If you are experiencing homosexual tendencies, it's probably just because you can't do sportz good, right?
That's part of the idea behind the upcoming "Sports Camp" at Wynnewood's St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. For the 14th straight year (see what I did there?), an apostulate group of the Catholic Church called Courage will hold the creatively-named retreat for men who need to learn more about sports. You know, so they won't act on their homosexuality any more.
Usually held in the Spring, Sports Camp is an exhilarating, experiential weekend for men desiring to learn how to play team sports with encouragement, coaching, and an abundance of Christian fellowship. The Lions, Dolphins, Colts, and Rams face each other in softball, football, basketball, and soccer in the annual epic battle for the coveted Harvey Cup. Sports Camp men physically compete on the field while enriching their souls through a daily regimen of prayer, confessions, mass, and the Liturgy of the Hours. [Courage]
Though that description doesn't specifically address homosexuality, Courage lists its five goals, including, "To live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality." Additionally, the testimonials include multiple references to same-sex attraction or "SSA."
Ahead of last year's retreat, our Kathy Boccella wrote about some of the beliefs/research/totally reasonable notions that help to motivate the folks running Sports Camp.
Therapist Paul Kleponis of the Institute for Marital Healing in West Conshohocken has said at Courage conferences that he believes homosexuality was rooted in childhood rejection and trauma and that through therapy people could develop an attraction for the opposite sex. He declined to comment for this story.
Some of that rejection, at least for men, can be linked to failure at sports, the group maintains. Robert Fitzgibbons, a therapist who runs the Marital Institute and has written extensively about what he calls healing homosexual attraction, said in an article on the Catholic Education Resource Center that boys who are rejected because they can’t play sports “begin to identify with the female instead of the male.” [Philly.com]
If this sounds like a Saturday Night Live sketch, that's because it is. Ben Affleck played a sexually repressed counselor at a "Pray the Gay Away" camp just a few days ago. "Hetero is better, yo."
The camp starts this Thursday and runs through the holiday weekend. It's 2013 and Minnesota has legalized same-sex marriage while the some Main Line folks are really still trying to "cure" gays with sports. Ugh. [h/t Queerty]