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Catholic Church: 12-Step Program to Stop Being Gay

The Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs is the latest to launch a 12-step program to help men with unwanted homosexual thoughts.

The Catholic Church's "Twelve Steps of Courage" has been around since 1980, and has 110 chapters worldwide.

It borrows from Alcoholics Anonymous, requiring participants to admit they are powerless in overcoming same-sex attraction, ask God for help, and make amends to those they’ve hurt, among the other steps.

“It’s not about therapy and not about activism,” said the Rev. Larry Brennan, the Colorado Springs diocese director of priest formation. “It’s about support.”

Brennan said the program is not for people comfortable with their gay lifestyle. “The people we want to reach are those who experience this as a burden,” he said.

The Church views homosexual relations as a sin, but not homosexual thoughts. It expects people with same-sex attraction to be celibate.

“The exercise of sexuality is reserved for marriage, and that can only happen between a man and a woman,” Brennan said.

However, Jim Fitzgerald, executive director of the national progressive Catholic group Call to Action, is skeptical of the program because he contends homosexuality isn’t sinful.

“It restricts people’s freedom to be the kind of person they were created to be,” Fitzgerald said.

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