News » Religion

Maine Catholic Bishop Creates Ministry to ’Help’ Gays

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Sunday Feb 5, 2012

The head bishop of the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Portland, Maine, Richard Malone, recently announced that he has created a new ministry to "help" gays with their "same-sex attraction," the Maine newspaper Bangor News reported.

"This service is being initiated in response to requests from people who desire the church's assistance," Sue Bernard, spokeswoman for the diocese, said in the press release.

Malone said that the ministry will be a chapter of the anti-gay national organization, Courage, which "ministers to those with homosexual or same-sex attractions."

The organization was developed in 1980 in the Archdiocese of New York as a spiritual support system where Catholics would "help" gays get over their same-sex attractions through the teachings of the church's view on sexuality and sexual behavior.

"Courage offers hope and encouragement to men and women who desire to live in accordance with the church's teaching on homosexuality -- specifically that the dignity and identity of every person is not determined by their sexual attractions, but by their relationship with the Lord and their striving to live the virtues of faith, hope and charity," Bernard said.

Courage has received criticism from gay rights activists and organizations. Openly gay Rev. Marky Doty and pastor of Hammond Street Congregational Church told the Bangor News that he was offended by the organization.

"In my view, it is presumptuous and wrong-headed to equate homosexuality with addictive behavior," said Doty. "Same-sex loving people reflect an orientation, a way of viewing the world. To my mind, what takes genuine courage is for people to love and serve God and openly acknowledge that they are also lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. I'm convinced that the cloak of anonymity of this 'ministry' seeks to protect heterosexuals from imagined evils and does no favors for the LGBT community, their families or society in general."

In a similar case, the Hartford, Conn. Roman Catholic archdiocese announced that it was creating a Courage chapter in the city, EDGE reported.

"Through support and spiritual intervention, we can help people with same-sex attraction lead moral and fulfilling lives," Pallotti said. "These people are hurting and so are their families. Doing nothing would be a lack of compassion."

Maine and the issue of gay marriage recently made headlines when a federal appeals court ruled that the anti-gay marriage group, National Organization for Marriage (NOM), may have to show a list of donors who supported a $1.8 million campaign against same-sex marriage, Reuters reported.


  • , 2012-02-05 10:38:41

    The Roman Catholic Church’s reparative therapy ("ex-gay") products are junk science, medical malpractice, and consumer fraud all rolled into a series of products sold by the Catholic corporation called Courage International, Incorporated. This reparative therapy has long been discredited by major professional medical/mental health organizations as ineffective, costly, and dangerous to patients, often resulting in a lifetime of pain, up to and including suicide. No competent, registered, licensed, accredited professional endorses or uses these products; they are sold by un-accredited amateurs who operate - unsupervised - behind the veil of "religious freedom." The priests and therapists who sell these products never disclose the total time and money that a patient needs to invest to reach success because success is impossible, and they never disclose the historical failure rates scientifically measured from the actual histories of real patients because no customer wastes so much time and money once the facts are known. There is no such thing as a lesbian woman or a gay man becoming "ex-gay." That’s because none of the five sexual orientations (lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual, asexual) can be altered, replaced, or ended by mere skill, habit, concentration, or prayer. People claiming to have become "ex-gay" are merely gays and lesbians now enslaved into lifetimes of miserable celibacy, or are bisexuals who decide to court only the opposite gender, or are profiteers seeking customers so desperate that they neither know nor care that the products don’t work. Anyone who loses time or money with these products, especially anyone whose physical or mental health is harmed, can file government complaints and civil/criminal lawsuits for damages via consumer fraud and/or medical/mental malpractice - against churches that promote the products, against organizations that sell them, and against anyone who applies this therapy. Such actions use the same scientific basis as those filed against sellers of health cures tied to alectromancy (roosters pecking at grains), augury (bird flight paths), ceromancy (dripping wax images), haruspicy (the livers of sacrificed animals), or tasseomancy (coffee ground patterns).

  • , 2012-02-06 14:48:04

    I wonder how many alter boys Bishop Malone has molested?

  • , 2012-02-06 18:27:36

    Bishop Malone has had, for many years, a male lover whose name is Reverend Paul Micheli ... they both were ardent supporters of the disgraced Cardinal Law ... In fact, Bishop Malone owes his episcopal status to Cardinal Law ... Micheli was a principal in hiding the sexual misdeeds of his fellow clergymen when he functioned as the Personnel Director of the Archdiocese. I wonder if His Excellency, the Bishop, and Father Micheli will attempt being "ex gays."

  • Wayne M., 2012-02-06 20:58:01

    We need this "help" from the Roman Catholic church like a cancer patient needs help from poisonous snakes. Reparative "therapy" is, in fact, quack psychology and causes considerable harm. Unfortunately, this malpractice is not treated as a criminal act. -- Wayne M.

  • , 2012-02-10 20:26:14

    I was just in the Vatican this week and amazingly I nor my partner were struck by lightning. I thought for sure being such a holy place and the Holy See would certainly strike us down for our blaspheming ways... Certainly a tremor or shaking of the hallowed ground... Not even any demonic music or unexplained accidents or cataclysms. No, none of that. Although there were donation boxes every ten feet. Remember religious friends, the path to salvation is proportional to the amount of your tithe...(and pay no attention to that priest trying to help the and little boy with hi pant down in the sepulcher)

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