LGBTQ and Allies to Peacefully Protest Catholic Conference

By Shelby Clark

Affirmations' Faith Alliance, Supportive Families and PFLAG are looking for individuals to speak up for true acceptance, love and equality for LGBTQ people by holding vigil outside of a two day Catholic conference.

The conference, for both priests and laypeople, will be presented by the Archdiocese of Detroit through the Catholic Church's "Courage" program. The program, considered the official plan to minister to LGBT people, "offers spiritual support groups to help Catholics with same-sex attractions (SSA) to live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church's teaching." According to the advertising for the conference, the sessions "will explain the (official) Catholic understanding of same sex attraction from the theological, anthropological, pastoral, and psychological perspectives."

Courage is known for sharing similar beliefs to other religious groups that believe homosexuality is pathological and that the only "path" without sin is to live a life of celibacy. The Catholic program differs from other organizations in believing that sexual orientation cannot be changed and is "fixed." Regardless of the understanding that sexual orientation can not be forcibly changed, the group still intends to consider LGBT as "disordered."

The conference will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 7 and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 8. The sessions will be at Sacred Heart Seminary, 2701 W. Chicago Blvd., Detroit.

To counter the ignorant words within, Catholic Parents of LGBT Daughters and Sons will host a prayer vigil outside the seminary from 2 to 3:30 p.m. March 7 and from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 8.

Affirmations and PFLAG are looking for positively-worded speech and posters at the vigil. The demonstration is aiming to be both peaceful and prayerful.

RSVP to Tom and Linda Nelson of Supportive Families at lindakarle@earthlink.net to let them know you'll be supporting LGBTQ equality. More detailed information will be emailed a few days before the conference.

Follow continued news on the vigil at www.pridesource.com.

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