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Controversy as Five Parishioners Complain to University About Courage Apostolate in Catholic Church


Five parishioners of Newman Center’s St. Thomas Aquinas parish have complained to the University of Toronto that their Catholic parish on campus is teaching the Catholic point of view on homosexuality by employing the Vatican-approved Courage apostolate at the request of students. On Sunday, an article posted in the Catholic Register offered a good overview of the controversy, but today the Toronto Star has used a lot of proverbial ink to present a different picture. Claims are made in the Toronto Star’s article about Courage that are false, but the Toronto Star prints these false claims without offering information from the Courage website that is readily available and that proves that the claims are false.


“This group indoctrinates . . . praying yourself straight,” said Stuart Graham, a former liturgical minister and lector at the parish who was one of those who complained to the university.

That is false. From the Courage FAQ:

Courage members are under no obligation to try to develop heterosexual attractions, because there is no guarantee that a person will always succeed in such an endeavour.

How easy was that? It took me only a few seconds to find that online.


“They’re telling young people who are confused and frightened that they’re damned,” he said. “I’m shocked we’re dealing with this in 2013.”

That is false. From the Courage FAQ:

It is psychologically understandable that certain people struggle with homosexual attractions. The Church recognizes this and does not condemn people for simply having these attractions; however, the Church also teaches that homosexual acts are always immoral, and therefore, one must also accept that the inclination to engage in such acts is, philosophically speaking, objectively disordered.

Far from saying anyone is “damned,” Courage says that same-sex attraction is “psychologically understandable.” I think we can all agree that “young people” who are “confused and frightened,” as Graham says, should not be having sex, whether or not it is with someone of the same gender. Who among us wants a confused and frightened young person to be having sex? Courage is promoting chastity, especially among those with same-sex attraction, especially among young people, and especially among the “confused and frightened.” If the counter to this is that young people who are confused and frightened should be engaging in sex, then I should think that the vast majority of people would agree with Courage, not with Mr. Graham.

It’s a shame that the University of Toronto is siding with Mr. Graham and four other parishioners as they demand that their Catholic parish on campus preach that young, confused, frightened people should be engaging in sex of any kind, let alone with someone of the same gender, but that is the situation here.

We shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose, since the University of Toronto is okay with student orgies. Perhaps Mr. Graham and his fellow parishioners should just decide now if they want the student orgies or if they want to promote chastity among the “young, confused, frightened” students at the University of Toronto. That would be an easy choice for me, though probably not so easy among the confused, young and frightened.

Photo: Newman Centre, Toronto, by jonfholl.


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