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Author Topic: URGENT - Priest Under Attack for Allowing Courage Program at Toronto Newman Ctr.  (Read 7817 times)

Allan

To Arms! 

Quote from: Toronto Star, January 16, 2013
A Catholic group that counsels homosexuals to be celibate has prompted dozens of offended people to leave a parish on U of T campus and earned a rebuke from the university. Yet it continues to operate.

A chapter of the international organization Courage, a self-described support group for homosexuals in the Catholic Church, was invited to the Newman Centre’s St. Thomas Aquinas Parish last year. Shortly afterward, several members of the parish lodged a complaint with the University of Toronto, even though the parish is independent from the university.

The Newman Centre then posted a comment on its website specifying that the program is not offered by or connected to the university, but it continues to support Courage’s activities.

“This group indoctrinates . . . praying yourself straight,” said Stuart Graham, a former liturgical minister and lector at the parish who was one of those who complained to the university.

“They’re telling young people who are confused and frightened that they’re damned,” he said. “I’m shocked we’re dealing with this in 2013.”

Courage International, Inc., located in Connecticut, referred all comment to the local chapter, which did not return the Star’s calls.

But in an interview with The Catholic Register, Courage International director Paul Check said he didn’t understand the controversy.

“Why is a group that wants to meet quietly and is committed to the virtue of chastity . . . why would that be controversial?” he said.

Only a few months ago, the Newman Centre was “like the United Nations,” Graham said, including straight and openly homosexual people from across the globe.

But then something changed. Graham, who identifies himself as a homosexual Catholic, didn’t initially know why fewer people were showing up for mass last fall. A chance encounter with a fellow parishioner on the street led him to Courage’s website.

The site includes a pledge that mimics the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

“We admitted that we were powerless over homosexuality. . . . We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity,” states the pledge.

“Within 15 minutes, I started hyperventilating,” Graham said. “Courage tells people they’re defective.”

Graham and others complained to the university in October, but were told the Newman Centre, which operates on campus, is a separate organization and isn’t governed by the university’s rules.

Angela Hildyard, U of T’s vice-president of human resources and equity, nevertheless urged the centre to cease offering or promoting the program, according to a U of T statement.

The Parish’s pastor, Father Chris Cauchi, said Courage was invited at the request of several students, but declined to comment further.

The group is consistent with the values of the Catholic Church, said Neil MacCarthy, director of communications at Toronto archdiocese.

“It is a program that is an opt-in program only for those who wish to join,” he said.

In an announcement from the pulpit two Sundays ago, Cauchi reiterated his support for Courage and invited anyone in the community to speak with him about the issue.

Meanwhile at St. Thomas Aquinas, the pews are emptying out, said longtime congregant Larry Carriere. “There’s growing emptiness and sadness in the community,” he said.

Graham estimates that 50 people have left the parish to worship elsewhere.

Despite the complaints, the media attention and dwindling numbers at mass, Courage continues to operate with the blessings of the church.

“Let the man speak to an empty room,” said Graham. “If that’s the result, then the archdiocese and that parish have their answer.”

I attend this Parish off and on, and the Pastor is pretty new and has been setting things right – if you get me.  And he is of course being martyred before our eyes for promoting the true faith, and is receiving no help whatsoever from the several on-campus religious houses (Jesuits, Dominicans, Basilians) which are themselves unfortunately very modernist.
This priest stands alone, and we must support him.

Please, for the love of God and all that is Holy write him, offer him prayers, offer him financial support, but urge him not to give in and surrender.  Let him know he has support:

Contact Fr. Here: http://www.newmantoronto.com/contact or by email fr.chris@newmantoronto.com


« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 06:11:pm by Allan »
Remember, sometimes when you ask "WWJD?", the answer will be  "Knock over all the tables and trash the joint!"

“Nobody's perfect. Well, there was this one guy, but we killed him....”

MRose

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Meg

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Perhaps this brave priest is alone in the human sense, but surely he knows that God is helping him along and guiding him. The pews may be emptying out, but maybe something good will come of it. And some of them may return after the furor dies down a bit. I recall that John Mary Vianney had to deal with a similar situation when he was assigned to his first (and only) parish after he was ordained. The majority of the parishioners were lukewarm, indifferent, and prone to sin. He wasn't much appreciated, at first, for trying to turn the situation around with good, solid preaching, but eventually the parishioners came around. He had to put much faith in God to help him. St. Alphonsus encountered a similar situation, as did others. It sounds as if the Archdiocese is at least supporting Fr. Cauchi, which also gives hope.

I'll offer prayers this week for the good Father.
".....and the Mass is very long and tiresome unless one loves God very much."

~From the novel by G.K. Chesterton, "The Ball and the Cross," first published 1905, pg. 99

Allan

Perhaps this brave priest is alone in the human sense, but surely he knows that God is helping him along and guiding him. The pews may be emptying out, but maybe something good will come of it. And some of them may return after the furor dies down a bit. I recall that John Mary Vianney had to deal with a similar situation when he was assigned to his first (and only) parish after he was ordained. The majority of the parishioners were lukewarm, indifferent, and prone to sin. He wasn't much appreciated, at first, for trying to turn the situation around with good, solid preaching, but eventually the parishioners came around. He had to put much faith in God to help him. St. Alphonsus encountered a similar situation, as did others. It sounds as if the Archdiocese is at least supporting Fr. Cauchi, which also gives hope.

I'll offer prayers this week for the good Father.

Regrettably, many priests simply cave, and we know it.  They are human, and weak, and under relentless attack by the Enemy.
Remember, sometimes when you ask "WWJD?", the answer will be  "Knock over all the tables and trash the joint!"

“Nobody's perfect. Well, there was this one guy, but we killed him....”

Meg

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From reading the OP, it doesn't sound as if Fr. Cauchi is weak. Quite the opposite. It doesn't hurt, though, to send emails and prayers of support.
".....and the Mass is very long and tiresome unless one loves God very much."

~From the novel by G.K. Chesterton, "The Ball and the Cross," first published 1905, pg. 99


JayneK

Thanks for informing us of this situation, Alan.  It is of great interest to me.  Although I have had little to do with the Newman Center recently, I am a U of T alumna and I actually got married at the chapel there.  I have sent an email to Father.
ADORABLE Saviour, consider my many wants, and grant me those graces which Thou knowest I stand in need of to do Thy will in all things.

mikemac

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Please, for the love of God and all that is Holy write him, offer him prayers, offer him financial support, but urge him not to give in and surrender.  Let him know he has support:

Contact Fr. Here: http://www.newmantoronto.com/contact or by email fr.chris@newmantoronto.com

Letter of support sent.  Thanks for bringing this to our attention Allan.
Mary, Queen of Canada       Occupation 101

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knittycat

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It really must sting these practicing homosexual's consciences to see people with the same affliction acting in accordance with God's commandments for them to react so negatively to something that doesn't involve them.
I mean, nobody is making these people go.  They go because they want to be healed, because they want to support each other in being obedient when all of society tells them to do as they please.
I think perhaps some of the people screaming against this might also be upset at the potential loss of sexual partners.

JuniorCouncilor

Letter of support sent.  Prayers forthcoming.
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Adam_Michael

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I will contact him and let him know he is supported. I will also pray for him as well.

O my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


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