit form of child abuse – that appears safe, acceptable, even loving, which makes it even more severe, because of this disguise. Research has shown that it has life long harmful devastating effects even life threatening to children, globally. As more research becomes available and it becomes widely known by the public the Vatican will once again on an even greater scale then with the child sexual abuse cover-ups - held responsible for their criminal negligence towards children. Because there is more than ample research data at the present to warrant the Vatican’s immediate renouncement of all their unsubstantiated anti-gay teachings, which applies to all of their antigay teachings.
Ever since August 2003, people attending masses where I was the celebrant have told me that they noticed that someone they did not recognize was taking notes during my homilies, as if to be spying on me. I paid little attention to this at the time. However, since then there have been many attempts to discredit my reputation. They have been effective, causing for me the loss of many of my strong friendships, causing me severe harm financially and causing great stress that is now impacting my physical health. Your recent misaddressed important letters to me regarding my clerical state is once again one of many attempts to discredit me. The Vatileaks and Vatican Banks scandals have shown these are not the exceptions but more like the common practice of the culture inside of the Vatican. The Vatican’s diplomatic immunity has greatly enabled the Vatican to continue their culture of deceptive antics hidden in the lack of transparency and guarded secrecy, except now for the Vatican Bank. The Vatican is not answerable to any civil court and it is seems conceivable they could literally get away with any injustice short of murder. Therefore for my safety and the safety of children, I am left with no other option but to make public all your dealings with me. This letter is being sent, as like the with my letter above dated July 2010, to a great number of individuals in government, in the news media, attorneys, appropriate organizations, etc. though not exactly the same addressees, as above but to many new people, as well.
In addition, I am sending you several copies of this letter individually addressed to you, so that there will be no attempt to say that you haven’t received this letter from me.
I would appreciate a copy of your first letter to me dated June 29, 2012, which I did not receive, because you sent it to the wrong address. My correct mailing address: XXX
To quote a phase: “You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last have you left no sense of decency?”
Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
1997 “Coming Out” Focus on Science & Bible
PROTECTING - CHILDREN Growing up Gay - Lifetime harm caused by
Ignorant Antigay Social & Religious Norms
1997 – FOCUSING ON CHILDREN was a dramatic focus shift from public focus of homosexuality exclusively limited to adult sexual behavior
(a) Caused an Immediate Resonating almost calming effect with people
engaging deep interest eliciting serious pertinent questions
(b) – Nullifies Unsubstantiated Traditional Immorality of Homosexuality,
e.g. Vatican Antigay teachings,
(c) Major Threat to blindly accepted, unchallenged, ignorant – antigay social
& religious norms
(1) Research - Antigay religious norms – life threatening to children -
as young as 4 and 5 years of age
My name is Fr. Marty Kurylowicz, I came out March 1997 to my parishioners at Holy Family Parish, Sparta MI to draw public attention to help protect children, as young as 4 and 5 years of age who grow up to be gay – from the life long harmful effects and for many life threatening effects of being raised in antigay social environments made up of ignorant antigay social norms that are primarily influenced by unsubstantiated religious norms, e.g. the Vatican unsubstantiated antigay teaching, a major world religion. The Vatican antigay teachings are unsubstantiated, because they are not based on facts from either the bible or science.
(2) Scripture scholars - Bible does not condemn homosexuality
(3) Science research – homosexuality – natural human development
The bible does not condemn homosexuality anymore than the bible condemns Galileo. There are many passages in the bible that clearly state that the earth does not move, instead the sun moves. However, Galileo explained that it was the exact opposite, the sun does not move and the earth rotates round the sun. The Vatican condemned Galileo as heretic and placed Galileo under house arrest for 9 years. Nearly 400 years later, Pope John Paul II in 1992, stated that the Vatican was wrong and that Galileo was right. In 1997, from science through research and clinical studies of both the major medical and mental health associations it is overwhelmingly accepted that homosexual orientation is a natural part of human development.
(4) Facts - Science & Bible - Nullify all the Vatican antigay teachings
These facts alone nullify all the Vatican antigay teachings because like Galileo they are not based on credible facts from a variety of many different disciplines of study and research. Therefore it is imperative the Vatican immediately renounces all their antigay teachings because they are unsubstantiated and cause severe harm to very young children growing up gay around the world. The Vatican and in particular Benedict XVI will not face the truth about homosexual orientation and has relentlessly and obsessively after being elected pope - publically spoke against homosexuality - simply and arbitrarily discrediting any and all credible scientific facts regarding the truth about homosexuality. This behavior of Benedict XVI - begs the question, why? This is even more puzzling that being a great intellectual academic scholar and author of many books, he has not been able to give any details or credible documentation to explain his reasoning about homosexuality. Publically, this is a glaring discrepancy because at his intellectual level he expounds on numerous subjects, but with the frequency that he touches on more than any other that is the defining subject of his papacy, homosexuality he has the least to say about.
This was not the case with Pope John Paul II. As pope John Paul said little to nothing on the subject homosexuality because there was ample research data continuously forthcoming from science and scripture scholars suggesting a new understanding regarding homosexuality, sexual orientation, human psychological development, etc. John Paul II, as we know, believed the truth would be found with faith and science working together to come up with answers. It is noted that John Paul frequently met with the scientists at the Vatican, at least once a week to discuss issues of the day. The committee at the Vatican on the topic of homosexuality was made up of theologians and scientists, as was the case for many committees at the Vatican, at the insistence of John Paul. This was not the case when Benedict XVI became pope, almost immediately all the scientists were dismissed from all the committees in the Vatican and only theologians remained. Sources within the Vatican at the time were shocked and noticeably worried about the future credibility their work because the balance for the search for truth was thrown off giving a very one-sided view on issues, which is not objective truth - truth was lost. This is clearly seen in Benedict XVI’s and the hierarchy’s public statements on homosexuality. This appears to be the same mistake that the Vatican made when the pope then condemned Galileo. And as we know John Paul II apologized to Galileo stating the he was right and that the Vatican and the pope were wrong.
