A Catholic-run conference aims to help clergy, lay ministers, and medical and mental health professionals provide better support for people who experience same-sex attraction or confusion about sexual identity.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix and Father Paul Check, the
executive director of Courage International, invited to the conference
clergy, vowed religious, lay ministers and other relevant professionals
in a Sept. 15 letter.
“The ‘Truth and Love’ project endeavors to bring the clarity and
charity of Catholic teaching to challenging questions, while never
losing sight of individual people,” they said. The event aims to offer
“sound practical and pastoral guidance.”
The Truth and Love Conference, now in its third edition, will be held
Jan. 9-11, 2017 in Phoenix, Ariz. at St. Paul Catholic Church. The
conference’s sponsors are the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, the Catholic
apostolate Courage, and the Catholic publishing company Our Sunday
Among the clergy to speak will be Bishop Olmsted, Archbishop Jose
Gomez of Los Angeles, and auxiliary Bishop Michael J. Byrnes of Detroit.
Fr. Check will speak, as will Courage associate director Fr. Philip
Other speakers include Deacon Timothy Flanigan, M.D., a Brown Medical
School professor who has been a leader in HIV care; Dr. Andrew W.
Lichtenwalner, executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat of
Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse,
founder of the Ruth Institute.
Several of those who appeared in the Courage documentary “Desire of
the Everlasting Hills” will speak at the conference, including writer
and speaker Daniel Mattson and Rilene Simpson.
The conference will include testimony from people who experience
same-sex attractions on how the Church and chaste friendships have
helped them journey towards chastity and sanctity, organizers said.
Experts will speak on a Christian view of humanity, natural law, Scripture, chastity and the psychology of homosexuality.
The conference will also discuss how pastors, family and friends can
best love those who experience same-sex attractions or sexual identity
confusion. It aims to provide “practical recommendations and tools” for
communicating Catholic teaching on homosexuality and sexual identity to
parishes, schools and students. These recommendations aim to be “an
integral part of the New Evangelization,” the conference said.
The conference will open and close with a Mass.
Registration and more information is available at the conference website: www.truthandlove.com.