Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Courage Participates in Congress on Family

On July 25, Courage was invited to participate in the Congress on Family organized by the Marriage Encounter Foundation of the Philippines (MEFP). The MEFP is a national umbrella organization of family and life ministries. They organized this congress to gather the reflections and views of the laity on the key points from the Final Relatio for the upcoming Synod on the Family in Vatican in October.

One of the seven points of reflection is “Pastoral Attention Towards Persons with Homosexual Tendencies”. This was the section our Spiritual Director, Fr. Daniel Healy, was invited to speak on. His talk started on a reflection on the Woman Caught in Adultery from the Gospel according to John. It reflects on how Jesus treats sinfulness and sin. Jesus’ words are: “Is there no one left to condemn you?”“No one, sir” she answered. “Well then,” Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go, and sin no more.” (Jn 8: 10-11) These inspired words are to be our guide in providing pastoral attention towards person with homosexual tendencies.

From this, Fr. Daniel further expounded on the topic and clarified three basic aspects of the homosexual tendency: person, inclination, and acts. On person, the Christian believes that every human being is born in the image and likeness of God, homosexual persons included, and they are therefore to be loved. On inclination, the Church does not consider this as sinful in itself but it predisposes a person toward what is not truly good for him or her. The term used by the Church is “objective disorder” as it is a burden, a weakness, a share in the cross of Christ. What one must do on this is to have the discipline and to grow in chastity and other virtues. On homosexual acts, the Church has always been consistent on this: “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered…under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC: 2357). Since it is intrinsically disordered or in other words, a sin, this is where the Church makes judgment on. As Jesus told the woman caught in adultery…”Go, and sin no more.” No sin is permissible and so the pastoral care for this is to lead persons who have committed homosexual acts to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

After Fr. Daniel, one of the Courage brothers gave his testimony on his struggles and redemption. Several questions and suggestions were then mentioned by the audience including a massive education program, setting up help desks at a parish level, and formation of married couples on parenting since our Courage brother has testified that the homosexual tendency has its roots in the family.

The genuine concern that the participants showed after the talk are the seeds that God has planted in everyone’s hearts. We can just hope that God will continue to finish the work He has started. It was truly a grace from God for Courage to have participated in this very important pre-meeting on the Synod on the Family and to speak about pastoral attention for persons with homosexual tendencies. This is God’s work after all and we are mere instruments. Praise be to God!

Joseph Anthony of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Invited to Courageous Love

Courage International is proud to announce the release of "Invited to Courageous Love", a five-part series on the Catholic Church and Homosexuality. These videos present a unique perspective on the lives of Catholics who experience same-sex attractions and the peace and joy they have found by embracing the Gospel call to charity and fellowship.

Each 30-minute episode will include testimony from Courage members and interviews with professionals in the fields of pastoral care, philosophy and theology, and the medical and social sciences. Topics include:

1. "The Good News About Chaste Love" --- Courage members tell their stories about living with same-sex attraction, hearing and embracing God's call to chastity, and finding a spiritual home in the Catholic Church.

2. "Sex and Sexuality in the Divine Design" --- Theologians and philosophers discuss the plan for sex and sexuality that is visible in the way human beings are created, and is revealed in the Sacred Scripture and in the teachings of the Church.

3. "Insights from the Medical and Social Sciences" --- Experts in psychology, medicine and pastoral care examine important questions about the origins of same-sex attraction, and the emotional and physical health issues often faced by people in homosexual relationships.

4. "Homosexuality and the Family" --- Parents, spouses and loved ones of people who experience same-sex attractions talk about the challenge of balancing healthy family relationships, concern for their children, and the demands of the life of Faith.

5. "Providing Authentic Pastoral Care" --- Bishops and priests speak from experience about accompanying men and women with same-sex attraction along the way of holiness, and helping them to find their vocations in the Church and in service to others.

"Invited to Courageous Love" will be released as a 5-DVD set, complete with a Study Guide for individuals or groups, on September 1, 2015.

It is sure to become an important resource for dioceses, parishes, schools and anyone wishing to know more about the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality, and the lives of people who are faithfully living them out.

Source:  Courage International

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Healing the Child Within

Forwarded invitation by Bro. Alfie of Living Waters Philippines. For inquiries, kindly contact him at 0917-8922257.