sexta-feira, 25 de fevereiro de 2011

Marital Infidelity and Healing

by Richard P. Fitzgibbons, M.D., Director, Institute for Marital Healing

In Culture of Life Foundation

Marital infidelity is one of the most traumatic of all life experiences. However, we believe that the identification of the emotional, character and spiritual conflicts that contribute to marital infidelity can be uncovered and resolved. Such healing is not possible unless each spouse has an understanding of and a loyalty to the sacrament of marriage and to the goodness in his/her spouse.

We regularly cite John Paul II's wisdom from Love and Responsibility to couples who are struggling with this issue. "The strength of such a (mature) love emerges most clearly when the beloved stumbles, when his or her weaknesses or sins come into the open. One who truly loves does not then withdraw love, but loves all the more, loves in full consciousness of the other's shortcomings and faults, without in the least approving of them. For the person as such never loses his/her essential value. The emotion which attaches to the value of the person is loyal," Love and Responsibility, n. 135.


  • Loneliness and sadness
  • Selfishness/materialism
  • Lack of a moral code
  • Lack of confidence
  • Controlling and disrespectful behaviors by spouse
  • Compulsive use of pornography
  • Lack of balance in married life with failure to attend to romantic aspect of marriage, the marital friendship and sexual intimacy/betrothed love
  • Seriously disordered priorities with the placement of work, others, sports, children, etc. before one's spouse
  • Strong resentment and anger with a desire to punish
  • Attempt to escape from responsibilities and pressures
  • Strong mistrust and anxiety
  • Greed
  • Modeling after an unfaithful parent
  • Lack of understanding of the sacrament of marriage
  • Unresolved family of origin sadness, mistrust or anger
  • Failure to find fulfillment in fatherhood or motherhood and as a protector of one's spouse and children
  • Lack of faith
  • Previous infidelity

A number of chapters on this website address these specific conflicts and hopefully will be helpful to you.


Research studies demonstrate that the majority of married couples are faithful and loyal. Marital infidelity with another person is not as common as some believe. However, a major factor in the growth in infidelity is the use of internet pornography.

A survey of 884 men and 1,288 women found that 77% of married men and 88% of married women remained faithful to their spouses, Wiederman, M.(1997) Extramarital sex: Prevalence and correlates in a national survey. J of Sex Research 34:170.

A University of Chicago national survey found that that 75% of husbands and 85% of wives never had sexual relations outside of marriage, Laumann,E.O., et al. (1994) The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Table 5.15, 216.

A highly regarded survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago has found that 22 percent of men have had a sex partner other than their spouse while married, compared to 13 percent of women. (The figures are an average of the years between 1991 and 2004.) Whisman M.A., et al., (2007) Predicting sexual infidelity in a population-based sample of married individuals. J Fam Psychol. 21(2):320-4.

Another study revealed an annual prevalence of infidelity was 2.3% . In controlling for marital dissatisfaction and demographic variables, infidelity was predicted by greater neuroticism and lower religiosity, Whisman M.A., et al., (2007) Predicting sexual infidelity in a population-based sample of married individuals.
J Fam Psychol. 21(2):320-4.

Mistakes made after infidelity:

  • Insistence upon immediate separation
  • Failure to see the goodness in the offending spouse
  • Refusal to identify each spouse's emotional or character weaknesses
  • A need to blame one's spouse exclusively for the infidelity
  • Failure to identify the extent of the infidelity
  • Refusal to try to understand and forgive
  • Insistence upon divorce
  • Unwillingness to face family of origin conflicts
  • Fear of correcting the offending spouse
  • Failure to love the vocation of marriage
  • Failure to obtain expert advice from those loyal to marriages


The victim spouse not infrequently develops a group of symptoms that constitute an acute stress disorder. These symptoms include anxiety, dissociative and other symptoms that occurs within one month after exposure to extremely traumatic stress including:

  • a sense of detachment or unreality
  • a sense of being in a daze
  • inability to recall aspects of the trauma
  • a regular reexperiencing of the trauma
  • sadness/despair
  • intense anger, rage, hatred, impulses for revenge
  • profound fears
  • severely damaged self-esteem.


The healing process includes first uncovering the extent and the causes of the infidelity, next making a decision about addressing what has been uncovered and third doing the hard work of resolving conflicts and anger and of building trust. The final phase is accepting the trauma and believing that some good can come from it.

Uncovering phase

In this phase it is important to identify the state of the marriage before the infidelity, particularly in regard to the ability of each spouse to give to the marital friendship, to romantic love and to betrothed love, which includes but is more than sexual intimacy. During this phase it can be helpful to complete checklists the evaluate self-giving, trust, selfishness, anger and parental legacies.

The most common resistance we find in this phase is in men whose infidelity is the result of weak male confidence due to the a weak father-son attachment in the husband (with his father.) These men tend to misdirect their anger and deep unhappiness from their father relationship onto their wives. The confidence of many husbands may also have suffered because they did not experience success in team sports as boys and teenagers that, unfortunately, can leave a lasting wound in the male psyche.

We ask spouses to complete the confidence checklist in the evaluate your marital friendship chapter. This checklist attempts to reveal the many problematic behaviors and emotional responses that develop in an unconscious attempt to escape from the pain of having a weak male or female identity.

The second most common conflict we find here is in women with controlling tendencies and secondary disrespectful behaviors toward their husbands as a result of the failure to have a trusting relationship with their fathers. These wives also misdirect anger meant for their fathers at their husbands.

