The Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut has announced it is launching a local chapter of Courage, the Catholic ministry that promotes the idea that only through a life of chastity can gays live “in accordance with Church teachings.” Robert Pallotti, Office of Diaconate director, and Rev. Paul Check, the director of the new chapter of the “love the sinner, hate the sin” ministry, are optimistic about the outcome:
PALLOTTI: Through support and spiritual intervention, we can help people with same-sex attraction lead moral and fulfilling lives. These people are hurting and so are their families. Doing nothing would be a lack of compassion.
CHECK: [It will help people] who have a unique struggle, an often difficult and vexing one, and who want to know that the grace of Christ and his cross is available to them in concrete and practical ways.
Rather than acknowledge that Catholic teachings exacerbate the stress gays and lesbians can feel as they struggle to come out, Pallotti and Check are eager to capitalize on it. Perhaps they feel that three years of marriage equality in Connecticut have just made the state too LGBT-friendly. Efforts to repress sexual orientation are harmful and ineffective, but Courage represents a more malevolent intent to deprive gays and lesbians of the opportunity to love and be loved. Pallotti speaks of compassion, but turning gays’ own victimization against them and using the fear of Hell to make them afraid of love is the very opposite of compassion.