Believing a gay orientation is not a sin but acting on it is, the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Hartford, Conn., is offering a ministry aimed at helping gays and lesbians stay celibate.
"On Tuesday, the archdiocese announced it was launching a local chapter of a national ministry called Courage 'to support men and women who struggle with homosexual tendencies and to motivate them to live chaste and fruitful lives in accordance with Catholic Church teachings,'" the Hartford Courant reports.
Archdiocesan official Robert Pallotti said the ministry is designed to "help people with same-sex attraction lead moral and fulfilling lives," a statement that offended LGBT leaders. It sends the message that other gays and lesbians "are not moral and are not leading fulfilling lives, and that is not true," Linda Estabrook, executive director of the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective, told the Courant.
Robin McHaelen, executive director of the Hartford LGBT youth group True Colors, said the Catholic Church is "trying to have it both ways -- keeping the same hostile interpretation of a small number of biblical passages while pretending they are not homophobic. ... I can't tell you how many kids I work with who have been spiritually wounded by this and similar religious perspectives. In my opinion, that's the abomination."