Homosexuality Pamphlet Pulled From Church Shelves

Homosexuality & HopeLONG ISLAND – The Curé of Ars church in Merrick has removed copies of a glossy green pamphlet called “Homosexuality & Hope” after receiving complaints about the brochure’s assertions that homosexuality was a disorder preventable with psychotherapy.
Homosexuality is considered “intrinsically disordered” in the Roman Catholic Church’s catechism. The pamphlet lists possible causes of homosexuality in “at-risk children,” including narcissism, alcoholic parents, and poor body image.
It also says, “Current clinical therapy shows that there is hope for prevention,” and offers information on support groups and research.
Critics said the pamphlet’s advice on therapy as a way to prevent homosexuality is not scientifically proven.
Father Charles Mangano, the pastor of the church, said he had first ordered the brochure from the Massachusetts-based Catholic Medical Association in 2005, after a parishioner called him seeking guidance during a sexual identity crisis. The pamphlet, written by physicians with the association, had been available to parishioners for the past year and a half, Mangano said.
“The content of this pamphlet was intended to offer direction to those who are struggling with their sexual identity and those seeking guidance and conformity with the teaching of the church,” Mangano said.
Mangano said he decided on Wednesday night to pull about a hundred pamphlets from the church’s literature racks, with support from the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Mangano said he recently received two complaints about the brochure.
“It was a mixture of theory and Catholic teaching,” said Sean Dolan, diocese spokesman. “And the theory in some places is dated.”
“I don’t think anyone knows what the causes of homosexuality are,” he added.
Dr. Daniel Araoz, a human sexuality specialist at Long Island University and former Jesuit priest, blasted the pamphlet’s claims as psychologically unsubstantiated.
“This is a very biased type of propaganda, and it will only create more guilt and confusion in people who are homosexual,” he said.
Araoz said he believes people are born homosexual.
The controversy mirrors the larger debate over the church’s grappling with homosexuality, an issue that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is expected to revisit during its conference next month.
“In the Bible, Jesus never mentions homosexuality. What Jesus does mention is love and the need to reach out to the marginalized; to reach out to our brothers and sisters — whoever they may be,” said Nicole Soleto of the Catholic church reform group Call to Action, based in Chicago.
Dee Divito, a 41-year-old Catholic from Massapequa, was one of the thousands who visited the Curée of Ars earlier this month to see the preserved heart of St. Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney.
She went to the literature racks for prayer cards and instead found the pamphlet on homosexuality. A day of worship and joy became one of sadness, she said.
from Newsday

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