Saturday, October 21, 2006

More from the Fall Classic

No, not the World Series -- which begins tonight in Motor City -- but the peak-season of the church's cycle of internecine cannibalism on issues of human sexuality.... The last couple years, it's been as endemic to October as the foliage.

Intriguingly timed, given the confluence with the bishops' doc on the topic, a Long Island parish has pulled a Catholic Medical Association pamphlet on homosexuality from the narthex racks:
The Curé of Ars church in Merrick has removed copies of a glossy green pamphlet called "Homosexuality & Hope" after receiving complaints about the brochure's assertions that homosexuality was a disorder preventable with psychotherapy....

It also says, "Current clinical therapy shows that there is hope for prevention" and offers information on support groups and research.

Critics said the pamphlet's advice on therapy as a way to prevent homosexuality is not scientifically proven.

The Rev. Charles Mangano, the pastor of the church, said he had first ordered the brochure from the Massachusetts-based Catholic Medical Association in 2005 after a parishioner called him seeking guidance during a sexual identity crisis. The pamphlet, written by physicians with the association, had been available to parishioners for the past year and a half, Mangano said.

"The content of this pamphlet was intended to offer direction to those who are struggling with their sexual identity and those seeking guidance and conformity with the teaching of the church," Mangano said. Mangano said he decided on Wednesday night to pull about 100 pamphlets from the church's literature racks, with support from the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Mangano said he recently received two complaints about the brochure.

"It was a mixture of theory and Catholic teaching," said Sean Dolan, diocese spokesman. "And the theory in some places is dated."