The third conflict that is difficult to face is loneliness for comforting parental love which contributes to infidelity. Spousal love is very powerful and comforting but it cannot resolve the wounds of loneliness from childhood and adolescence. This childhood loneliness leads spouses to engage in numerous harmful behaviors in an unconscious attempt to escape from this intense pain including:

  • attempting to find old boyfriends or girlfriends on the internet
  • spending excessive time on facebook
  • using drugs or drinking excessively
  • engaging in compulsive sexual behaviors
  • spending excessive time outside the home in pleasurable activities because the childhood home is associated with unhappiness.

Finally, selfishness, the major enemy of marital love, can be difficult to face but, it is a leading cause of marital infidelity.

We regularly reading the chapters on this website which discuss the treatment of controlling behaviors, the parental legacy of weakness in male confidence, loneliness/sadness and selfishness and anxiety/mistrust.

Decision phase

This is a very difficult phase of treatment for the victim spouse who has been so wounded that he/she fears becoming vulnerable again. Also, the rage toward the unfaithful spouse can be so strong that what is desired is distance from the spouse rather than a commitment to work on the marriage. For Catholics the sacrament of reconciliation can be helpful in diminishing this intense anger.

The decision to work on the healing of the infidelity trauma in the sad, angry and fearful victim spouse can be motivated by the desire to protect children from the trauma of separation and divorce, by a compassion for wounded child within the perpetrator, and by the belief that it is God's will to strengthen the marriage.

Fortunately, most unfaithful spouses are open to try to understand and address their conflicts with the exception of those who are overly proud, selfish or controlling.

During this phase of therapy we present our own positive views about the possibility of resolving the conflicts that cause infidelity. Also, we cite the work of Dr. Linda Waite on the benefits from persevering to resolve phases of marital unhappiness.

Her research was based on analysis of data from the National Survey of Family and Households. It measured both personal and marital happiness of 5,232 married adults during the late 1980s; 645 or 12.3% reported being unhappily married. They were re-interviewed in the mid 1990s. Some of the findings of the University of Chicago analysis were:

  • Among those who rated their marriages as "very unhappy," 80% of those who stuck it out reported themselves as happily married five years later.
  • Those spouses who separated were, on average, no happier than those who stayed married.
  • Those spouses who separated and remarried were also no happier than those who stayed married.

Dr. Waite stated, "Results like these suggest the benefits of divorce have been oversold."

Work Phase

Full disclosure

The early steps in the work phase include being assured that extramarital relationship has ended and that their will be no further contact. Also, there should be full disclosure of the entire history of the adulterous relationship including examining phone records and text messages. Then, the perpetrator should understand the depth of the wound to the marital covenant and request forgiveness of God and of the spouse. In addition there should be a strong commitment to self-knowledge, a willingness to change and to practice fidelity. Each spouse should be able to discuss any weaknesses in their personal lives or in their marital friendship.

The offending spouse needs to be open to discuss the affair on a regular basis in order to resolve mistrust and anger symptoms in the victim. However, prudence is required in regard to amount of time discussing the affair.

Anger resolution

In this phase the first issue most often addressed is the sadness, mistrust and anger in the victim. When the process of understanding and forgiving the offending spouse, who is motivated to change, does not diminish the level of anger, this reaction is often the result of the fear of trusting and becoming vulnerable to the spouse again with an associated concern of further betrayal. Those with faith can be helped by meditating, "Lord take my anger and sadness and help me to grow in trust."

Unfaithful spouses often discover within themselves intense guilt for the harm they have inflicted upon loved ones. They often recognize, too, they fail to address weaknesses within themselves or within the marriage such as a lack of balance or lack of healthy self-giving to the marital friendship.

Also, the offended spouses can have sudden flashbacks to the emotional trauma as do those with posttraumatic stress disorders. At these times the betrayal anger can return with such a great intensity as though the marital betrayal had just occurred. Many spouses report that the only approach which is effective dealing with such anger attacks is spiritual forgiveness, that is, giving their justifiable anger to God.

As they come to understand themselves more unfaithful spouses may discover strong resentment within them toward parents who spoiled them or were insensitive to them or toward a spouse who was controlling, emotionally distant or manipulative. Then they recognize that the process of forgiveness is essential in resolving this strong anger and in purifying the memories of the past.

Addressing loneliness

Marital loneliness can also play a role in infidelity. The major causes of this pain from the marital relationships are emotionally distant behaviors, lack of balance with failure to attend to the marital friendships, selfishness, mistrust and anger, controlling behaviors and a lack of faith. While most adults who struggle with significant loneliness and unhappiness tend to blame spouses, it is possible that a degree of marital loneliness can also arise from unresolved childhood sadness in relationships with parents, siblings or friends. In many marriages the loneliness that leads to vulnerability to infidelity arises from both marital stress and unresolved childhood loneliness.

We have worked with a number of couples in which the major conflict was the result of each spouse being in different rooms in the evening with one watching TV and the other reading or working on his/her laptop. A sense of feeling isolated and alone develops and husbands, in particular can became involved in internet pornography and then may develop an affair with someone whom they met on the internet.

Addressing family of origin sadness

Unresolved childhood loneliness can be a significant source of unhappiness, irritability and criticism in married life, as well as in priesthood and in religious life. This emotional pain can lie dormant for many years of decades and then emerge later under various types of stresses.

A major mistake many spouses make is the result of the belief that a loving, giving marital relationship should protect one from unhappiness and anger. Although spousal love is very powerful and comforting, it has limitations and cannot enter an earlier life period and resolve childhood or adolescent loneliness and sadness that is encapsulated by anger as a result of having an emotionally distant or angry father, mother or sibling.

