Catholic diocese begins 12-step program for people with same-sex attraction

Debates about homosexuality often include the claim that those who experience same-sex attraction are underserved in the community.

What you almost never will see, however, is people noting that the homosexual agenda further marginalizes people who experience SSA but who wish to live chastely. The majority of individuals who experience SSA but choose to lead chaste lives do not seek public attention because they are focused on living their lives, not drawing attention to their struggle.

The Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs, at the initiative of Bishop Michael Sheridan, is taking steps to begin ministering more effectively to this underserved community:

The Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs is borrowing a page from Alcoholics Anonymous by launching a 12-step program that offers pastoral care and support for homosexuals.

“It’s not about therapy and not about activism,” said the Rev. Larry Brennan, diocese director of priest formation. “It’s about support.”

The Catholic Church views homosexual relations as a sin, but not homosexual thoughts. It expects those with same-sex attraction to be celibate.

… The [Courage] program has 110 chapters worldwide, including one in Denver, according to its website.

… “This is a population that is underserved,” Brennan said. “They are not comfortable with the gay agenda and not comfortable with family oriented (events).” [Colorado Springs Gazette]

Father John Harvey, the founder of Courage, recently passed away. Here is his obituary.

I believe it’s probably inevitable that someone will get flustered in the comment box that this program is “comparing homosexuality with alcoholism.” To me this is instead an example of people seeking help to change a pattern in their life they are unhappy with. And what I would really be interested in reading is what people who struggle with SSA but are attempting to live chastely think about this program.



  • mam

    I am tired of reading about how much worse people with SSA have it when trying to live chastely. How is what they deal with harder than my aunt who died an old maid? She wanted to get married and have a family but wasn’t able to find Mr. Right. Nevertheless, she lived a chaste, pious life as a devout Catholic. She was a virgin until she died at 90-something. She wasn’t out there complaining that she had to refrain from sex. She wasn’t depressed or suicidal. She had God and her friends and her extended family. I married late in life and I was a virgin until I married. Sex is not a need and I don’t know why as a society we act like it is.

  • anon

    There is an old book by the Kinsey Institute which seems to indicate that studies show that sexual attraction can morph on its own.

    Book is Dual Attraction and was written before all the current hyperbole.

  • The Moz

    Freedom to choose your own approach to your ss attractions. Freedom from conforming to either the gay agenda stereotype or the repressive guilt ridden opposite that you sometimes find. Please let’s keep in mind that everyone struggles with something! In fact today it has been well documented that many straight healthy men struggle with fidelity to their wives, with addictions to pornography and drugs and with cronic masturbation. Many therapists – you only have to go as far as the Rehab shows on t.v – will confirm that any type of behaviour change can often leave a participant feeling worse off in the beginning and may even lead to drastic action. But and I try to say this as respectually as possible, just because AA treatments have success rates of about 10% doesn’t mean that all AA treatments should be discouraged. In fact what it tells us is that more and more effort should be put into them. Larry Kramer claims that AIDS is a plague that is killing MSM but he ignores the one most effective treatment and cure: abstinence. Truly heart breaking.

  • Jacob

    No comment on this post. Just a prayer for Fr.John Harvey, when I wrote an article on homosexuality He wrote some emails to me and they helped.


    THOMAS:Do you know anyone with SSA who is happily, mangomosly, living with thier partner?

  • Rod

    I also have SSA and helped to get a Courage group in my city, but I moved away due to work after a few months. The meetings follow a standard format and have rules and clear principles.
    The comments above about the meetings involving pressure to change orientation are abherations, probably due to the small number of people involved and their own ideas/agendas.
    The whole purpose is to create an atmosphere of support that confirms a committment to live chastly and practise the sacraments.
    It is a much needed outreach and every region should have a chapter.



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