(5) Children 4 and 5 years of age – know “different” - Well Before
“Age of Reason”
Nullify Immorality of Homosexuality
When I came out in March 1997 the focus was on the fact that very young children, as young as 4 and 5 years of age knew in some fundamental way that they were “different” not gay, only later in life would they identify this being different as being gay. This point alone was highly significant because it threw the Vatican focus of homosexuality off of being entirely focused on adult homosexuals and moved it onto children in early childhood psychological developmental years. This switch in the focus immediately, almost in lightening speed, resolves major key issues regarding the morality of homosexuality, because this places our understanding of homosexuality, sexual orientation out of the adult world and places almost at the beginning of life - into the very early years of human development - well before the “age of reason” therefore; (1) homosexuality cannot be considered a conscious and willful choice to commit a terrible intrinsically disordered and evil act, (2) if not a choice, no sin is involved, (3) there is no adult sexual acts of any kind involved at this very young age in a child’s life, (4) sexual orientation at this stage is about the natural development of human attachment essential for survival and growth of a human being, and (5) human attachments are about “loving another and being loved by another” there is nothing intrinsically disordered or evil about love. These facts alone nullify, renounce all the Vatican antigay teachings as unsubstantiated and instead they are labeled as being severely harmful to the lives of children in their early childhood years, something on the order of the ancient practice of “foot binding.” These are research facts over years of study that were available in 1997 and have continued to develop through the years.
This is why my “coming out” 1997 was not a big issue about me personally. Because my reason and focus for “coming out” was on the vital importance of explaining the research data about sexual orientation existing in early childhood, in order to stop the severe harm caused to the children growing up gay by the ignorance of antigay statements that create hostile and violent antigay social environments that threaten a child’s very existence. After I came out the focus was off me and almost immediately forgotten, as I remembered back then to Holy Family Parish, Sparta, MI, when I began to explain to my parishioners these research facts. It did not take much, if any, convincing people because almost immediately they began to identify these facts in what seemed to be a flooding of specific past episodes and memories from their own personal individual lives, about kids they knew and grew up with, about themselves, their children, etc., etc. It was like it brought into focus much confusion in their past lives that seemed at first unsettling, but left them with a better sense of calm and a new more secure understanding about themselves that made sense that answered many old forever nagging unanswered questions – and left them with much less anger. And the fact that I came out was almost forgotten, their questions were not about me but about many various aspects of sexual orientation and early childhood psychological development.
I held for the next 7 to 8 following weeks, 3 classes a week on the topic of sexual orientation, each class running for 2 hours. The classes were open to all parishioners though registering before attendance was required (simply by calling the parish office) in order to limit the classes to only 20 people in each class for the sake of confidentially and we run as many classes along as people wanted to attend. Every class was filled and the classes lasted nearly 8 weeks.
After I came out the parish did not fall apart. There was no great exodus. The weekly and building fund collections did not drop. Maybe we seemed closer more united on a deeper level. I was schedule to be transferred before I came out in March 1997, my 12-year term, as pastor, at Holy Family Parish ended at the end of June of 1997. I must say it was much harder than I realized leaving that parish, so much so that even the thought of going back for a visit seemed unbearable - the joy of seeing everyone again would be great – but leaving them all again seemed unbearable. I think that something wonderful happened there maybe in a very small but significant way we helped to change the world for the better, especially for children. That’s a good thing!
The Major Problem “Coming Out” 1997 not Parishioners –
Was The Vatican
The major problem I faced in 1997 was not from the parishioners – it was from of all places the Vatican. It was 4 years prior to my “coming out” I had been enrolled at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI taking one class a semester, including the spring/summer semester, in psychology. I did this all while I was still being a pastor at Holy Family Parish in Sparta, MI commuting twice a week to Ann Arbor. I had to give-up all my free time and watching TV to study at the U of M. And believe me TV cannot compare to the excitement of learning, at the U of M. It was at the University of Michigan that I studied the research data about sexual orientation, psychological human development, etc., as well as, at attending the yearly American Psychological Association conventions and attending regular meetings at PFLAG, Affirmations, Ferndale, MI and workshops/lectures sponsored by the U of M LGBT Office. My point is that I truly professionally studied the issues of sexual orientation thoroughly and was very well versed on much of the latest research data. Now after “coming out” to my parishioners and teaching 8 weeks of classes on sexual orientation - it was reported as being quite successful handling and educating people on the issue of sexual orientation.
I met with my bishop (which was not the present bishop Hurley) in May 1997 to hear the directives that were coming from the Vatican. I was, at first, quite shock, later I was even to the point of being somewhat frightened after hearing that I was to be sent away for several months (the location not having been disclosed) to be reeducated about sexual orientation and homosexuality. This was equivalent to reparative therapy, which is based on the concept that was debunked in the 1970’s by both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association that homosexuality was a mental disorder. Reparative therapy’s main objective is to attempt through intensive psychotherapy to change a person’s homosexuality. It was and is considered unethical because it has never been proven effective, instead it posed more serious, even dangerous threats to the psychological well-being of the person, even placing for some at even greater risk of attempting suicide. It has been noted that the mental disorders associated with homosexuals are primary those due to the stress of not being accepted, of being ridiculed and being under constant vigilance of being attacked verbally or physically and at times violently. It has been amply and duly noted that homosexuals who grow up in safe accepting social environments, experience no more mental disorders than their heterosexual counterparts.
Reeducated on Homosexuality - Reparative therapy
Reparative therapy by 1997 still had no evidence scientifically that proved it worked, in fact it was found to be harmful and it was being considered unethical and unsafe. The fact that the Vatican was unaware or dismissive of ample research data regarding homosexuality was deplorable, because the Catholic Faith is all about truth. Since, 1973, the term “homosexuality” was removed from the list mental and emotional disorders by American Psychiatric Association stating that sexual orientation is not a disorder; therefore, it does not need to be cured. The American Psychological Association stated. In 1990 that scientific evidence shows that reparative therapy does not work and that it can do more harm than good. “In 1991, Gerald Davison, a former president of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, argued that conversion therapy (is the same as reparative therapy) is ethically improper and that its existence only confirms professional and societal biases against homosexuality.” In 1993, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated, "The psychosocial problems of gay and lesbian adolescents are primarily the result of societal stigma, hostility, hatred and isolation." In 1996, the National Association of Social Workers adopted a policy statement on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual issues. “…Sexual orientation conversion therapies assume that homosexual orientation is both pathological and freely chosen. No data demonstrate that reparative or conversion therapies are effective, and in fact they may be harmful.”