Spouses regularly become angry with their mate because of their sadness and look for ways to blame them for it. The lonely spouse's anger grows and trust diminishes. The loyal, faithful spouse then becomes the scapegoat for unresolved childhood anger that intensifies over time along with the sadness. He or she is no longer treated as a special gift from God and as one's best friend, but, instead, as an enemy who has inflicted great pain upon them. Unconscious hatred of a parent's behaviors deeply wounds the sacred union.

Also, as the anger drives the couple apart, intensifies in the lonely spouse who may attempt to remain loyal to the marriage for a time by engaging in numerous feel-good behaviors in a futile attempt to escape from the childhood pain. When these behaviors fail to bring freedom from the wound of loneliness, comfort and love may then be sought outside the marriage.

Men with rejection and pain in the father relationship usually turn unconsciously to women for comfort although a small percentage will turn to other males, particularly those who were also rejected in childhood by a brother or same sex peers. Women with the father disorder or brother rejection will turn to other men for love. Some women who did not experience comforting love with their mothers will be unfaithful with a woman in an unconscious attempt to fill an emotional emptiness in their lives.

Spouses are encouraged to grow in self-knowledge and to examine honestly their parental and sibling relationships in order to determine if a degree of their loneliness and irritability may be locked-in from childhood. The most common sadness that emerges in our experience is due to an emotionally distant, unaffirming or angry father. However, we have been seeing increasing number of young adults bring into their marriages sadness with their mothers whom they viewed as being turned in upon themselves because of selfishness.

When disappointments are identified, then an attempt is made to understand and to forgive the offending parent. Since anger is strongly related to sadness and in our view in a sense encapsulates resentment, the resolution of this powerful emotion is essential so that spouses do not remain, in John Paul II's words, "prisoners of their past." This forgiveness process is demanding because of the degree and intensity of the resentment that has been denied. It is described in the angry spouse chapter on this site.

The role of faith becomes helpful, if not essential, in addressing the childhood loneliness. The chapter on the lonely, depressed spouse on this site discusses its benefits in the healing process.

Strengthening confidence

Male confidence is essential to being a loving spouse and protective parent. The cultural view of masculinity differs radically from the Christian perspective in that it focuses on success in sports, on a muscular physique, on sexual conquests and on financial success. The Christian view is that male strength comes from the pursuit of a life of virtues in which the goal is to become another Christ to one's wife, children, family, friends and colleagues.

Some men initially pursue the path of virtue, yet fall into marital infidelity because of their failure to address their emotional conflicts. Weaknesses in male confidence from unresolved conflicts with fathers, male siblings and male peers are major reasons for such behavior. While a wife's love is wonderful and strong, however, it cannot enter into the childhood and adolescent stage of development when the damage to male confidence occurred and heal the male identity wound.

Catholic husbands and fathers rely particularly on the theological virtues of faith, hope and love and upon graces received from the sacraments.


We have worked with many marriages in which they husband can at some stage of the marriage experienced deep unhappiness and irritability because of the emergence of an unresolved father wound with a failure to identify and address it. They then blame their wives for their unhappiness, misdirect anger at them and engage in pornography or in adulterous behaviors in an unconscious attempt to escape from their pain.

I discussed the father wound in an interview on the Fathers For Good website,

The path of healing involves admitting disappointments in the father relationship, understanding the father's childhood and then working at forgiving him. This forgiveness process is arduous but essential because without it the husband can remain, in the words of John Paul II, a prisoner of his past for the rest of his life.

Other strategies in healing the father wound include:

  • admitting powerlessness over insecurities and anger and turning them over to God
  • identifying one's own special God-given gifts and being thankful for them daily
  • maintaining healthy male friendships
  • asking the Lord daily to protect one's confidence
  • developing a relationship with St. Joseph as another loving father throughout childhood, adolescence and adult life
  • joining Catholic men's groups.

We recommend that these men also reflect upon what Cardinal Ratzinger described in 2004, before he was chosen to lead the Church as Pope Benedict XVI, as the male genius in his paper, The Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World, 2004, as described below:

"The Male Genius"

  • Greater distance from process of gestation and birth enables him to act more calmly on behalf of life.
  • He acts to protect life and guarantee its future.
  • He is a father in a physical and spiritual sense.
  • He is called to be strong, firm, reliable and trustworthy.


Peer acceptance is a major factor in the development of healthy self-esteem. Unfortunately, many gifted males experience significant emotional pain due to lack of eye-hand coordination. They may be ridiculed because of their weaknesses in throwing a baseball, kicking a soccer ball, shooting a basketball or passing a football or hurt regularly being chosen last on a pick up game. This peer rejection can result in a strong weakness in male identity and in deep sadness.

The healing of such peer/sports wounds can occur by resolving anger with offenders through a process of forgiveness, identifying and being thankful for positive male gifts/strength, reflecting that male confidence is not determined by sports or body image, engaging in some type of athletic activity weekly that does not require eye-hand coordination such as swimming, hiking, weight lifting, etc, working on healthy male friendships, and for Christian husbands meditating upon the Lord being one's best friend and as being present during painful memories during recess, on athletic fields, etc. in childhood.

When the weaknesses in male confidence are resolved, husbands regularly seek forgiveness from their wives and from God for misdirecting them anger meant for fathers, male peers and others and no longer blame them for their insecurities and associated sadness.

In this healing process some husbands discover anger with God for allowing them to have such a heavy cross as a lack of eye-hand coordination in childhood. Some husbands report benefit from taking their deeply seated resentment into the sacrament of reconciliation.


