What is Courage?
Courage is an organization of chaste homosexuals.

What does it do?
Courage is a spiritual support group of Catholic laity – men and women – who aspire to live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

What is homosexuality?
A psychological disorder.

What causes it?
Often an unsatisfactory relationship with the parent of the same sex.  Homosexuality is an ambivalence (two opposed and conflicting emotions) toward the same sex, rather than love for the same sex.

Are there separate groups for chaste lesbians?
Yes, there are some exclusively for women.

Are Courage members all unmarried?
No, some married people join anonymously.

Where do they meet?
Where convenient.

How do they manage to remain chaste?
Three ways: Prayer, Discussion, and Self-discipline.

Is it strictly for Catholic homosexuals?
Yes, Anglicans and other denominations have their own groups: INTEGRITY is for Anglicans; and there is an older interdenominational group, HOMOSEXUALS ANONYMOUS FELLOWSHIP SERVICES (H.A.F.S).

How many Courage groups are there?
20 in Canada and the U.S.

Was the group formed because AIDS appeared on the scene?
No, it was formed long before.

How do you sort out the “active” homosexual from the one who wants to live a chaste life?
The person is asked if he or she agrees with the five goals of Courage and if they don’t agree they are not accepted.

What are these five goals?
* To live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexuality.
* To dedicate one’s entire life to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and frequently receiving the sacraments of Penance and of the Holy Eucharist.
* To foster a spirit of fellowship in which to share with on another thoughts and experiences, and so ensure that none of us will have to face the problem of homosexuality alone.
* To be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible, but necessary, in celibate Christian life and to encourage one another in forming and sustaining them.
* To live lives that may serve as good examples to other homosexuals.

Why a group?
The group provides support: you can talk, and be natural, even if you don’t always agree.  It helps you avoid bad influences.

Do people stay in Courage?
Oh yes, you share your experiences, and get strength from other homosexuals.  You don’t suffer so much from loneliness, fear, anger and rejection.  There are group discussions about current articles and books and there’s a feeling of belonging.

How did Courage start?
Father John Harvey, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, a professor of Moral Theology at the University of America, had been counseling homosexuals since 1955, and was invited by New York’s Cardinal Terrence Cooke in 1978, to set up an organization for Catholic laity that offered an alternative to DIGNITY.

What’s wrong with Dignity?
DIGNITY has made an effort to help homosexuals, but they are very vague about supporting the Catholic Church’s teaching that homosexuals must abstain from homosexual activities.  In its newsletters, it constantly attacks the Church’s position and has done so for many years.

What is the Catholic Church’s position?
Nowhere in the Scriptures are homosexual actions approved, and wherever they are mentioned in the Old Testament (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13) they are condemned.  Likewise, they are condemned in the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; and most explicitly for both male and female, in Romans 1:26-27, which I quote: “For this cause God has given them up to shameful lusts; for their women have exchanged natural intercourse for what is against nature, and in the same way men too, having given up natural intercourse with women, have burned in their lusts toward one another, men with men practicing that well-known shamefulness and receiving in their own bodies fitting punishment of their perversity.”

Any other arguments against active homosexuality?
Well, yes, the natural complementarity of man and woman.  Such complementarity is lacking in a homosexual relationship, the homosexual is denied so many of the spiritual and emotional rewards available to the man and woman who enter into a harmonious long-term relationship.  The homosexual seems to have an incapacity to complement and fulfill another homosexual.  He also lacks the pleasure of family and having children, and finds the aging process more lonely.

Wouldn’t chaste homosexuals have a tendency to want to ‘date’ one another?
We have found that when people have the motivation to live in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church, the danger of their becoming an occasion of sin for one another diminishes.  Chaste homosexuals must have a plan, if they want to remain chaste.

What plan?
1) Morning prayers – at least 15 minutes
2) Mass – as often as possible during the week
3) Examination of conscience – to see where they’re going wrong
4) Ten minutes of daily Spiritual Reading
5) Carefully-chosen confessor – seen regularly
6) Some form of devotion to the Virgin Mary and the Saints

That’s a great program – when did it start in Canada?
In May 1986, when Father Harvey came to Toronto.

Is Courage growing?
Yes, but we’re still quite small.  The difficulty is with today’s liberal, and accepted views.

How do you deal with a homosexual’s loneliness?
Loneliness can be replaced with the real presence of God and true Christian friends.

Pray for healing

And with emotional hurts?
There again, emotional hurts can be healed by God’s love which fulfills where human love fails.

And the homosexual’s fear?
Fear can be dispelled by confidence and trust in He who chose us and loves us.

And confusion?
Confusion can be cleared away by the pure light of God’s truth – the Bible.

What about the active homosexuals who denies there is any sin in homosexual activity?
The individual must search out the scriptures and find where he or she is wrong.  Any sin can be repented of and forgiven.  Anger, rebellion, envy, lust, can all be forgiven through the mercy and power of God.

Is remaining celibate difficult?
One chaste homosexual was quoted as saying, and it’s worth repeating: “If you think that celibacy is the pits, try promiscuity.  I’ve stood in bars and screamed inside myself, “God! What am I doing Here?”  Another talked about the cynicism of the gay scene and the “turmoil of homosexual life.” “You can’t do it on your own,” Father Harvey was quoted as saying, “you need God’s help.  And you need the help of a group.”

“…None of us will have to face the problem alone,” said another, “When you do it for the love of God, the struggle and the pain and the dying to one’s self become a source of joy.  I’ve never been happier.”  “No one can cure you but Jesus.”

As one member of Courage quite poignantly put it: “After much prayer for healing and personal ministry, my father and I experienced a dramatic healing.  As he admitted his failings, he broke down in tears.  He then held me in his arms for the next 45 minutes and we talked.  He told me how much he loved me, how proud he was of me, and how much he could see that healing had to happen just as much in him as it did in me.  We talked of his father’s failure with him, and the lack of affection that had existed in their relationship, we were beginning to experience the affection and intimacy that is meant to be in a healthy family relationship.”