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Hartford Archdiocese Launches Abstinence Program for Gay Catholics Called 'Courage': VIDEO


The Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut has launched a new program called 'Courage' which encourages gay Catholics to live a 'chaste' life by abstaining from having sex, whether they are legally married (as is possible in the state) or not, the NYDN reports:

The controversial ministry group, called Courage, will offer confidential counseling to gay church members who are “struggling” to reconcile their sexual orientation with Vatican teachings, a church official told the Daily News.

“We want to reach out to people in the Roman Catholic Church who often struggle with the church’s moral position,” Deacon Robert Pallotti told The News. “The church is not against people with same-sex attraction, just their acting out sexually.”

He said people who voluntarily seek out the program will be “affirmed and supported as Roman Catholics trying to remain faithful to church teachings.”

The ministry will promote abstinence, he confirmed, but it will accept that gay people are born with their sexual orientation.

Watch a CNN report on the new program, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. LOLZ, this Deacon and several members of this Archdiocese probably have several children that they have no idea about (or know about children that they pay to remain silent).

    Posted by: Nat | Jan 6, 2012 7:00:46 AM

  2. There's already a program for self loathing cowardly closet cases who want to tell the world how much God hates gay people. It's called the priesthood.

    Posted by: Michael | Jan 6, 2012 7:19:18 AM

  3. The ministry will promote abstinence, he confirmed, but it will accept that gay people are born with their sexual orientation.

    What, new direction?

    Posted by: George M | Jan 6, 2012 7:25:44 AM

  4. These "gay catholics" should tell the archdiocese that they insist straight people should stop having sex as well. According to the vatican the only time sex is justified anyway is when it's to procreate, and god knows there are enough non-catholics on the planet doing that.

    I mean, it's no less natural for gays to desire sexual intimacy with their partners than it is for straight couples to desire children (and sexual intimacy as well), so I'm sure it won't be a problem, right? Straight couples? hello? hmm. Seems they stopped wanting to participate in this whole suppress-nature thing.

    Posted by: sparks | Jan 6, 2012 7:28:54 AM

  5. Seems like this is a huge win. The Church is admitting that sexual orientation is biological (and therefore a gift from God), not choice. Others who now make that claim will be challenging the teachings of the Catholic Church (Hartford branch anyway). This will be fun...until this guy gets squashed by the Pope.

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 6, 2012 7:32:37 AM

  6. I wonder how many priest will enroll to try to control their gay proclivities?

    Posted by: Phil | Jan 6, 2012 7:47:54 AM

  7. I think I'd call such a program "Dickless".

    Posted by: TJ Parker | Jan 6, 2012 7:49:13 AM

  8. The new priest at my church said he was bringing in Courage to the parish. I left immediately. I'm not going to let anybody tell me I'm less than a whole, complete human being.

    Posted by: Jack M | Jan 6, 2012 8:16:26 AM

  9. Boy, they must be desperate to keep as many of their flock within the fold if they're resorting to this nonsense. How desperate can they be.

    Sparks, what would he say to hetero couples who can't procreate or choose not to? Abstain from sex altogether because it's not leading to procreation? A case for not allowing them to marry in the Catholic church.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Jan 6, 2012 8:34:21 AM

  10. I'm sure it will be as effective as "abstinence only" programs have been in Texas and various places in Africa.

    Funny thing is that the Roman church is big on the idea of "Natural Law." So while "admitting" that gay people are "born with their sexual orientation," these guys want to go AGAINST what is natural--which, in the eyes of Roman catholic moral theology, is sinful. The logic is, of course, that for gay people to resist their inborn orientation is--yes, sinful.

    For some reason Rome wants to have it both ways regarding this issue. Difficult to fathom why in a world ravaged by overpopulation and AIDS.

    Posted by: Danny | Jan 6, 2012 8:50:40 AM

  11. What a waste of a perfectly good gay boy. I hate that normal gay folk will waste time NOT being in healthy relationships for the sake of meeting some arcane standard just to maintain their position in the church. Oh well. Their choice.

    Posted by: Troy | Jan 6, 2012 9:00:08 AM

  12. This new Papist program is nothing short of "dumb...dumb dumb dumb...dumb"! Where are they going to conduct these the Archbishop's closet?