Acceptance of the pain and reality of marital infidelity is very difficult, however, it is essential to the healing process. Some spouses try to believe that good can come from the terrible trauma. However, those victimized by adultery can struggle with profound mistrust and rage which is difficult to resolve. This severe betrayal pain has been shown to respond to low doses of serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as paxil or zoloft, and we recommend their use for severe rage and mistrust in the victim spouse. Also, we have observed this pain diminish in Christians by uniting their suffering to that of Christ on the cross. In addition, spiritual direction can be helpful also in coming to acceptance of this trauma.


Human nature desires the honesty that looks squarely at the sinful situation, acknowledges it for what it is, and recognizes oneself as being in need. As Psalm 32:5 reminds us, "Then I declared my sin to you; my guilt I did not hide. I said, 'I confess my faults to the Lord,' and you took away the guilt of my sin" and "If you, O Lord, laid bare our guilt, who could endure it? But with you is found forgiveness; for this we revere you," Psalm 130. For Catholics the sacrament of reconciliation can be helpful in overcoming this guilt.


A discussion of the process of the healing of the emotional, personality and spiritual conflicts which contributed to the infidelty should be discussed several times per week. Such communication is essential so that the victim spouse can be reassured that intense work is being done to protect the marriage and the family.


After working on identifying the origins of the infidelity and the diminishing anger, then it is important to work on rebuilding the marital friendship. In this vital process it is important that the perpetrator should have constant availability by phone and check in regularly. Also, it is important to work on the marital friendship by improving the marital communication and time together in the evening while at the same time improving both the romantic & intimate aspect of the marriage. Finally, couples report benefits from daily entrusting their marriage to God and from daily committing to trust one's spouse.


While some claim that it is not reasonable or possible to expect spouses to be loyal over the many years of marriage, John Paul II has described the many benefits of loyalty to one's spouse in The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World. He wrote, "The institution of marriage is not an undue interference by society or authority, nor the extrinsic imposition of a form. Rather it is an interior requirement of the covenant of conjugal love which is publicly affirmed as unique and exclusive, in order to live in complete fidelity to the plan of God, the Creator. A person's freedom, far from being restricted by this fidelity, is secured against every form of subjectivism or relativism and is made a sharer in creative Wisdom," n. 11.

J.R.R. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings, and marital stress

J.R.R. Tolkien has written about marital fidelity, "Faithfulness in Christian marriage entails great mortification. For a Christian man there is no escape. Marriage may help to sanctify and direct to its proper object his sexual desires; its grace may help him in the struggle; but the struggle remains. It will not satisfy him--as hunger may be kept off by regular meals. It will offer as many difficulties to the purity proper to that state, as it provides easements. No man, however truly he loved his betrothed and bride as a young man, has lived faithful to her as a wife in mind and body without deliberate conscious exercise of the will, without self-denial."

"Those who see marriage as nothing more than the arena of ecstatic and romantic love will be disappointed, When the glamour wears off, or merely works a bit thin, they think they have made a mistake, and that the real soul-mate is still to be found. The real soul-mate too often proves to be the next sexually attractive person that comes along."


The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains a great deal of wisdom on marriage. Here are some powerful statements on infidelity.

"Adultery is an injustice. He who commits adultery fails in his commitment. He undermines the institution of marriage by breaking the contract on which it is based. He compromises the good of human generation and the welfare of children who need their parents' stable union," Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2381.

"By its very nature conjugal love requires the inviolable fidelity of the spouses. This is the consequence of the gift of fidelity of the spouses. This is the consequence of the gift of themselves which they make to each other. Love seeks to be definitive; it cannot be an arrangement "until further notice." The "intimate union of marriage, as a mutual giving of two persons, and the good of the children, demand total fidelity from the spouses and require an unbreakable union between them," Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1646

"The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself. From their covenant arises 'an institution, confirmed by the divine law?ven in the eyes of society.' The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God's covenant with man: 'Authentic married love is caught up into divine love.'" CCC, n. 1639d

"The twofold communion with God and with one another is inseparable. Wherever communion with God, which is communion with the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit is destroyed, the root and source of our communion with one another are destroyed. And wherever we do not live communion among ourselves, communion with the Trinitarian God is not alive and true either." Pope Benedict XVI, 2008. Jesus, The Apostles, and the Early Church, p. 18

"We can realize how important prayer is with families and for families, in particular for those threatened by division. We need to pray that married couples will love their vocation, even when the road becomes difficult, or the paths become narrow, uphill and seemingly insuperable," John Paul II, Letter to Families.

Finally, a number of believing couples report benefit from asking the Lord to deepen their trust in Him and in each other; to help them grow in self-giving and love, that is, to truly wish for the good of one's spouse; to heal the sadness and anxiety and to strengthen the marital communication and friendship. Also, Catholic couples report being helped by going to the Eucharist more often and by saying a rosary together for the healing of their marriage


We believe that in the majority of marriages the severe wound of infidelity can be resolved. Research studies demonstrate that couples in troubled marriages who commit themselves to improve them are often happier five years later than couples who divorce. The process of healing deep emotional wounds of mistrust, betrayal, sadness, loss of confidence is arduous but worth the effort. Also, the role of faith can be particularly helpful in the process rebuilding marital affection and the marital friendship.

Pres. Obama will not defend long-standing marriage law

Manhattan Declaration

To all Manhattan Declaration signers:

The decision by Attorney General Holder not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act raises very grave questions.