Therefore, Vatican’s directive was such a drastic contrast drop from the height of the intellectual level I was operating out of that (explained above) this news from the Vatican was startling – it was an unimaginable gigantic leap back in time passing even beyond the dark ages intellectually. While in my bishop’s office I did not say much at the time, I only wished that some of my colleagues from the APA, the U of M and news media could have heard this directive coming from the Vatican. I honestly could not even imagine what a sabbatical for several months on reeducating someone on homosexuality and sexual orientation would be like. It seemed like unnecessarily cruel and unusual treatment of all places by the Vatican.
My two earned sabbaticals including the funding were all canceled, which I was hoping to use up before accepting a new parish assignment. My possible future assignments in the Diocese of Grand Rapids that were offered to me before I came out were all eliminated. In a matter of one meeting, months after I came out and the news media hype had died down, my whole status in the Grand Rapids Diocese was gone. I no longer felt safe in the Grand Rapids Diocese, only the anxious pressure about what would happen next. At 47 years old, for me it seemed to be the beginning of the end.
Needlessly Already Spending a LIFETIME and Enormous Expense in Ineffective Reparative Therapy
Vatican directives were to send me back
No Civil Laws to Protect Gay Priests – From - Vatican Hostile & Inhuman Treatment
The thought of my being sent away to be reeducated about homosexuality and sexual orientation was disturbing to me on two counts: (1) it was then as it is now considered by the vast majority of professionals from both the medical and mental health fields as ineffective and dangerous to the individual well-being and (2) it seemed a most unnecessary and extremely cruel even inhumane ordeal for a place like the Vatican to be ordering a priest or anyone to submit to. It was for me even more unsetting, because I had already spent well over some 20 years trying through psychotherapy to reeducate myself on my being a homosexual – in attempts to be heterosexual. I learned only too well, at the age of 47, from the grueling experience of those past some 20 years in my deep earnest commitment faithfully believing what I had been told that reeducation/reparative therapy would work but it most assuredly does not. It had only compounded my depression in addition knowing I wasted those some 20 years for absolutely nothing. Even more unsetting was the fact when I learned that this was not my own personal bias, but that major medical and mental health associations agreed.
It was after further study and then learning the research facts that sexual orientation begins in early childhood, which struck me like bolt of lightening that March 1997 at the New Ways Ministry National Symposium listening to Dr. Richard Isay’s (just recently deceased) opening address explaining that children as young as 4 and 5 years of age know that they are different and that it is only as adults do they realize that being different was in fact being gay – that it all became the relentless motivating force that led to the moral obligation, as a Catholic priest to “come out” for the protection and well-being all children growing up gay. In good conscience I could not remain silent – I knew too much from my own personal experience to allow children suffer what I went through.
Character Assassination – Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Being Punished and Humiliated For Being Faithfully Following
Vatican’s Unsubstantiated Antigay teachings
In a breach of confidentially the present bishop of Grand Rapids Walter Hurley (who had been working closely with then Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI discriminating against gays as far back as 1987) disclosed to a news reporter from the Grand Rapids Press, May 2006, in an attempt that seemed to further discredit my reputation, the huge sum of money spent on my psychotherapy. However, this breach of confidentiality of Bishop Hurley backfired on him, because this huge sum would have been completely non-existence, as the documentation will prove, if I never had been raised in a Catholic antigay social environment that stressed the Vatican antigay teachings that are unsubstantiated. Also, this huge sum of money would have been greatly reduced, to far less than even 10% if I sought psychotherapy treatment outside of Catholic mental health agencies. The Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings have been proven to continuously perpetuate psychological harm. It took me an enormously long time to find this out – nearly enduring 4 decades of psychological harm because I blindly obeyed and believed them to be true and I can say emphatically that they are not true, but instead they are extremely harmful and even life threatening. I can say this after working endlessly acquiring a well-informed conscience based years of prayer, the needless years spent in psychotherapy and when I decided to no longer to follow blindly but on a postgraduate level of university academic studies to search for the truth, I found that the Vatican’s antigay teachings are unsubstantiated – instead they are life threatening.
Bishop Hurley Disclosure of Gay Priest Reparative Therapy
CHARACTER ASSASSINATION – Vatican’ MO
Vatican Published Psychological Documentation of Ex-Bank President
It is interesting to note that Hurley’s confidentially disclosure of my psychological expenses appears to be the regular modus operandi of the Vatican. Because it is quite similar to the recent Vatican Bank scandal – where the Vatican published the psychological documentation of their ex bank president, which it is believed was meant to further discredit him because of threatening inside information he is believed to have would expose even more serious corruption in the Vatican.
Vatican’s - Vindictive Hostile Retaliation
In my letter above I explained I did not go away to be reeducated about my homosexuality and sexual orientation. I asked permission to study psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI – if I paid for it on my own, however, to do so I was told that I had to give up my regular priestly salary and find my own living arrangements including paying for it myself. But it must be explained that a priest salary is considerably lower because room and board is included. This presented an additional hardship for me. However, I thought given such a life threatening order by the Vatican - to be sent away to be reeducated on homosexuality and sexual orientation was so extreme – Needless to say, I was worried if I stayed – what other inhumane atrocities would I be subjected to. I guess you could say I was fleeing for my life. To get me to leave the priesthood was likely what the Vatican was attempting to force me to do. Again, the whole reason why I came out was because “I was a priest.” It is a priest’s duty to be willing to lay down his life for others, at least that is the theology of priesthood. True I had always hope the living up to that duty would not directly fall into my lap – but it did. I gave up everything I had to be a faithful priest – I realize that this does not mean much to many people – they can barely understand the concept, except for parents. And now Benedict XVI and Bishop Hurley simply want me to give up my clerical state, so much so that Hurley sent these important letters to me for my response but he sent them to the wrong addresses that are not my mailing addresses, even though I receive all other diocesan mail at my correct address. If wasn’t the recent Vatileaks and Vatican Bank scandals and Benedict XVI’s 30 years of child sexual cover-ups – people would be willing to give Hurley the benefit of the doubt – but in indeed we now know that this kind of deception is this rule of the Vatican and not the exception. I have absolutely no recourse – the only recourse I have if I still have it - is to make this all public and kill the secrecy of the Vatican – in hopes that people’s awareness will in some way reform the Vatican – make the protection of children the highest priority.
