The Diocese of Phoenix and Courage International will host the upcoming Truth and Love conference. The goal is to offer sound practical and pastoral guidance on the topics of homosexuality and sexual identity. The event, Jan. 9–11, 2017, at St. Paul Parish in Phoenix, is the third of its kind. Previous educational conferences organized by Courage and various co-sponsors have been held in Detroit and Rome.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Welcoming and accompanying our brothers and sisters with same-sex attractions or confusion regarding sexual identity.” So many of the current approaches to homosexuality do not include the fuller perspective of the human person. Rather, they limit themselves to “acceptance” and to the protection of the “right” of “sexual satisfaction.” Yet, as the Catholic Church has consistently taught, these approaches will never lead people to the abundant life that Christ promises.
Catholic experts will present authentic pastoral care responses to these issues most relevant to the Church today. Presenters include Fr. Philip Bochanski, executive director of Courage International; Dr. Janet Smith; Jason Evert; Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse; Andrew Lichtenwalner; among others. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix and Jose H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, will be Mass celebrants.
Testimonies of people who experience same-sex attractions or sexual-identity confusion, and how chaste friendships and the teachings of the Church have helped them on their journey toward chastity and sanctity, will also be presented. Bishop Olmsted explains, “The work of Courage International, helping those with same-sex attraction to build friendships and virtue, and helping the Church to share the Good News of Christ in a challenging area, is essential in our time. I encourage all who have pastoral responsibilities to join us at the Conference this January in Phoenix. It will help you to grow in knowledge and fellowship.” Fr. Philip Bochanski, executive director of Courage International, sees the conference as a tool to “share the good news that living chastely and finding our true identity as sons and daughters of God is the way to real happiness and authentic relationships.”
The conference is designed for clergy, religious and those lay faithful working in ecclesial ministry, as well as medical and mental health professionals. Registration is available at TruthandLove.com.