Saturday, October 22, 2005

More on the St. Luke Institute

The more I uncover about the notorious St. Luke Institute in Maryland, the more concerned I become. In an article entitled "Merced Priest's Behavior is Inappropriate, says Steinbock," and published at the website of San Francisco Faith (article at:, we read:

In an article in the February 1997 Catholic World Report, author Lesley Payne documents the testimony of priests and seminarians who claim they have been subjected to a “Church-run psychiatric gulag at St. Luke, which they said was operated by theological liberals, often by men who are openly homosexual.” Payne notes that, according to one patient, at St. Luke doctrinally “rigid” priests who pray “compulsively” are kept longer than others with more severe problems.

Payne writes that, according to the book, Lead Us Not Into Temptation by Jason Barry (an admirer of the institute’s founder, Father Michael Peterson), therapy at St Luke “included affirmation of priests’ homosexual orientation.” The article quotes a doctor who resigned from St Luke Institute in 1998: “I have become progressively uncomfortable with the moral tone of the Institute and its therapeutic programs. In my opinion, the Institute has been used as an outlet for the psycho-pathology of its founder and for other members of the staff from its inception.”

I asked Michael Rose, author of Good Bye Good Men and editor of, for comment. “St. Luke’s,” according to Rose, “like most similar institutions, is a serious problem for a number of reasons. First, it has been shown in many venues that St. Luke’s operating principles are not grounded in Catholic morality. Homosexuality is regarded as a gift and not a disorder. I don’t see how any bishop could expect to get any positive results by sending one of his priests to such an institution.”

“St. Luke’s,” continued Rose, “is tied into the clergy network of lavender cronyism, leading one to reasonably suspect that ‘treatment’ provided by the institute is a ‘going-through-the-motions’ cover.”

Dr George Maloof, a psychiatrist from San Francisco with over 30 years experience, agrees with Rose. Sending Lastiri to St. Luke, said Maloof, “is a standard approach the bishop is taking. St Luke Institute (from what I’ve read from other priests’ experiences) and other centers have been notoriously unproductive or counterproductive in helping priests correct their behaviors. But it helps the bishop show that he is doing something.”

According to Maloof, treatment at centers like St Luke gives “the Freudian you-must-express-yourself-or-you-are-neurotic view. You must express yourself genitally, or it’s bad for your mental health. The American Church has basically bought into that perverse view Freud came up with to destroy the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church says celibacy is noble, and Freud maintained one has to express oneself genitally. Freud’s intention was to reform society by releasing it of the inhibitions the Church imposed on people. These treatment centers try to get people to express themselves sexually.”


More recent developments here.

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