Excerpts below taken from:
GAY MARRIAGE – UNIDENTIFIED - Internalized Homophobia - Benedict XVI, Hierarchy & Blind Followers - GAY-BASHERS UK & US | UK Blair & Cameron Legalization of Gay Marriage | Kids Are Being Hurt!!! | PART 8
GAY MARRIAGE – HOMOSEXUALITY For Catholics or Anyone? "WHY IT IS A 'GIFT' FROM GOD!!!" And when we accept and value this gift from God – we are able to experience love like never before, and we are able to love | PART 7
Fr. Marty Kurylowicz Photo
COMING OUT and NEW BEGINNINGS
May 21, 2009 – updated 3/12/12
The very first person I was able to “come out” to was a Trappist Abbot, who I visited yearly, some 3000 miles away from where I lived. I came out to him just before I was to enter the monastery. The Abbot was shocked that I thought being "gay" was something bad, “Who said you were Bad!” He said, "Why it is a 'gift' from God!!!" Then I was in shock. It was not the response I had expected. I was completely confused. Disappointed at first, however, "life" began there for me but ever so faintly but it was definite I was "different." The Abbot told me ever so kindly and reassuringly that I must, first, go back out into the world and come to appreciate all the blessings that come with being "gay."
At that time, I could not even imagine being "gay" in any positive light. But I trusted the Abbot's wisdom, his sincerity, his genuine empathy for another human being and his care for me. It was not until several years later and my fifth therapist that I began to normalize to the truth about myself that I was indeed “gay.” It was at Affirmations, Ferndale, MI that I really noticed my life beginning. There were several more years of acclimating that I had to go through before I realized that I was at peace with myself and the anger I wore like a coat had greatly dissipated. All that energy trapped in suppressing the fact I was “gay” for years and years was turned loose. I went back to school now in by mid 40's. I was simultaneously enrolled taking classes at both Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI at the same time, all while being a full time pastor in Grand Rapids, MI (Holy Family Parish, Sparta, MI) and teaching High School and 3rd grade religion classes. Without all that anger eating me up inside I came "alive" for the first time in my life! I felt like that song "But Alive" from the Broadway musical “Applause Applause.”
A L I V E
Initially this led to a host of new problems being out with my priest-friends. Instead of bursts of anger, now in my mid 40's and sober I'd have these uncontrollable bursts of energy to breakout into dancing and swinging from street lamp posts all up and down Yonge St. in Toronto, singing "I'm alive!!! I'm alive!!! --- Surprisingly, I even had some spontaneous crowd participation shouting back "And we're glad you are!" Even that I could hear for the very first time in my life and believe they meant it, because I was acting so obnoxiously ridiculous in public. Without all that anger blocking my hearing… Photo
I could actually hear love,
for the first in my life and
appreciate the feeling of affection, and
not feel the immediate need to run away.
S A I N T S
All the while I was feeling so much better I constantly felt so indebted to the people who came out before me, for their parents and friends who supported them, because they all paved the way for people like me to come out in much safer and better environments then they did. Their gift to us was to experience what it truly feels like to be alive and to be able to love and be loved without fear and without guilt. They were for me the real saints; I was so astonished and admired their courage and love for humanity. It was all quite unbelievable that the world was filled with such wonderful people, risking their lives for people, people they do not even know. Now, this was quite a significant realization to have, being a priest. Maybe I was thinking that they were truly the real priesthood making the world a better place for everyone, simply because they were willing to be honest about themselves, and that truth meant everything and was valued. And this is evil?!? I don’t think so! They were more like Christ out for everyone. Now that is what it means to be gay! No anger!!!!!!! And everyone is important!!!!!!!!! Just a slice of heaven!!!!!!!!!
For Those Who Are Against Marriage Equality
Methinks They Doth Protest Too Much
I think that this is true of everyone more than most people know. So, when I run into people who are so angry about Marriage Equality I have an immediate flashback to the time that I had all that anger. I then have to ask where is all their anger coming from. “Me thinks They Doth Protest Too Much.” And who is doing the most protesting? It sure does help to see clearly when you remove the plank in your own eye, first. It does not make any sense for some people, clergy, hierarchy and pontiffs to be so so angry about Marriage Equality, because nobody is interested in marrying them. It almost has the makings of a real classic musical comedy Broadway Show if it wasn't my life and so tragic the abuse they are causing to innocent children around the world, youth suicides and killings of adults. In the end it is just about "being mean" for the sake of "being mean", being as cruel as anyone can be to another human being. I guarantee they will find absolutely no peace of mind. Because they have never known it in their lives, otherwise they could not be so inhuman to fellow human beings, especially to children worldwide. Their lives will remain filled with only anger and depression and with not even a hint of love. This is likely because no one considered their feelings when they were children growing up and being part of the 90% of those who have some degree of homosexual orientation mixed with their heterosexual orientation. Maybe this is why Jesus said to his real and true followers the rule about the plank and speck.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's [sister's] eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother [sister], 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's [sister's] eye." Matt 7:3-5
We are more alike than we are different from one another. The way to check this out is by checking out who is angry about Marriage Equality. If they are absolutely 100% heterosexual what and how would they know anything about homosexuality? Where are they getting their information? Many questions to be answered if their anger will allow them to.
