viernes, 30 de octubre de 2015

Silence from Catholic colleges ... “makes it more difficult for them to hear and live by the truth of the Gospel"

‘Coming Out Day’ at Catholic Colleges Risks Betraying the Faith, Harming Students

By Adam Cassandra |

While many Catholic colleges and universities are using the occurrence of “National Coming Out Day” to sponsor events promoting lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) identities and lifestyles throughout the month of October, such events could actually be harmful to the students and risk betraying the Catholic faith, according to information from the Catholic Medical Association and Courage International, a Catholic apostolate that ministers to persons with same-sex attraction.

“Events like ‘Coming Out Day’ run the risk of equating a person's identity with his or her sexual attractions, which, although they form a significant part of a person's experience, are only one factor in the whole complex reality of what it means to be a human being,” said Father Philip Bochanski, associate director of Courage International, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Promoting events that reduce a person's identity to his or her sexual attractions betrays our Catholic faith in the dignity of the human person, and does a disservice to those it claims to defend,” he said.

Georgetown University, along with several other Catholic colleges, recently promoted “Coming Out Day” on campus, encouraging students to be proud of and embrace LGBTQ identities.

According to Georgetown’s description of the event online, “This event will feature a door through which students ‘come out’ as proud LGBTQ Hoyas and Allies.”

In addition to “Coming Out Day,” Georgetown is sponsoring a “six-week long celebration of the LGBTQ community” dubbed “OUTober.” OUTober events at Georgetown are organized by the University’s LGBTQ Resource Center and the student group GU Pride in partnership with the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Campus Ministry and 28 other University departments and programs.

None of the OUTober event descriptions include discussions of chastity, Church teaching or rejecting LGBTQ identities and lifestyles in any way. The Newman Society asked Georgetown to provide examples of specific University-sponsored events or materials promoted by the University that stress rejection of same-sex attraction (SSA), but no response was received by time of publication.

The student newspaper, The Hoya, describes the OUTober events as helping students feel “proud” about embracing LGBTQ identities. And while these events last over a month, the paper claims the University isn’t doing enough in this regard: “As we continue to celebrate OUTober and the importance of accepting all identities, the Georgetown community would do well to recognize how far we still have to go.”

But in its publication “Homosexuality and Hope,” the Catholic Medical Association (CMA) stresses the need for individuals with same-sex attraction to seek out treatment, not embrace LGBTQ identities or lifestyles. And CMA emphasizes the responsibility of educators in helping those individuals to obtain treatment.

Teachers, along with parents and priests, “have a serious responsibility to communicate the fullness of the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, to counter false information about SSA, and to encourage people with SSA to obtain help,” according to CMA.

“Therapy can help a client to identify the underlying causes of his or her SSA, which often include low self-esteem, anxiety, anger, sadness, and loneliness, and to resolve emotional pain,” CMA states. “Treatment can then help the person work toward freedom to live chastely according to his or her state in life.”

“True compassion toward those with SSA requires communicating to them the scientific truth about treatment,” the CMA publication says.

The Newman Society asked Georgetown to respond to questions about University-sponsored OUTober events potentially harming students in any way, physically, psychologically or spiritually, but no response was received by the time of publication.

Fr. Bochanski said Catholic colleges should strive to combat unjust discrimination of students with SSA, but agreed that educators have a responsibility to reject acceptance of LGBTQ lifestyles and to emphasize Church teachings on human sexuality.

“Catholic institutions of all sorts ought to be the first to identify and repudiate unjust discrimination, and Catholic colleges and universities are right to welcome all students, including those experiencing same-sex attractions, and to accompany them along the way of holiness,” he told the Newman Society. But he said, “It is not charitable or loving to withhold or obscure the truths of faith, even when this is done in an effort to be compassionate or welcoming.”

For guidance on welcoming students with SSA into the Catholic community on campus, Fr. Bochanski pointed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s 1986 letter to bishops on the pastoral care of those with same-sex attraction:
No authentic pastoral programme will include organizations in which homosexual persons associate with each other without clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral. A truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to avoid the near occasions of sin.
We would heartily encourage programmes where these dangers are avoided. But we wish to make it clear that departure from the Church's teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral.The neglect of the Church's position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.


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