Social-conservative website in mid-July reprinted the boilerplate exgay sales pitch of the Rev. Richard Perozich, who for years has been influential in the U.S. antigay/pro-chastity Catholic network called Courage (no relation to the British ex-exgay Christian group).

(Courage historically has emphasized chastity, not a miracle cure from same-sex attractions. But in recent years the organization has fallen at least partially under the spell of the reparative therapy movement, and some in Courage have aligned themselves with an antigay political agenda resembling that of Exodus and Focus on the Family.)

In his writings on behalf of Courage, Perozich presumes to know what causes homosexuality; makes little or no effort either to substantiate or to challenge his own stereotypes; imagines the existence of a “homosexual identity” and “homosexual lifestyle”; misrepresents both the behaviors and the religious devotion of those who affirm individuals’ sexual orientation; accuses affirmative individuals of sexual immaturity; and blames homosexuals for the failure of ineffective exgay theories and therapies.

Instead of accepting responsibility for the consequences of his own flawed assumptions and prescriptions regarding sexual attraction and behavior, Perozich seems to seethe with hostile and ignorant presumption:

The greatest obstacles [to leaving homosexuality] are placed by those who remain trapped in homosexuality. Their attitudes as victims, their hate for those who have achieved some success in abandoning homogenital sex, their continued emotional immaturity of jealousies, inordinate emotional attachments, hurts and comparisons all remain. And they think this experience of life is what everyone else feels, except the object of attraction is different. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

In Perozich’s uncharitable and self-righteous imagination, same-sex-attracted individuals are a monolithic army of emotionally immature and unstable clones. His unsubstantiated and greatly overstated accusation that same-sex-attracted people perceive themselves as victims is ironic: Perozich’s own attitude is one of victimhood at the hands of gay people who dare to reject his stereotypes.

Why Courage grants an audience to someone of questionable pastoral competence — someone so lacking in grace, humility, and attention to measurable fact — has never been clear to me.

Surely Courage could find convincing and compassionate advocates for chastity if the organization really wished to.

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