I found that the true heterosexuals are clueless about homosexuals expressions of love and they have absolutely no anger towards homosexuals, especially people they never met and do not know. They tend to be genuinely interested about what life is like for them, but no anger. They tend to connect on the issues about what it is like to fall in love with someone.
My only concern is to stop the abuse to innocent children who are defenseless and powerless to protect themselves. I would hope this was first and foremost everyone's concern. First, intelligently and thoroughly make sure, as God wants us to, if kids are safe, before speaking harmful words. Photo
The Bible and Being
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender
I learned from my studies in psychology and my personal therapy that sexual orientation is a natural development of being human and therefore cannot be considered a sin against God. This is where my guilt began, as far back as when I was a child. From further studies of those like from Daniel Helminiak, STL, PhD, PhD, LPC regarding "Does the bible condemn homosexuality?" I learned that it does not. I was experiencing a different kind of strong feeling that of needing to be protective of children when I realized through studies, therapy and my "coming out" that children as young as 4 and 5 years of age know that they are different not gay but that they do not fit in. This "different" and "not fitting in" are the effects of antigay influences experienced as a child. These same children grow up to be gay.
Realizing how long it took me to "come out" in my 40's I could not even think of putting even one child through what I went through. All that wasted time, years, opportunities for life and love lost! I came out publicly, in 1997, to draw attention to this kind of harm caused to children who grow up to be gay raised in social environments influenced by antigay social and religious norms. They are our tomorrows!!! They are loved and watched by God. NO ONE EVER SHOULD HARM A CHILD!
Social Influence: Norms & Conformity
Sexual orientation is not the only continuum that makes up the complexity of human sexuality, there are others. However, allowing the powerful effects of social norms that are ignorant about human sexuality to continue out of fear only perpetuates the harm to generation after generation. The powerful strength of social norms to influence a person or a whole group of people should not be underestimated, as demonstrated by this video clip from Allen Funt's "Candid Camera."
Social norms can be so powerful that they can get entire groups of people to agree to go against truth and logic. This video clip is quite humorous. But it is not humorous the kind of serious harm caused to very young children and the life threatening situations even death to many others that is promulgated and perpetuated through the ignorance and fear of social norms not based on truth and facts regarding complexity of human sexuality. Read more
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil
By Philip Zimbardo - Stanford University
“Rather than providing a religious analysis, however, I offer a psychological account of how ordinary people sometimes turn evil and commit unspeakable acts.”
The Power of Norms and Groups on Individuals:
Candid Camera "Face The Rear"
Whenever I enter an office-building elevator, I automatically turn and face front, do not make eye contact with other passengers, stop talking or speak only in hush tones to a companion. Are these my personal preferences or idiosyncrasies? Hardly, since most people in most elevators behave similarly. Those actions tell you little about me but a lot about the unspoken rules of public elevators. Why do we do it? Unlike signs forbidding us to smoke or advising us what to do in case of a fire, nothing in any elevator says we should act in these strange ways. Our behavior is under the control of unwritten social rules, implicit norms, which govern appropriate elevator demeanor.
We can test if such situational rules are in silent force by violating them and seeing what our own and others' reactions will be. The reactions will be either of distress or laughter at the apparent violation of these unwritten expectations. One of the most popular scenarios in the long history of Alan Funt's ingenious Candid Camera programs is "Face The Rear." An elevator is rigged so that after an unsuspecting person enters, four Candid Camera staff enter, and one by one they all face the rear. The doors close and then reopen; now revealing that the passenger had conformed and is now also facing the rear. Doors close and reopen, and everyone is facing sideways, and then face the other way. We laugh that these people are manipulated like puppets on invisible strings, but this scenario makes us aware of the number of situations in which we mindlessly follow the dictates of group norms and situational forces…
Read more: By Philip Zimbardo - Stanford University
Parallels Between the Stanford Prison Experiment and Milgram’s Obedience Research
Power of Social Norms
M U S T * P R O T E C T * C H I L D R E N
When I realized that the guilt that I had nearly all my life never had to be there or all that therapy, time and money spent. I experienced an unsettling feeling of frustration of injustice and truth that something positive has to be done to keep children safe. The criminal lack of responsibility to protect children by the Vatican and the hierarchy woke up in me this strong moral obligation that children must be protected.
The Vatican and the hierarchy believe they are (a) justified that they are not obligated to compensate people for the lifetime of harm that they have caused beginning as far back as children. In addition, (b) they are not stopping this kind of harm caused to children.
(1) How are the Vatican and the hierarchy any different than the tobacco companies who were made to be responsible to pay for the harm they caused their consumers?
(2) How can the Vatican and the hierarchy be allowed to continue to emphatically instructed people that they must believe the Vatican's antigay teachings in order to save their souls, which has been proven to cause life threatening harmful effects (see, Family Acceptance Project, “Pray Away the Gay”, "Suicide Prevention Among LGBT Youth").
(3) How can the Vatican and the hierarchy not be held accountable for the harm they caused and are still causing, especially when it involves the lives of innocent children, who have no voice and are powerless to protect themselves? Catholics love their faith and remain faithful, but children must be protected against the life threatening effects caused by antigay teachings and therefore cannot remain silent.
(4) How can antigay teachings that cause this kind of child abuse, impacting youth suicide rates, and contributing to the torture and killings of LGBT people be allowed to continue, in the name of religion?
(5) Tony Blair has been the only World Leader who has spoke out, April 2009 to end this violent harm caused by the Vatican and the hierarchy's antigay teachings. Mr. Blair speaks out again after Benedict XVI attacks gay people.
Pope denounces gay marriage lobby to US bishops, 3/9/12
Blair takes on the Pope by backing gay marriage, Mar.11, 2012
Tony Blair has defied the Pope by making clear he "strongly supports" plans for gay marriage, The Independent on Sunday has learnt. The former prime minister, a Catholic since 2007, backs proposals by David Cameron for a new law allowing homosexuals to marry.
A consultation on gay marriage to be launched later this month has met fierce opposition from senior figures in the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England.
On Friday, Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics to block the "powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage".
