Sunday, November 29, 2015

This is interesting: Has 'Courage Apostolate' changed? Is it getting to be about 'treating' homosexuality?

I always thought Courage was about supporting gay/SSA persons to live chastely?

I always thought it was about helping gay people live a chaste life in accord with Catholic teaching, to sanctify their lives in and through the observance of chastity and celibacy.  I always thought that.  Though Courage uses the 12-Step approach - it is not a 12-Step program.  Courage members have told me it is not about orientation change.

That said, it sure sounds as if those associated with the Apostolate are focusing more and more on treatment, therapy, and/or reparative techniques.  Case in point, an interesting essay by Mark Latkovic at Crisis.  Latkovic is Professor of Moral Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.  Janet Smith teaches there as well.  Both have Courage connections.  Latkovic's essay is titled, Using Modern Science to Treat Homosexuality.

That might come as a surprise to many gay Catholics.

For those who have deep seated conflicts regarding homosexual attraction, tendency, acting out or fantasy, I see nothing wrong with strongly motivated men and women seeking psychological counselling, even some sort of therapy to overcome disordered sexual appetites, compulsive behavior, sexual-addiction, what have you.  Even if so desired, to change and find wholeness in and through natural love and marriage and family.  It can happen.

I'm not sure all that many gay people are motivated to do that however - and the idea of therapy and psychological intervention may not be something everyone wants, feels a need for, or can afford.  I always like to point that out, especially to professional Catholics.  Insurance may not cover it, and someone living in poverty or scraping by day to day, may not have access to such middle class luxuries.  Likewise, some people may not have the desire to go through all of that.

As I see it, Christ's call to conversion doesn't come with strings attached, or some prerequisite for medical/psychological intervention.  For many decades there have been confessors and spiritual directors passing the buck of pastoral care to psychologists, group therapy, and/or psychotropic medications.  Likewise, not a few bishops and religious superiors sent their gay priests to therapy to fix all sorts of sexual disorders - to little or no avail.

The reality is that science hasn't treated homos much better than the Catholic Church.

It would be a sad situation if Courage Apostolate sells gay people short by relying on 'science' as opposed to grace and the sacraments, spiritual direction, friendship and support.  The Church is fully equipped to deal with sinners.  The scientific strategy may work for parents and under-aged kids in their formative years - or maybe even in seminary formation.  (I think Latkovic is at the same seminary where bathrobes were mentioned as a precaution to avoid leading latent SSA seminarians into temptation.)  I had a friend in a seminary where he saw a psychologist regularly for 'therapy' and counselling.  The friend didn't stay, and the therapy didn't change anything.  An isolated incident of course, but generally speaking, adult gay men and women are not going to be attracted to the Gospel if they think they have to go through some sort of therapy first.  While very few, if any will welcome the idea that they are mentally ill and require treatment.

Just saying.

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