Justifying his position, he says that in the congressional debate there were "numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate family relationships." He went on to describe this as "animus" (defined by Webster as vehement enmity, hatred, ill will)-violating the Equal Protection Clause.

"Animus" to defend a moral position based on 2,000 years of classical and Christian teaching rooted in reason and scripture?

Holder has embraced the position of Federal Judge Vaughn Walker in California that opposing so-called gay marriage can be "harmful to gays and lesbians." But this is like claiming that opposition to polygamy is harmful to polygamists or that laws defining marriage as the union of two people harm those who prefer to live in what are called sexual "triads" or "quadrads." Our historic marriage laws harm nobody--they serve husbands, wives, children, and the common good of society.

If the expression of our deepest convictions is treated as animus, our religious liberty is in peril. We cannot fail to speak the truth even if it is labeled hate speech.

This is exactly why we wrote the Manhattan Declaration, pledging that we would under no circumstances render to Caesar what belongs to God.

Though the circumstances are not comparable, the issue is the same one Dietrich Bonhoeffer faced. Bonhoeffer's example is well known. But another compelling illustration is Martin Niemoller. Timothy George has given a brilliant, brief meditation on Niemoller, who had the courage to defy Hitler to his face. We strongly urge that you view this by CLICKING HERE or the video box below. It is an extremely powerful story--and sad to say, increasingly timely.

The ACLU has already hailed Holder's decision as "the tipping point in the gay rights movement." Sadly, that may well be the case unless we speak out loudly and quickly.

Please forward this email to your friends asking them to sign the Manhattan Declaration. It's never been more important that we take a strong and united stand.

Chuck Colson, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview

Dr. Robert George, Princeton University

quinta-feira, 24 de fevereiro de 2011

La carta en la que Nathanson revela sus crímenes y su estrategia para legalizar el aborto

Hacerse con los medios de comunicación; falsificar estadísticas; jugar la carta del anticatolicismo; ignorar la evidencia científica.

Religión en Libertad

El pasado 21 de febrero, falleció Bernard Nathanson, el médico que de “rey del aborto”, como se lo llamó, se convirtió en uno de los más importantes defensores de la vida humana desde la concepción.

Su cambio radical de médico abortero a médico pro-vida, se concretó a través de evidencias científicas. “Como científico no creo, yo se y conozco que la vida humana comienza en la concepción”, escribió en 1992.

Se reconoció como responsable directo de la muerte de 75.000 niños no-nacidos. Abandonó la industria del abominable crimen del aborto en 1979. Su testimonio, especialmente a través de dos películas, “El Grito Silencioso” (1984) y “El eclipse de la razón” (1987) y de su autobiografía “La Mano de Dios” (1996), es capital para el esclarecimiento y la promoción de la defensa de la vida del niño no-nacido en todo el mundo.

En 1992, escribió una carta pública que constituye un testimonio excepcional y una advertencia a tener muy en cuenta, sobre todo en los países que sufren la presión abortista para legalizar el crimen abominable del aborto.

En 1996, el Dr. Nathanson, judío de nacimiento, fue bautizado en la Iglesia Católica por el Cardenal John O’Connor, en la catedral de San Patricio de Nueva York, en la fiesta de la Inmaculada Concepción.

Carta abierta del Dr. Bernard Nathanson (1992)

“Soy responsable directo de 75.000 abortos, lo que me empuja a dirigirme al público poseyendo credibilidad sobre la materia.

Fui uno de los fundadores de la Asociación Nacional para Revocar las Leyes sobre el Aborto en los Estados Unidos, en 1968. Entonces una encuesta veraz hubiera establecido el hecho de que la mayoría de los norteamericanos estaban en contra de leyes permisivas sobre el aborto. No obstante, a los 5 años conseguimos que la Corte Suprema legalizara el aborto, en 1973. ¿Como lo conseguimos? Es importante conocer las tácticas que utilizamos, pues con pequeñas diferencias se repitieron con éxito en el mundo Occidental.

Nuestro primer gran logro fue hacernos con los medios de comunicación; les convencimos de que la causa proaborto favorecía un avanzado liberalismo y sabiendo que en encuestas veraces seríamos derrotados, amañamos los resultados con encuestas inventadas y las publicamos en los medios; según ellas el 60% de los norteamericanos era favorable a la implantación de leyes permisivas de aborto. Fue la táctica de exaltar la propia mentira y así conseguimos un apoyo suficiente, basado en números falsos sobre los abortos ilegales que se producían anualmente en USA. Esta cifra era de 100.000 (cien mil) aproximadamente, pero la que reiteradamente dimos a los medios de comunicación fue de 1.000.000 (un millón). Y una mentira lo suficientemente reiterada, la opinión pública la hace verdad.

El número de mujeres que morían anualmente por abortos ilegales oscilaba entre 200 y 250, pero la cifra que continuamente repetían los medios era 10.000 (diez mil), y a pesar de su falsedad fue admitida por muchos norteamericanas convenciéndoles de la necesidad de cambiar las leyes sobre el aborto.

Otro mito que extendimos entre el público, es que el cambio de las leyes solamente implicaría que los abortos que se practicaban ilegalmente, pasarían a ser legales. Pero la verdad es que actualmente, el aborto es el principal medio para controlar la natalidad en USA. Y el número de anual de abortos se ha incrementado en un 1500%, 15 veces más.

La segunda táctica fundamental fue jugar la carta del anticatolicismo.