(6) Since 2009 there has been a number of people in government in the USA and the UK – it is most encouraging – knowing that their courage is helping to protect children around the world. But still many more voices are needed to join them to protect our kids.
J.K. Rowling in her Commencement Address, June 5, 2008, at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association spoke about her work at Amnesty International in London and how she witnessed the horror of the inhumanity that innocent people suffer in the world. She spoke of the positive effect of "The power of human empathy, leading to collective action, saves lives, and frees prisoners." But she also spoke about the real horror,
What is more, those who choose not to empathise enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy. J.K. Rowling Photo
Recently, from the United Kingdom the Royal College of Psychiatrists announced that they share “the concern of both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association that positions espoused by bodies like the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) in the United States are not supported by science. There is no sound scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Furthermore so-called treatments of homosexuality as recommended by NARTH create a setting in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists holds the view that lesbian, gay and bisexual people should be regarded as valued members of society who have exactly similar rights and responsibilities as all other citizens. This includes equal access to health care, the rights and responsibilities involved in a civil partnership, the rights and responsibilities involved in procreating and bringing up children, freedom to practice a religion as a lay person or religious leader, freedom from harassment or discrimination in any sphere and a right to protection from therapies that are potentially damaging, particularly those that purport to change sexual orientation.
In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association concluded there was no scientific evidence that homosexuality was a disorder and removed it from its diagnostic glossary of mental disorders.” The International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organisation followed suit in 1992. Read more
Love The Church
C A N N O T * R E M A I N * S I L E N T
C h i l d * A b u s e
I am not against the Catholic Church or the Vatican, it is because of my strong faith that I am for keeping innocent children safe from all life threatening harm and not remain silent. How can anyone remain silent when the innocent lives of children, who have no voice and are powerless to protect themselves are threatened? The Vatican and the hierarchy have already proven their lack of responsibility of protect children from decades of ongoing child sexual abuse, how can we allow this form of child abuse caused by their antigay teachings to continue? When it comes to Judgment Day, we will all be held accountable of how well we protected the lives of innocent people and most particularly defenseless children. Will we be excused for our sin of omission by saying we were only following orders? How well are we following Christ's one command that he gave us all?
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men [women] will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13: 34-35
But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?” The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers [sisters] of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
Then He will also say to those on Hi s left, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.” “Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' "Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Matt: 25, 31-46
How To Protect Children?
Every Voice Helping
Changes have to be made to protect children this is first and foremost in the mind of God, as we learn from the Gospels. Fortunate Families have already suggested practical ways to address protecting children in a very Christ like manner. Every voice makes a difference in making this a safe world for children! Fortunate Families set as their goal dialogue, not confrontation. They hope to motivate people “to encourage and challenge their bishop(s) to dialogue with Catholic LGBT persons, with their Catholic parents and other family members, and with Catholic pastoral ministers who minister with both of these groups.”
Fortunate Families are concerned parents of LGBT children and they work endlessly to foster changes that will make the world a safer place not only for their children but for all LGBT people. They are dedicated to working within the Catholic Church to help foster change at the very foundation of Catholic teaching. They are continuing the work that began in 1997 when the USA Bishops released their document “Always Our Children.” It was the first document from the Catholic Church that was moving in a positive direction concerning LGBT people and they are holding the bishops accountable to their words.
Research supports that dialogue with people, such as LGBT people, parents, families and ministers helps to stop the depersonalization that takes place, which allows for inhuman treatment of innocent people to flourish uncheck. It is far more difficult to mistreat people you have met and have taken the time to know, than people you have never met. Fortunate Families have not taken on an easy goal but one that has been proven to produce long lasting effective changes. As parents of LGBT children you can well understand their fearless efforts to protect their children not just for today but far into the future.
Catholic groups are understandably mistrusted considering the antigay atmosphere that is so often found in the news regarding the Catholic Church. However, as national statistics have shown that not all Catholics in "good conscience" can be supportive of the antigay teachings and work continuously for reform. Fortunate Families is such a group. I would suggest a visit to their website and learn more. Fortunate Families are able to help educate people about LGBT issues in the Catholic Church, which is the most effective way to change attitudes. Considering that the most opposition to Marriage Equality comes from Christians who have never known LGBT people, Fortunate Families are in the front lines initiating change in favor of all LGBT people. Read more
Fr. Marty Kurylowicz, M.Div., M.S.
Property of MS Kurylowicz, May 2009
WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2009
Listening Parents Network -- Fortunate Families
What Can Catholics do Today to – Help Protect all Children?
“If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” Mt 6:23 | Benedict XVI – “Light of the World” | Hitler – “Mein Kampf” | NARCISSISTIC BULLY | WORLD REMAINS SILENT - 12/4/10
Catholics Coming Out - Fr. Marty Kurylowicz & Ricky Martin - March 29, 1997, 2010 - Leading Support Gay Marriage - NY Gov Cuomo & Vatican Attacks – March 29, 2011
Ricky Martin says he's 'a fortunate homosexual man'
By Alan Duke
CNN.com, March 29, 2010
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Pop singer Ricky Martin declared publicly this week what he avoided discussing for years: He is gay.
"I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man," Martin wrote on his official Web site. "I am very blessed to be who I am."
…Now, Martin wrote, "these years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed."
The 39-year-old Puerto Rican native started off with the Latin boy band Menudo before launching his solo career in 1991.
His song "Livin' La Vida Loca" rose to the top of the music charts in 1999 and propelled Martin to stardom.
Martin said he decided years ago to not share "my entire truth" with the world because people he loved warned him that "everything you've built will collapse."
"Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage," he wrote. "Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions." …
Read complete article – CNN.com
Know thyself – Plato
This above all:
to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and
pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,'
when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then
you will see clearly to remove
the speck from your brother's eye. - Luke 6:40-42
My love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
Oh yeah yeah
The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clover
The night I looked at you
I found a dream, that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to press my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known
Oh yeah yeah
You smiled, you smiled
Oh and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
for you are mine...
At Last --- by ETTA JAMES
All tyranny needs
gain a foothold
What Can Catholics do Today to – Help Protect all Children?
