I want to respond to Dr. Janis Petzel’s letter (Feb. 13) concerning the establishment of Courage, a Catholic ministry founded to provide pastoral guidance to persons with same-sex attraction and to those assisting them.

While Petzel, I am sure, wants to help others, she labors under a false premise: The Catholic Church makes no claim that it – or anyone else, for that matter – can change this orientation, any more than our own predisposition for a particular sin can be erased. This is part of the human condition.

This inability to eradicate the disposition is called a lack of a cure. People often confuse this with an inability to change. Actually, they are two different realities.

Courage is there for those who voluntarily want to be healed, in that although they may not be cured, they can change – that is, live a chaste and happy, well-adjusted life in accord with the natural law and the moral teachings of the church. No one is forced to join or participate.

Moreover, the church condemns no sinner, but rather the notion that the inclination to sin is set in stone in such way that we are predetermined, without free human, moral will, and that in this case, at least in some quarters, it is also considered “a right.”

Christ comes to all who are sinners, not the self-righteous. In Petzel’s rush to judge the church and the saintly, humble Rev. Kevin Martin, the doctor has committed the very “crime” she accuses the church and him (indirectly) of, in so many words.

Pauly Fongemie


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.