Here’s a short excerpt from the archdiocesan conference I attended last weekend on Issues in Human Sexuality. One session, on ministry to gay and lesbian Catholics, was led by two representatives of the Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Catholics. [NOTE: In September of 2006, one of the presenters contacted me and asked that his name be removed from my site. So I will refer to them as Presenter 1 and Presenter 2.]
Presenter 1: I do have this page in here about refusal of reparative therapy.
He refers to a handout.
Presenter 1: And the reason being is because many times that does come in there about the matter of “Is it a choice?” “Where did it come from?” “How does someone become gay?” “Were they born with it, or did they develop that and is it something that can be fixed?”
Participant: Isn’t Courage… is that what they…?
Presenter 1: Courage does not openly state that they support reparative therapy, but they do provide quite a venue for it. And that is one of the reasons why… well, the primary reason that – the Cardinal doesn’t want Courage in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is because he already has a ministry to gay and lesbian persons.
Participant: Well, what is that?
Presenter 1: Courage is a group that over thirty dioceses throughout the country use as a ministry to gay and lesbian persons who, in their mission statement, propose that they are trying to help gay and lesbian persons to develop chaste lives as single persons living on their own, non sexually active, and are able to have friends who are gay as well as not gay, and pretty well assimilated within the general society. And in many ways, some chapters of Courage have gone ahead and become very heavy on… well, I guess the best way to do that is to get rid of homosexuality altogether, so let’s go ahead and get this thing called reparative therapy. Psychologically and psychiatrically speaking, reparative therapy – as it states in this – is not accepted. And the initial investigation on this was brought up because it was discovered that the research that was being promoted for this and some of the answers and reasons they put out saying that they had it now and that we can do this was fraudulent, and that there was actually a lot of damage being done that was not being addressed at all.
Participant: Is that something like the Exodus program in the fundamentalist church?
Presenter 1: Yes. Right. Now Courage is not like Exodus, but Exodus does say you can leave the homosexual lifestyle. Well, I like my house, I don’t want to leave it! You know, I like the car and the job that I have. That’s my lifestyle. I have a lifestyle and I happen to be homosexual. I don’t have a homosexual lifestyle… I don’t know what that is.
Presenter 2: Oh, and if anybody gets a copy of the gay agenda, would you please send me a copy?
Presenter 1: Yeah, what is our gay agenda?
Presenter 1: I’m struggling with my day to day agenda… So Courage does not promote itself as the Catholic virgin… version… of Exodus, but it does – in some of its interpretations, some of its chapters – they do look very similar.