Read more in PART 6
GAY MARRIAGE – Catholic Truth ≠ Benedict XVI & hierarchy’s SPIN - Unsubstantiated Antigay Teachings & Disregard for Children – Silent Catholics COLLUDING w/B16 – Continually Hurting Kids!!! | One – Letter & Many – Copies | Anne Rice | PART 6
Injustice anywhere is a
Martin Luther King
The Nobel Peace Prize 1964
Martin Luther King Jr.
What you cannot do is accept injustice.
From Hitler – or anyone.
You must make the injustice visible
– be prepared to die like a
soldier to do so.
Kids Are Being Hurt!!!
“Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit.”
…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6
Important note: No disrespect meant to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children.
Kids Are Being Hurt!!!
3 PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTS ABOUT GROWING UP GAY
A partial list:
1. Sexual orientation is set either just before birth or very soon afterwards
Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality - American Psychological Association
The Science of Sexual Orientation - Researchers Focus on Twins (Video)
Attempts to Change Sexual Orientation
Sexual Conversion Therapies - by Jack Drescher, M.D.
Sexual Conversion Therapy - Ethical, Clinical and Research Perspectives (2002) -
edited by Ariel Shidlo, PhD, Michael Schroeder, PsyD, and Jack Drescher, MD
Sexual Orientation & ‘Reparative Therapy’
by Jack Drescher, MD – video
Bibliography for Facts about Sexual Orientation
Major - Medical and Mental Heath Associations
Policies & Position Statements - Regarding Sexual Orientation
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychiatric Association, AGLP
APSAA, American Psychoanalytic Association
American Psychological Association
American Counseling Association
American Medical Association
American Academy of Pediatrics
Gay & Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA)
Gender Identity Research and Education Society - UK
National Association of School Psychologists
National Association of Social Workers
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States
2. Early psychological development – in a social environment that is anti-gay – causes significant harm to the child’s ability to be in relationships, with others, a job, etc.
Sexual orientation is less about sex and more about love, being one with another human being. Attachment Theory - - LOVE & RELIGION
Mary Ainsworth: Attachment and the Growth of Love – video
ATTACHMENT THEORY - our first relationship with our carers acts as a LIFELONG TEMPLATE, moulding and shaping our capacity to enter into, and maintain, successful subsequent relationships with family, friends and partners...
Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Gay Man
Jack Drescher, M.D. in his book Psychoanalytic Therapy & The Gay Man
describes the complexities related to growing up gay; from his research of developmental narratives of gay adults retrospectively recalling their feelings being gay began in early childhood. These gay feelings had remained constant, and were resistant to being altered. Dr. Drescher explains the contrast of how social norms impact the psychology of the early childhood developmental years of a heterosexual boy and a homosexual boy.
Being Homosexual: Gay Men and Their Development – by Richard A. Isay M.D.
Argues that homosexuality is biologically innate, suggests a natural developmental path for homosexuals, and discusses the problems faced in long-term gay relationships
The overstimulation of everyday life: I. New aspects of male homosexuality
Sidney H. Phillips
Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis, USA
J Am Psychoanal Assoc 49:1235-67. 2001
Western heterosexual culture surrounds the homosexually inclined boy in a climate of erotic overstimulation that powerfully affects his development and adult sexual adaptation. This assertion is illustrated through a case presentation of a homosexual man who shared a bed with his brother from childhood into adolescence. Analysis of the patient's transference enactment—repeatedly falling asleep on the couch—gradually revealed the psychic impact of this everyday overstimulation: the creation of a tantalized inner world of longing. The regular occurrence and developmental understanding of adolescent homosexual boys' unrequited love affairs with adolescent heterosexual boys are described and explored. Finally, the overstimulation of everyday life is proposed as a new model for understanding certain behavioral aspects of male homosexuality, such as the avoidance of rough-and-tumble play in childhood and homosexual cruising.
Homosexuality: coming out of the confusion
Sidney H Phillips
Int J Psychoanal 84:1431-50. 2003
In this paper, Dr. Phillips describes the complications of how the historical context of social norms can significantly influence the classification of the components of homosexuality by clinicians causing them to be blind to their own biases. Mindful of our susceptibility to this kind of phenomenon, Dr. Phillips calls to task these biases that pathologize homosexuality simply because it is not consistent with heterosexuality and therefore to be classified as a mental disorder. He offers an alternative description of homosexuality from his clinical research that is consistent with other researchers of early childhood psychological development of children who grow up to be gay.
The Psychology of the Closeted Individual and Coming Out – Jack Drescher, MD
Many LGB individuals report developmental histories with difficulty acknowledging their homosexuality, either to themselves or to others. This is because, starting in childhood, LGB individuals are often subjected to antihomosexual attitudes, not only from strangers, but also from their own families and communities (Drescher, Stein and Byne, 2005). The childhood need to hide may persist into adulthood, leading many LGB individuals to conceal important aspects of themselves…Read more
Gay Conversion | Religious Conversion - Transforms the Damned into the Saved | COVERING - Kenji Yoshino – 2002 - The Yale Law Journal
Resource Links -- Conversion Therapy
Policy Statements of Professional Organizations
Rockway Institute - Alliant International University
3. Gay teen suicide – Family Acceptance Project - shows relationship between a lack of family acceptance of a gay child and the rate of substance abuse, suicide and others problems
Groundbreaking Study Finds Family Acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Adolescents Protects Against Depression, Substance Abuse and Suicidal Behavior in Early Adulthood – by Caitlin Ryan, PhD, December 6, 2010 - FAMILY ACCEPTANCE PROJECT.
