Psychiatrist condemns “abusive” Vatican sex-ed program

A sex education program recently released by the Vatican has been condemned by a renowned psychiatrist who has worked with victims of priestly sexual abuse and priest abusers. He says it is abusive and “the most dangerous threat to Catholic youth” he has seen in the past 40 years.

The gravely concerned psychiatrist is Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons, a counseling center director who has been a consultant to the Congregation for the Clergy at the Vatican and has served as adjunct professor at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America.

In an essay published by LifeSiteNews, Fitzgibbons warns that the material found in the Vatican’s newly-released sex education program The Meeting Point “constitutes sexual abuse of Catholic adolescents” and contains pornographic images “similar to those used by adult sexual predators of adolescents.

“In a culture in which youth are bombarded by pornography, I was particularly shocked by the images contained in this new sex education program, some of which are clearly pornographic,” Fitzgibbons wrote.

“My immediate professional reaction was that this obscene or pornographic approach abuses youth psychologically and spiritually.

“… As a professional who has treated both priest perpetrators and the victims of the abuse crisis in the Church, what I found particularly troubling was that the pornographic images in this program are similar to those used by adult sexual predators of adolescents.”

Fitzgibbons called for Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who oversaw the development and release of the program when he was head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, to be evaluated according to norms adopted by the United States Catholic Bishops in the wake of the sex abuse scandal.

Paglia “should be required in justice to go through an evaluation by a review board as described in the Dallas Charter norms for placing youth at risk,” Fitzgibbons wrote.


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