Rorate Caeli

Cardinal Dolan, in this age, it is keeping the faith that deserves a "Bravo"

For those who may not have heard of it, Courage is a spiritual support group aimed at helping Catholic men and women to live in accordance with the Catholic Church's pastoral teaching on homosexuality. It was founded in 1980 by Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s predecessor as Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Terence Cooke, who placed it under the direction of Father John Harvey, OSFS.

In the ensuing years, from its New York foundation, Courage has established approximately fifty chapters throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. In 1994, the Pontifical Council for the Family (under what was apparently a more “judgmental” pontificate) gave its support to the apostolate “for helping homosexual persons to live in accordance with the laws of God and the teaching of His Church.”

A brief perusal of the Courage website will reveal two things. The first is the magnitude of the cross borne by our same-sex attracted brothers and sisters who wish to live their lives in accordance with God’s will. In these days when secular society is doing everything in its power to push such persons out of the closet and into a sinful state, when what the Vatican document on seminary admission mentioned as "the so-called 'gay culture'" is dominant, one can only imagine how heavy their burden has become. The second thing one sees is the outstretched hand of the Church and its promise to stand by the afflicted for the duration of their temporal lives with spiritual direction, the Sacraments, and both pastoral and fatherly support.

The Catechism tells us that same-sex-attracted persons “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.” I’ve yet to see a better example of this teaching being applied than the way it is by Courage. As they explain in their excellent "coming out" article, this action has a specific purpose of strict self-identification that prevents psychological growth (including Christian maturity) and advertising availability and belonging to an unchaste community:

The pro-gay movement in fact prepares young people very thoroughly for this step of coming out, for this is a key moment. It’s a rite of passage into a large, enthusiastic, and seemingly attractive movement, and this is how one joins that community and that movement.
"Coming out" serves a double purpose for the person who decides to take that step: 

1. Psychological and social identification with the homosexual life by going public, an act of self-labeling which effectively blocks other possibilities for growth.

2. The delivery of a challenge to those who might question that life. The person delivering the challenge adopts a victim posture, when actually he or she is very much on the offensive. "Coming out" is at the same time an act of vulnerability and an act of aggressiveness.
Anything More?

Yes. You must come out a Roman Catholic! (Unlocking the Coming Out Trap)

I have to wonder how it felt for members of Courage – especially those in Cardinal Dolan’s archdiocese, where the movement was born – when they heard His Eminence confront the news of a University of Missouri football star’s decision to “come out” as “gay” with the festive and celebratory expressions of “Good for him” and “Bravo.” Why, with the myriad “difficulties they may encounter from their condition,” does the Cardinal feel the need to add what amounts to blatant derision of their daily struggle to move beyond this reductionist and self-congratulatory self-labeling, imposed by the "pro-gay movement" and their cultural enforcers, coming from the lips of a shepherd? I think it’s time for His Eminence to step forward and hold up as the true example all of those afflicted with same-sex-attraction who struggle day in and day out to live in a state of holiness in spite of their condition and refusing reductionist self-labeling and say to these people, “Bravo. Good for you!”

Cardinal Dolan can’t have it both ways. The clock is running. He and his brother bishops are going to have to pick a horse and ride it.