Dr. Caitlin Ryan: Reducing Risk and Promoting Well-Being for LGBT Youth: The Critical Role of Family Support – 2009 – podcast
Dr. Caitlin Ryan: Commitment, Intentionality, and Hard Work: What It Takes To Do Culturally Competent, Ground-Breaking Research 2010 – podcast
Family Acceptance Project™ website:
Dr. Caitlin Ryan – Mental Health Matters: How does the “Family Acceptance Project” work? – 2011
Family Acceptance Project™ - Helping diverse families understand how to support their LGBT children – videos
Family Acceptance of LGBT Youth Protects Against Suicide, Depression & Substance Abuse and Predicts Better Health & Self-Esteem
School Victimization of Gender-Nonconforming LGBT Youth Linked with Depression and Quality Of Life In Adulthood
Best Practice Guidelines for Serving LGBT Youth in Out-of-Home Care
Family Acceptance Project™ Resource Links:
San Francisco State University Related Programs
LGBT Family-Related Organizations
LGBT Youth Organizations
LGBT Legal Advocacy Organizations
Online Resources for LGBT Youth
National LGBT Organizations
LGBT Health-Related Organizations
Lesbian and Gay Youth: Care and Counseling - By Caitlin Ryan and Donna Futterman
UA professor Stephen T. Russell to Explore LGBT Suicide Risk – 2008
Homophobic families harm gay teenagers, study claims - 2008
Internalized Homophobia and Relationship Quality among Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals - David M. Frost and Ilan H. Meyer - 2009
Journal of Counseling Psychology 2009, Vol. 56, No. 1, 97–109
New Report Shows Inequalities for Children with LGBT Parents
Talking About Suicide & LGBT Populations - Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Preventing Suicide among LGBT Youth by Effie Malley - Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Homophobia Is Killing Our Youth – 2009
Gay Bullying Deaths and Religion: Are Believers the Problem or the Solution? 2010
For Many Gay Youth, Bullying Exacts a Deadly Toll – 2010
Gay bullying and Catholic responsibilities – 2010
Homophobia in the Church: What Catholics Are Doing About It, and What Still Needs to Be Done – 2010
“Most religious denominations continue to condemn homosexuality as sinful and
provide a rationale for marginalizing LGB people.” - Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Social Environment - Although the social environment itself has not been defined as a risk factor for suicide, widespread discrimination against LGBT people, heterosexist attitudes, and gender bias can lead to risk factors such as isolation, family rejection, and lack of access to care providers. Risk factors may interact in unhealthy ways—for example, internalized homophobia or victimization may lead to stress, which is associated with depression and substance abuse, which can contribute to suicide risk. This risk may be compounded by a lack of protective factors that normally provide resilience, such as strong family connections, peer support, and access to effective health and mental health providers…
Herek and colleagues (2007) describe a framework to understand the social environment for sexual minorities. The framework integrates the sociological idea of stigma with the psychological idea of prejudice. Through stigma, society discredits and invalidates homosexuality relative to heterosexuality. Institutions embodying stigma results in heterosexism, and heterosexual individuals internalizing stigma results in prejudice. The United States legal system has faced challenges by sexual minorities and sympathetic heterosexuals that have led to significant changes. However, the legal system continues to reinforce stigma through discriminatory laws and the absence of laws protecting sexual minorities from discrimination in employment, housing, and services. A minority of states had antidiscrimination laws as of 2005, and most of these only referred to employment and not to housing or services. Most religious denominations continue to condemn homosexuality as sinful and provide a rationale for marginalizing LGB people…
See no Race, See no Gay: What Proponents of a Gay-Blind Approach to Bullying in the Schools can Learn from Race Relations - by Kira Hudson Banks, Ph.D. and Nestor L. Lopez-Duran PhD,
2010 - Psychology Today
Bullying, gay teen suicides, and a need for a solution – 2010 - Nestor L. Lopez-Duran, PhD. - clinical child psychologist and researcher, University of Michigan
Bullies and Victims: Boys will be boys or a symptom of distress? 2009 -Child Psychology Research
The cruelties of STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE on CHILDREN are often subtle, unspoken, unrecognized, and even normalized, regarded by many people as natural or “just the way things are.” Daniel J. Christie - Peace, Conflict, and Violence:
Peace Psychology for the 21st Century.
Pope’s child porn 'normal' claim sparks outrage among victims -122110
John Jay Report: On Not Blaming Homosexual Priests – 51711
"No public figure talks more about child safety but does little to actually make children safer than Pope Benedict" 112611
The New John Jay Report on Clergy Abuse in the Catholic Church – “The researchers conclude that there is no causative relationship between either celibacy or homosexuality and the sexual victimization of children in the Church.” 51811
Facts about Homosexuality and Child Molestation - Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D.
Roman Catholic Hierarchy child sexual abuse “cover-ups” ordered by Benedict XVI to avoid public outrage & criminal charges falsely accused gay priests, WATERGATE? – January 2, 2010
GAY MARRIAGE - Benedict XVI Dismisses Science Reason – Natural Law | Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely | PART 1
GAY MARRIAGE – Understanding – NATURAL LAW & How it can be used? – With or Without - Reason & Rational |To Support - Benedict XVI & Hierarchy’s Vague & Negative Statements Against Homosexuality | PART 2
GAY MARRIAGE – “Doublespeak” Benedict XVI - IRRATIONAL Shift Blame Gays – Evading UN Accusations Global COVER-UPS Child Sexual Abuse “…a COMPLETE FAILURE to take responsibility” | PART 3
GAY MARRIAGE – Non-Violence is Key - Use of Violent Confrontation Strategies - The Moral Arguments of People Who Are Being Unjustly Treated Become Irrelevant – The Use of Violence Only Creates More Violence | PART 4
GAY MARRIAGE – Propaganda Tactics|B16’s Naturalistic fallacy & Homosexuality - Dehumanizing, Depriving Civil Rights, Silencing Gays - Covering Up B16 Crimes Against Children 30+yrs? |PART 5
What Can Catholics do Today to – Help Protect all Children?
GAY MARRIAGE – Catholic Truth ≠ Benedict XVI & hierarchy’s SPIN - Unsubstantiated Antigay Teachings & Disregard for Children – Silent Catholics COLLUDING w/B16 – Continually Hurting Kids!!! | One – Letter & Many – Copies | Anne Rice | PART 6
GAY MARRIAGE – Homosexuality for Catholics or anyone? "WHY IT IS A 'GIFT' FROM GOD!!!" And when we accept and value this gift from God – we are able to experience love like never before, and we are able to love. | PART 7