Vilipendiamos sistemáticamente a la Iglesia Católica, calificando sus ideas sociales de retrógradas; y atribuimos a sus Jerarquías el papel del "malvado" principal entre los opositores al aborto permisivo. Lo resaltamos incesantemente. Los medios reiteraban que la oposición al aborto procedía de dichas Jerarquías, no del pueblo católico; y una vez más, falsas encuestas "probaban" reiteradamente que la mayoría de los católicos deseaban la reforma de las leyes antiaborto. Y los tambores de los medios persuadieron al pueblo americano de que cualquier oposición al aborto tenía su origen en la Jerarquía Católica y que los católicos proaborto eran los inteligentes y progresistas. El hecho de que grupos cristianos no católicos, y aún ateos, se declarasen pro-vida, fue constantemente silenciado.

La tercera táctica fundamental fue denigrar o ignorar, cualquier evidencia científica de que la vida comienza con la concepción.

Frecuentemente me preguntan que es lo que me hizo cambiar. ¿Cómo pasé de ser un destacado abortista a un abogado pro-vida? En 1973 llegué a ser Director de Obstetricia en un gran Hospital de la ciudad de Nueva York, y tuve que iniciar una unidad de investigación perinatal; era el comienzo de una nueva tecnología que ahora utilizamos diariamente para estudiar el feto en el útero materno. Un típico argumento pro aborto es aducir la imposibilidad de definir cuando comienza el principio de la vida, afirmando que ello es un problema teológico o filosófico, no científico.

Pero la fetología demuestra la evidencia de que la vida comienza en la concepción y requiere toda la protección de que gozamos cualquiera de nosotros.

Ud. podría preguntar: ¿Entonces, por qué algunos doctores, conocedores de la fetología, se desacreditan practicando abortos?

Cuestión de aritmética: a 300 dólares cada uno, un millón quinientos cincuenta mil (1.550.000) abortos en los Estados Unidos, implican una industria que produce 500 millones de dólares anualmente. De los cuales, la mayor parte van a los bolsillos de los doctores que practican el aborto.

Es un hecho claro que el aborto voluntario es una premeditada destrucción de vidas humanas. Es un acto de mortífera violencia. Debe de reconocerse que un embarazo inesperado plantea graves y difíciles problemas. Pero acudir para solucionarlo a un deliberado acto de destrucción supone podar la capacidad de recursos de los seres humanos; y, en el orden social, subordinar el bien público a una respuesta utilitarista.

Como científico no creo, yo se y conozco que la vida humana comienza en la concepción. Y aunque no soy de una religión determinada, creo con todo mi corazón que existe una divinidad que nos ordena finalizar para siempre este infinitamente triste y vergonzoso crimen contra la humanidad”.

Dr. Bernad Nathanson

Velhos como os trapos

por Maria José Nogueira Pinto


Chamaram-lhes seniores, idosos, pessoas da terceira idade. Usaram com eles um léxico variado, uma espécie de cobertura de açúcar que foi ocultando uma dura e triste realidade. Conheci-os, há muito, nas camas dos hospitais, nas camas dos lares, prisioneiros em suas casas, sós como cães em bancos de jardins e soube que alguns eram encontrados sem vida pelas ajudantes familiares, depois de terem enfrentado a morte na mais completa solidão.

Vieram ter comigo, uma manhã de Outono já arrepiada de frio, eram cinco, três muito velhos e dois apenas um pouco menos, a pé, amparando-se mutuamente através das ruas íngremes do Bairro Alto, até chegarem ao meu gabinete da Misericórdia de Lisboa para me exporem as suas vidas, carências e aflições. O assunto era tão melindroso que roçava a indignidade, uma nudez crua que submetiam ao meu olhar porque a vida a isso os obrigava: tinha (alguém, os Serviços, a Senhora Técnica? Não sabiam ao certo) sido dada uma ordem que cortava o número de fraldas a que tinham direito mensalmente. "Ora as fraldas, a menina sabe, fazem-nos muita falta". "Então agora como é que têm feito?", perguntei. "Cortamos cada fralda em três pedaços e assim rende mais. Mas é muito mau", disse outra, porque "esfarelam-se todas e não protegem". "Pois não", concluíram em coro. Mandei vir uma fralda e uma tesoura e, mais por mim do que por eles, pedi-lhes que repetissem esse gesto que transformava em três pedaços esfarelados uma fralda de adulto.

Fiquei envergonhada - julgo que essa era a ideia - por coisas destas acontecerem paredes meias com quem manda e dirige, com quem gere e distribui recursos, pessoas que não usam fraldas, não as cortam em três, para quem andar nos meandros dos bairros lisboetas não significa um esforço físico excessivo, pessoas como eu que, no mínimo, têm que levar murros no estômago quando coisas destas acontecem. Se alguma dúvida me restasse ela dissipou-se nessa manhã bisonha: pode o envelhecimento ser, na maioria dos casos, um caminho para a pobreza, a indignidade, a dependência mais aviltante? Não. Mas para isso era (e é) imperativo priorizar esta questão, dar-lhe uma estratégia, dotá-la de recursos e prossegui-la sem hesitações. Foi assim que se fez o levantamento dos idosos no concelho de Lisboa, que se estudou a cobertura de apoio domiciliário, o tipo de respostas novas que seria preciso criar para fazer face a problemas diferentes que emergiam brutalmente após décadas de uma política de apoios que se revelavam manifestamente insuficientes e desadequados. Foi assim que nasceu, por exemplo, o "Mais Voluntariado Menos Solidão" com a preciosa colaboração do "Coração Amarelo" e da Cruz Vermelha. Foi assim, também, que fomos buscar o Euromilhões, um novo jogo social consignado ao envelhecimento e às dependências e que hoje, constou-me, foi parcialmente desviado para manobras de diversão do mais puro marketing político.

