• Andrew Comiskey

Exposing the Exposé – Part II

Updated: Jun 22

By Marco Casanova and Andrew Comiskey


Eve Tushnet, in her article Conversion Therapy is Still Happening in Catholic Spaces – and its effects on L.G.B.T. people can be devastating, subtitles a section ‘Leaving Space for the Cross.’ We find this incredibly ironic. How far does the Cross go? Does the Cross lay claim to every aspect of our lives, even our sexual identities?


The Cross must go to the essence of our being, laying claim to our sexuality. In order for the Cross to reach such depths, disciples must surrender completely to Jesus.


Can the Cross break the back of disorder in our lives? Mary Healy writes: ‘Since today there are people with same-sex attraction for whom it seems innate and unalterable, the assumption is often made that to take the biblical teaching at face value is to condemn such persons to a life of loneliness, frustration and unfulfillment. But this assumption is incompatible with the witness of the New Testament. Same-sex attraction is simply one form of the disorder that is in every human heart due to the fall, although it can bring with it particularly difficult crosses. The gospel proclaims not only the forgiveness of sin but the healing of all these forms of disorder and the power to live a transformed life in communion with God and others.’[1]


Eve, leave room for the Cross! Allow it to break the back of every moral disorder. The Savior is not allergic to disorder. The Cross awaits, Eve, for you to let go of your commitment to ‘gay’ identification.


Surrendering to Jesus and His Cross is a process that requires walking partners. We need an empowered Church community. We need skilled helpers. That’s why we take issue with Eve demonizing a host of orthodox caregivers – orthodox in that they, unlike Eve, hold to a sound anthropology and thus a therapeutic trajectory for one’s right to become reconciled to the purpose of her sexuality.


Many of these healers are our friends: Rich Wyler, Richard Fitzgibbons, Fr. John Harvey and Courage International, Joseph Nicolosi, the Archdiocese of Denver, Christopher West and the Theology of the Body Institute, Dr. Bob Schuchts and the John Paul II Healing Center, and our very own Desert Stream Ministries. These colleagues are seasoned caregivers who give of themselves freely to those seeking help.


To portray them as dangerous, Eve uses anecdotal evidence based on questionable recall of counseling experiences. Time and time again, persons who reverse the healing path and embrace the LGBTQ+ lifestyle re-write their therapeutic histories as coercive to the point of caricature. We at DSM have witnessed this in churches and courts and government councils around the country. We’ve felt the impact of it in bad rulings that outlaw a person’s right to choose their therapeutic path. We conclude: the moral reversal into LGBTQ+ identification necessitates skewed self-justification. Orthodox caregivers become the enemy.


Eve’s choice of anecdotes sounds thin and unreal. ‘The therapist offered a tantalizing prospect: “He believed in complete healing of wounds and traumas.”’ ‘She said she wasn’t seeking conversion therapy. However, the Catholic psychologist from whom she sought help would not listen.’ ‘She said her therapist scolded her for “dressing like a boy”; he praised her for being “a highly compliant patient.”’ ‘That I would be healed by learning about [homosexuality] enough and praying enough.’ ‘Her therapist and her spiritual director both seemed to think that marriage was her only “shot at happiness,”’ recalled another interviewee. Ridiculous. No caregiver in her right mind would say that.


Desert Stream/Living Waters is mentioned, though Eve never asked our opinion. She casts a shadow on us based upon the suicide of a woman we never met, nor had we ever engaged with the caregivers who surrounded her troubled life. Because we did a conference within a 100-mile radius of the woman’s home, Eve infers that we contributed to her trouble. What we did just discover is that this woman spent her last 2 years in ‘gay’-affirming therapy and with a female lover. Eve, you falsely accuse us. And smear reputable caregivers.


Eve concludes with confusing and unchaste possibilities for her case studies. ‘She has explored relationships with woman, even though she still is figuring out “the moral piece” and how her sexuality and faith might find harmony.’ ‘I’m living with a man and want to pursue gay marriage.’ The last interviewee is living with his partner yet committed to a ‘Catholic sexual ethic.’ ‘We almost broke up because I said, “I’m never gonna be able to give you what you want.” And he said, “I don’t care about that. I want to be with you.”’


Eve’s alternate to ‘conversion therapy’ is a slippery slope. It appears to accommodate not only disorder but sin. ‘Gay’ celibacy and ‘gay’ friendships are still unchaste. The Church must be clear. Jesus came to break the back of any and all moral disorder in our lives. Leave space for the Cross, and don’t crucify Jesus’ members who champion Its power.

[1] Mary Healy, Living the Truth in Love, Part II (unpublished work). 2020.

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