Detroit Catholics stand up for love at Courage retreat
When Detroit Catholics heard the their diocese was sponsoring an anti-LGBT group to lead a retreat, they immediately began organizing to witness to an affirming and inclusive Church. Recently in New York and Cincinnati, Catholics who heard of official diocesan events featuring harmful, exclusive teachings decided to show up with a counter message, and Detroit has follows suit, preaching love with their actions.
A prayer vigil was organized for both days of the diocesan event, Courage was hosting one retreat for seminarians and priests and another for lay people. “[The viewpoint of Courage Ministries] reflects an extremely limited and ultimately unhealthy understanding of human sexuality and of God’s presence and call in the lives and relationships of LGBT people” said organizer and Fortunate Families listening parent, Linda Karle-Nelson.
Fortunate Families and CTA-MI were among the organizers of the action. Despite the rainy weather, many people stopped by for the Vigil, which got a lot of local press coverage and some supportive horn honking from passers by.
Several people also went inside to attend the session and hear what was being said. They were concerned by the harmful language stressing chastity and 12 step-style approaches for LGBT people. “I think it is important as CTA to understand this teachings to depth, so we know what exactly being taught to future generation, in order to raise voices of awareness. And also so we can be there for those who are harmed by the program.” Said Lui, a CTA 20/30 leader who is active in the chapter and attended the vigil. Lui and others are already talking about ways to build on what they heard there and talk about how we can create a safer space for LGBT Catholics and their families and counter the messages being spread by groups like Courage.