Cardinal Francis George is being urged to skip a conference this weekend they say will offer workshops on "reparative" gay therapy. Conference organizers say that's not the purpose of the event, but some participants have close ties to the so-called "ex-gay" movement and have advocated for therapy to "repair" sexuality.
The four-day "Courage" conference begins Thursday at University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein. Its sponsor, the Norwalk, Conn.-based Catholic Aposolate Courage International, Inc., proclaims itself to be "a spiritual support system which would assist men and women with same-sex attractions in living chaste lives in fellowship, truth and love," according to its website.
George is scheduled to give his mass Friday afternoon, just after a session led by Courage Exec. Dir. Fr. Paul Check and Dr. William Consiglio, who is author of the 1991 book "Homosexual No More - Practical Strategies for Christians Overcoming Homosexuality" and a founder of the Hamden, Conn.-based HOPE Ministries. Consiglio also for a time was a board member for the now-dissolved ex-gay organization Exodus International.
Another controversial participant is Dr. Timothy Lock, both a Courage board member and member of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, which is promoting his participation through their website. The Southern Poverty Law Center proclaimed NARTH to be the preeminent source of "junk science for the religious right — psychology that underpins the anti-gay movement's fervent opposition to equal rights and stigmatizes LGBT people as mentally sick."
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