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Church leaders urge gays to 'come out'

Father Dave Clay speaks to reporters during the launch of his book Father Dave Clay speaks to reporters during the launch of his book
  • ucanews.com reporter, Manila
  • Philippines
  • March 2, 2011
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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) says gay people risk destroying their lives if they keep their sexuality secret and don’t seek help.

Gay people should know that as God’s gifts they can still save the destruction of their dignity and identity by coming out and seeking the help of experts, according to Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL).

“There’s salvation, there’s hope but you have to cooperate with the grace of God,” he said after the launch of a book: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church, in Manila yesterday.

“Coming out” doesn’t mean going public but rather seeking the help of experts such as a Catholic psychiatrist or psychologist, the archbishop said.

“It doesn’t mean publicly coming out. Confiding in a counselor is confidential,” Archbishop Aniceto said.

“By getting help they can know themselves better and what they did wrong,” he added.

Father Dave Clay, ECFL assistant executive secretary, said the reason gay men and women are afraid to come out is because they are ashamed.

The priest said the challenge for them is to be chaste.

“We condemn what they are doing but we are not condemning them,” he said.

Father Clay said he hopes the new book will help people know more about the issue.

Written by Father John Harvey, Homosexuality and the Catholic Church, aims to help readers understand how gay people can learn to live chastely and also provides an authentic Catholic perspective on the topic of same-sex unions and gay “marriage.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual activity is “intrinsically sinful” and “disordered,” and that the inclination to commit such “sin,” while not a sin in itself, “is an objective disorder.”
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