    Any gay person who participates should be suspected of being mentally ill. If they're looking for spiritual guidance, that is NOT the group for them.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Jan 6, 2012 9:15:40 AM

  13. I want to think that workaday priests in local parishes see through the crap made up by their mentally-cloistered superiors. And that those priests advise their parishioners based on real-life situations like, for instance, 'people have sex'.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Jan 6, 2012 9:20:13 AM

  14. I'd call it "Cowardice". Maybe even "Torture".

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 6, 2012 9:32:46 AM

  15. Interesting. This kind of chatter is notthing new. What's the bottom line? Am I allowed to hold hands? Dance with my partner at the spaghetti supper? Come to Mass and bingo with my partner? Adopt children and send them to Catholic school? Kiss on cheek or French? Sleep in the same bed but no sex like straight couples? So if I'm doing all of that, what's the big deal about some fluid? Or is this like contraception? It's the party line but nobody pays attention to it? How are we defining abstinence? The Cathloic church allows teenagers to do most of the above, so is the program promoting gay adults to to teenager status in the RC church?

    My guess is that the "couselor's guide" has likely not thought through many of those questions for when I confidentially seek this counseling.

    Posted by: Juan | Jan 6, 2012 9:37:40 AM

  16. What?! Did they just say that some people are born gay?!

    Posted by: AidenRaccoon | Jan 6, 2012 9:57:01 AM

  17. Abstaining from Catholocism is a much simpler and healthier route.

    Posted by: Patrick | Jan 6, 2012 10:08:46 AM

  18. Let's look on the bright side: this campaign, however misguided, is based on certain assumptions: namely that gays exist and that their orientation cannot be altered, that some are Carholic and will nevertheless get married as homosexuals, that they are not 'filthy' or 'evil'' but misguided and suffering (rubbish I know but a less pernicious rubbish than the myth of the evil Sodomite). Plus it's totally incoherent and will quickly degenerate: if they accept homosexuality as an unalterable identity, then they'll eventually have accept gay sex.

    Posted by: Steer pike | Jan 6, 2012 10:14:39 AM

  19. What about the psychological damage this "policy" inflicts on "practicing" gay Catholics? Expressing one's sexuality in a healthy way, with consensual and intimate activity, with a fellow adult partner, is KEY to one's well being. Screw religious ideology, these crazed papists want to deny gay men and women our right to a healthy life. Our sexuality and our expression of our sexuality with intimate partners is fundamental to our health, our well being, our happiness and our sense of identity.

    Posted by: Xavi | Jan 6, 2012 10:19:53 AM

  20. Courage is NOT NEW! The first meeting was held in 1980!

    The only thing new is a branch in Hartford.

    The church has long held that orientation can be inborn, though they don't call it "sexual orientation" or "gay," they call it people suffering from "same sex attraction," or SSA (i. e. ass-backwards).

    Once again, not new and no change in position.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Jan 6, 2012 10:39:55 AM

  21. How about accepting one's sexuality and celebrating it within the context of the golden rule. Would make a lot more sense if the church after admitting that people really do have same sex attraction to tell people to have safe sex (I know I am dreaming here) or to express your sexuality within the context of a loving committed relationship.
    But this is the same church that teaches against contraception. I grew up Catholic with my Mom talking to me about how she felt guilty being on "the pill" But knew that 3 kids were enough and that the priest did not know what they were talking about. She also taught me about having your own relationship with God in your own quiet way.

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Jan 6, 2012 11:12:44 AM

  22. Patrick for the win.

    Posted by: Abel | Jan 6, 2012 11:35:59 AM

  23. That'll work - it's work so well so far.

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 6, 2012 12:07:36 PM

  24. Is this one of those groups where gays addicted to Catholicism can meet each other, and then "discuss" things afterwards?

    Posted by: birds of a feather? | Jan 6, 2012 2:03:12 PM

  25. Chastity - the life rule that all unmarried people in the Catholic religion are supposed to follow. This clip didn't seem to get that message across. So in one way, gays are asked to follow the same rule as all unmarried people. (sacramental marriage - not State sanctioned)
    And I did like his statement - though I am not sure you would hear Bishops using the exact same wording. Having worked with many Priests in the past I can say that several/many are well aware of the grey areas of daily living. They usually seek to find ways to help people find a healthy balance, rather than seeking to enforce absolutes.

    Posted by: me | Jan 6, 2012 2:51:20 PM

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