Afinal parece que ninguém sabia que Portugal é um dos países mais envelhecidos do mundo (o sétimo), que os nossos velhos são os mais pobres da Europa, que na sua maioria são doentes crónicos, que muitos sofrem ou vão sofrer de demências e que para além de dependências crescentes se encontram sós, com pouca ou nenhuma família, sem redes de vizinhança efectivas, optando por comprar remédios ou comida. O census de 2001 apontava já para 35 mil idosos isolados na cidade de Lisboa. Confinados ao casco histórico e a outras zonas desertificadas viram os seus descendentes serem expelidos para as periferias. Muitos destes fogos de habitação nunca tiveram obras, nas mansardas pombalinas os telhados em más condições deixam entrar a chuva, o frio e o calor tórrido do Verão.

Apesar de tanto Ministério, Direcção-Geral, Gabinete de Estudos, Observatórios, dados estatísticos e milhões e milhões de euros gastos sabe-se lá como, em Portugal é possível não conhecer a realidade e trazê-la para os jornais a propósito de um único caso concreto. Como se este enorme drama não valesse por ser tão silencioso. E esta é, estou certa, a nossa maior falta e a nossa pior vergonha.

terça-feira, 22 de fevereiro de 2011

O Estranhíssimo caso de Cristãos Estrangeiros

Um movimento pró vida norte-americano de inspiração cristã, chamado Live Action, conseguiu, filmando e gravando à sorrelfa, mostrar aos incrédulos, sem margem para dúvidas, aquilo que os mais informados já sabiam, isto é, a corrupção criminosa da industria do aborto, a sua cumplicidade com a pedofilia e o abuso de menores, o seu desprezo pelas mulheres coonestando a sua exploração, o desdém pela saúde pública, promovendo inclusive o contágio das multidões, etc. A PP, ou seja, a APF (associação para o planeamento da família) lá do sítio, estará em muitos maus lençóis.

Pois, imagine o leitor, se é capaz de o fazer, que um Católico pró vida, Professor Catedrático de Filosofia - C. O. Tollefson -, em vez de falar em particular com Lila Rose, fundadora e líder do Live Action, publicou um artigo na Internet no qual reconhecendo embora a importância dos resultados obtidos é muito crítico em relação aos meios utilizados para os conseguir. Para maior espanto de quem me lê, importará ainda saber que C. Kaczor, outro eminente filósofo católico, amigo de Tollefson, em vez de conversar com este, publicou um texto crítico em relação ao do seu amigo e, de algum modo, justificando os métodos de Live Action. Entretanto sai à liça o conhecidíssimo Robert P. George, outro Católico, que dispensa qualquer tipo de apresentação, defendendo Tollefson e, em vez de falar com ele, criticando Kaczor. Como isto não bastasse, F. J. Becwith, outro notável filósofo, convertido do protestantismo ao catolicismo, em vez de falar com os seus amigos redige um texto avançando outras críticas e propondo novas soluções. Para cúmulo, disto que em Portugal seria considerado uma zaragata escandalosa, o famosíssimo e respeitadíssimo H. Arkes, um filósofo judeu convertido ao catolicismo e conhecido e amigos dos restantes, em vez de falar com Tollefsen redige um artigo muito crítico em relação ao texto dele. C. O. Tollefsen, já respondeu; e esperam-se novos episódios.

Isto que se passa assim nos EUA é considerado uma conversação útil e proveitosa para esclarecimento de todos e para o aprofundamento da verdade. Ora nós, portugueses, sabemos que eles são muitíssimo primitivos e estão completamente enganados. Comportam-se como trogloditas. Porque o que eles estão realmente a fazer é a magoarem-se e a ferirem-se mutuamente com uma falta de caridade medonha. Isto pelo menos é o que eu concluo a partir daquilo que alguns amigos e conhecidos meus, e ainda outros que não conheço me têm repetidamente ensinado ao longo destes longos anos. Se eu soubera inglês suficiente para o escrever com o à vontade com que o faço na língua materna, trasladaria para aquele linguajar bárbaro as preciosas admoestações e imprecações com que sou presenteado.

O mesmo, aliás, faria em italiano. Porque saberão, os meus queridos amigos, embora fiquem muito chocados, que a Congregação para a Doutrina da Fé quando publicou a Nota sobre a banalização da sexualidade. A propósito de algumas leituras de “Luz do Mundo” fez sair também a correcção da tradução italiana do livro/entrevista do Santo Padre. Reparem bem que não foram falar em particular com os responsáveis da editorial vaticana para que eles colocassem uma errata nos livros. Não! Limitaram-se a publicar a tradução correcta daquilo que o Papa tinha dito a propósito do preservativo. Achei estranhíssimo que essa correcção, seguramente da mão do próprio Papa, correspondesse às emendas que eu tinha sugerido para a tradução portuguesa. Tanto mais que nas livrarias em que tenho visto o livro em português não tenho encontrado nenhuma errata respeitante a essa passagem do livro. Pelo que concluo que o que lá está é o contrário do que o Santo Padre disse. Basta comparar. Evidentemente que escrever isto é uma grande falta de caridade, mas “vender gato por lebre”, ou seja, fazer com que o Papa diga o contrário do que disse não o é.

