“Be steadfast and courageous. Fear not, and be not dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. “This verse from the book of Joshua, 1: 9, symbolizes a great and delicate work of the Catholic Church. In Brazil, it is still little known, and is to help people with same sex attraction. Courage (courage) is an apostolate of spiritual support, which believes that these people can follow the teachings of the Church.
The group was founded in 1980 by then-archbishop of New York, Cardinal Terence Cooke, to help same-sex people to live in chastity. In Brazil, the apostolate first arrived in São Paulo in 2009 and is spreading throughout the country.
During a visit to France, the national lay coordinator Maurício Marcos Abambres and Father Cristiano José Soares Sanches of the Diocese of Brasília were received by the coordinator of the Franciscan diocesan Family Pastoral, Father Valdomiro José de Souza, and showed a little of the work, And the interest of the group’s creation in the city.
“There is a desire, a proposal for us to structure in a better way the reception of people who feel same-sex attraction. In our priestly life we see that these people do not feel welcomed by the Church, they feel condemned on the fringes and it is not true because they are in the loving heart of the Church as Mother and are also in the merciful heart of the Father It is already difficult for her because an existential anguish is usually present. For the Church, above all, she is the daughter of God, she is loved by God and this can not be changed, “Father Valdomiro said.
Mauricio said that the name Courage was chosen precisely because it is a challenge to follow the path the Church asks for, which is the path of chastity. “Courage is not a group of ex-gays, it offers spiritual support. It’s not a reparative therapy group that’s going to get people going from homosexual to heterosexual. It offers a support for the person to live what the Church asks for. Learn that the concept of a person is not only the sexual attraction of her, she is a man or a woman with her qualities and characteristics that sometimes do not correspond to the sexual identity that she was born, “adds Maurício.
Along with Courage there is also the EnCourage, a group that works with relatives of people who feel same-sex attraction. “When we talk about family, it’s a little broader because it’s for friends, spouse, son, or some relative who has a person that he loves very much, but at the same time that person chose to live a life with a Practice of having a mate, and people feel in conflict with her Christian principles and the love they feel for the person, and they do not know how to deal with the situation. EnCourage comes to support these people, “explains Mauricio.
The apostolate also works with couples, in which one spouse discovers same-sex attraction. “The person comes in that dilemma. ‘What do I do? Do I give up on my family and assume a homosexual relationship? ‘ It happens that her husband is in Courage and the woman in EnCourage, both receiving support, “says Maurício.
Courage welcomes men and women over 18 years of age, under total confidentiality. While the group is not created in the diocese of Franca, those interested may participate in virtual meetings to exchange experiences, contacting the apostolate through the website: http://www.couragebrasil.com or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org