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Andrea Norwood wrote:

Hi, guys—

I want to open a camp forLGBTpeople to teach them that they are still people and that they are loved. This wouldn't be a religion-based camp but I still don't know if doing this would be against the Catholic faith and Her teachings.

  • Can you help or advise me?

Andrea

  { Would opening a camp for LGBT people which is not religion-based be against our faith? }

Bob replied:

Andrea,

You are undoubtedly moved by great compassion and love for our brothers and sisters that have same sex attraction and or other sexual identity issues, and there is no shortage of need for greater understanding and love to be shown to these individuals.

We as Catholics are called to love and show compassion for every person, regardless of their circumstance, but we draw the line on approval for acts that are not consistent with God's calling. In other words, we love homosexual persons, but we don't condone sexual acts like sodomy and other activity that are often part of the homosexual lifestyle.

We believe that all of us are called to chastity, a challenge to be all that God desires for us, even if that means being sexually inactive.

This applies to non-married heterosexual persons too.

So, you want to do something that is consistent with your Catholic faith but also reaches out to these persons who:

  • often feel put down
  • unloved, and
  • frankly have often suffered abuse and ridicule.

That is no small undertaking. The difficulty you face is walking a line of balance between acceptance of the person and not condoning wrongful acts.

In our culture, acceptance of the acts is implicit in any push for acceptance.

If one does not approve of acts contrary to God's design, then the charge is:

  • there is no acceptance
  • one is a bigot or homophobe or
  • other worse label.

Sadly, the culture has turned this into a war. There is a group called Courage that is successfully doing such good work for persons of a homosexual disposition. My gay friend finds it to be an awesome group/mission apostolate. They tend to look at persons as simply persons, some with same-sex attractions, but persons made in the image of God and called to chastity. They bring compassion, understanding and acceptance to many who can't find a way to fit it.

I would seek out a chapter near you and talk with them about how this kind of mission might be successful.

If God is calling you to this, it will be blessed. If not, it may be another way to reach out — a small group that meets for support every week or month or whatever. Who knows? But whatever you do, seek God first and read up on some good Catholic resources on homosexual issues.

For Courage check out their website:

Peace,

Bob Kirby

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