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Catholicism and homosexuality
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Group helps homosexually inclined to live
the teachings of the Church
Few practicing Catholics know such an group exists. Most Catholics only hear about dissident homosexual groups. But Courage is an organization working within the Church to assist homosexuals to remain chaste and faithful to Church teachings on same-sex attraction. And it now claims almost a hundred chapters worldwide and is continuing to grow.
Co-founded in 1980 Father John F. Harvey, OSFS, and backed by the Holy See, Courage forms a "spiritual support system," for those trying to be obedient to the Church's doctrine on homosexuality. According to Pat Angelin of Courage and Encourage (the sister organization for families and friends of those with same-sex attraction), it "is about striving to be faithful to the fullness of the truth about the theology of the body."
For Catholics within the Church with same-sex attraction, there had been little outreach until the organization was founded in New York two decades ago. This had, according to Courage, forced such individuals to "work out their path on their own [and]…as a result, they found themselves listening to and accepting the secular society's perspective and opting to act on their same-sex desires."
Courage teaches that "homosexual inclinations do not make up our true identity as rational or Christian persons. We are first and foremost men and women created in the image of God…We can live a life of union with Christ, through prayer, and we can know the peace of interior chastity."
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved." Courage defends this teaching, saying that acting on same-sex attraction "can never lead to a morally good sexual act." Today, the group encourages such individuals to "gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the Church's teachings," and "extends the Church's invitation to experience the freedom of chaste living."
Other organizations, most notably Dignity, work in direct opposition to the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. Dignity believes that those with same sex attraction "can express our sexuality physically, in a unitive manner that is loving, life-giving, and life-affirming." According to published statements, they openly advocate a "change in the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality," and they work for "the development of sexual theology leading to the reform of its teachings and practices."
Dignity believes that "neither scripture nor tradition nor natural law theory…convincingly supports official Catholic teaching" on homosexuality and states that "after much soul-searching, many gay and lesbian Catholics have formed consciences that are different from official Church teaching," and condone the homosexual lifestyle.
In contrast to Dignity, Courage aids those with same-sex attraction live in communion with the Church through chastity, through which "one finds greater freedom, peace and grace to grow in Christian maturity."
Copyright---Culture of Life Foundation.