Nuno Serras Pereira

22. 02. 2011

domingo, 20 de fevereiro de 2011

Husbands and Wives and the Education of Children - by William E. May

by William E. May, Ph.D., Senior Fellow

In Culture of Life


Men and women are able to have sexual intercourse and to generate new human life by doing so. But non-married men and women are not fit either to have sexual intercourse or to generate new human life, nor do they have a right to have such intercourse and generate new human life. Each human life, no matter how generated—through non-married sexual union, artificial insemination and other new “reproductive technologies,” or through the marital act—is a great gift of God, made in His image, with inviolable rights that must be respected by others and by civil law. But generating this life non-maritally is morally wrong because it violates the child’s right to a stable home rooted in the life-long commitment of the child’s mother and father where it can take root and grow “in wisdom and in grace before God and man.”(see Luke 2,52). There is, however, one exception to this; it occurs when a child is generated by a married couple not through the marital act or “maitally,” but through in vitro fertilization (IVF). In this case the couple, who are the child’s mother and father, can provide the child with a stable home. A married man, now the woman’s husband, and a married woman, now the husband’s wife, also have the inviolable right to educate their own children, a right that others and, in particular, the civil government is obligated to recognize and protect.

This paper does not deny that single parents, whether male or female, whether married or never married or divorced, have a right to educate their children. Its focus, however, is on the right and duty of married men and women, husbands and wives, with respect to their own children’s education.

What does this parental right to educate one’s own children mean? What are the obligations of the parents in that education? What roles do husbands and wives have in that education? These are the issues this paper addresses.

The basic educational task of fathers and mothers

Centuries ago, St. Augustine wrote: “children are to be welcomed lovingly, nurtured humanely, and educated religiously [i.e., “in the love and service of God and neighbor”]” (St. Augustine, On Genesis according to the letter, Bk 9, ch. 7). This is the basic educational task, or, better, “sacred mission” entrusted to them by God. It is in the home where the child can learn discipline, how to postpone the immediate gratification of his desires, and how to recognize that he must not be selfish and self centered but willing to help others.

This task, this mission, is indeed a difficult one that requires the parents to be patient with their children, with each other, and with themselves. They know that it takes a long time for a child to realize that he is not the center of the universe and that if he wants to be respected by others he must respect them. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you.” The Golden Rule, he will gradually learn, if his mother and father follow it themselves, is a very good one.

What obligations do parents, husbands and wives, have in this educational mission?

The basic one has already been expressed. Another that is absolutely essential is this: Husbands: Remember that the best gift you can give your children is to love their mother. Wives: Remember that the best gift you can give to your children is to love their father.

Some of the most important other obligations include the following: 1) spend time with your children; 2) nurture their gifts, help them to discern their personal vocation; 3) when they hit adolescence, talk with them, listen to them and get to know their friends; 4) make your home a place where your children will want to bring their friends, confident that they will want to bring their friends home and that these young men and women are good ones to have as friends, and get to know their parents and make them your own friends; 5) give them physical affection because this is important for healthy development, and it is especially necessary for the father to express his love for them this way; 6) tell them what they do well, not only what they need to change;7) make your children do their homework promptly, perhaps before supper or before after-supper diversions. If they need help with their homework help them if you can or, if an older (or perhaps more gifted) sibling can do so without grave inconvenience, have him or her help the younger sibling; 8)do not let your children waste time by watching too much television or surfing the Internet and monitor the kind of television watched (consider forgoing television altogether and instead rent or buy good DVDs for in this way you will control what kind of entertainment ought to be enjoyed); 9) use appropriate means to block internet access to poisonous materials; 10) do not let your children smoke (this is bad for health and character and can lead to drugs) or consume alcohol until they reach a more mature age; 11) encourage them to engage in sports or in extracurricular activities such as dramatic plays, music, debating teams, etc.

Do wives and husbands have complimentary roles to play in the education of their children?

There are good reasons for thinking that they do. The bond between children and their mother is strong by virtue of their symbiotic tie during pregnancy, birth and nursing. This relationship is essential in laying the foundations of healthy development. In addition it involves those qualities associated with mothering: unconditional availability, receptivity, and tenderness. Because of these qualities and also because studies show that women, on the whole, are far more interested in persons and in personal relationships than men are, it seems that the mother is the parent better suited as having a primary role in educating the children when they are infants, toddlers, and in the lower grades.

It is obvious, however, that the father's loving presence is needed for the well-being of the children. But unlike the mother, the father is, as it were, an “outsider” who has to insert himself into the bond between mother and child as a “second other.” He has to be introduced to the child by the mother. If the father, with the help of the mother, succeeds in being welcomed as father, children of both sexes are helped in relating themselves to the cultural universe outside the home.

Applying all this to the great privilege and mission of educating their children it seems, as indicated already, that the mother is better equipped than the father to educate children during infancy, toddler years, and lower grades, whereas the father’s role increases as they enter adolescence. He is the only one who can show both his sons and his daughters how a man ought to act toward women, i.e., with profound respect, never lusting after them or seeking to consume their sexual values, but loving them as persons made in the image and likeness of God and called to be holy. This is most important for both sons and daughters, for daughters need to know how to tell whether potential boyfriends or, later, beaux, are men who have the virtue of chastity, i.e., that they are men like their own father.


Married men and women, husbands and wives, have the sublime mission, duty, and right to educate their own children. This parental right must be recognized and honored by civil society. It is not conferred on parents by civil authority but is a right with which they are endowed by reason of the fact that they have freely chosen to give themselves irrevocably to one another in marriage, and marriage and children go together. Husbands and wives cannot “unspouse themselves” nor can they “unfather” or “unmother” themselves. They thus have the privilege, the duty, and the right to be their children’s primary educators.