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.

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63 thoughts on “Catholic diocese begins 12-step program for people with same-sex attraction

  1. Mikhail says:

    Are there any of these for Eastern Orthodox christians? My 17 yo son is struggling with it (hes not gay, he is overly promiscuous). I want him to stay in the Russian Orthodox church but he cant if he keeps on fornicating

  2. Bill Maher fan says:

    Im not gay and Im anglican, but I have to admit, a lot of you are seriously fascists. Reminds me of how Mussolini in fascist Italy was allied with the Vatican. Seriously if gay people want to be together and have sex just let them be. They wont change no matter what you say to them so leave them alone.

  3. Julie says:

    Dear Kyle

    You are an inspiration. I will pray for God to send you the grace to persevere with your cross. My nephew struggles with lust for women, which has caused him much pain and grief. I pray that he would have half your determination to live a chaste life.
    May our Lord and Lady bless you with the grace you seek.

  4. F.R. Duplantier says:

    The hostility expressed toward this program suggests that it may have value.

  5. EC's Wife says:

    What a crock of **** if you ask me. From the day you are born, you are attracted to people in a certain way. You may be straight, gay, bi-sexual, pan-sexual. It doesn’t matter, you are who you are. Why not embrace who you are and be the best person you can be, no matter what. Instead of getting brain washed by some overly conservative person who thinks they know everything.

    I don’t need the church telling me what to do, how to act and who to vote for. They need to butt out of people’s life and let them be.

  6. Viajero says:

    As a parishioner in the diocese of Arlington, Virginia, I am very blessed to have a Courage chapter in the area, with awesome people supporting me in living a faithful and faith-filled life in Christ. I used to be one of those Catholics who thought they could pick and choose which Church teachings to follow and which to ignore. Then I got into a gay relationship (okay, several gay relationships) and experienced firsthand how it felt to be completely in love with someone, who said they loved you but acted otherwise. Well, I certainly couldn’t blame my ex for behaving that way with me, when I was doing the exact same thing in my relationship with God – saying I loved Him but not following His commandments, and trying to rationalize my acts of disobedience. Of course, it’s very difficult to live for the things above rather than for the things of this world. It’s hard striving for purity when all the voices in this world are telling you to submit and surrender. Thanks be to God for Courage, for Fr Harvey, and for all the Courage chaplains, who shine God’s light in this fallen world and show me that chastity really does bring freedom and peace and true unspeakable joy.

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