Posted by: Nikkits | 2008/06/06


Just got this off NEWS24 - (posting it here because I have no idea how long it will be available in the news listing)

'Get well' therapy for gays2008-6-6 13:19Lublin, Poland - Often considered sick, deviant or sinners, gays and lesbians in deeply Catholic Poland are being nudged towards church-steered programmes designed to help them fight their homosexuality.
In the southeastern city of Lublin, a hub of Roman Catholic teaching, a building houses Odwaga, or Courage, an organisation which offers "therapy" for homosexuals - to the consternation of gay rights groups who find it an aberration.

Behind its walls, men are taught to kick a football around, women take cookery lessons and, above all, participants spend time praying with priests.

"The goal isn't to change the patient, to shift their orientations, but rather to prepare them to accept their leanings," said Lena Wojdan, a Warsaw-based psychologist involved in Odwaga programmes.

Life can be hard for homosexuals in Poland - where more than 90% of the 38.2-million-strong population is Catholic and where the gay and lesbian community has complained of living in a "climate of fear".

Even high-ranking Polish politicians make openly homophobic statements.

"God created them as they are"

A survey published last year found that 53% of Poles considered homosexuality a sin, while 45% felt homosexuals should try to change their preference.

Odwaga's take is more nuanced, Wojdan told AFP in an interview away from the centre's premises. Journalists are not welcome at Odwaga, which was founded in 2007 by the church-linked Light-Life Foundation.

"They need to accept that God created them as they are. This is something that they have been given to bear as a burden," said Wojdan, sporting a large crucifix around her neck.

The aim is to convince participants they should try to choose between a "sinful" sex-life and a chaste, Christian existence.

"This is a kind of suffering which has meaning for Christians, a suffering that they have to face each day," Wojdan added.

"A human being is capable of knowing what's really important to him or her and thus of overcoming his or her feelings. When you want a sweet, for example, you are completely able to resist the urge," she said.

Threaten mental health

Its methods have been adopted by psychologists and other Odwaga-type support groups across Poland.

"Today I feel free because I no longer need to live out my homosexuality actively," a woman who took an individual programme five years ago told AFP.

"I no longer feel I'm a lesbian and I have even started to discover men," she said in a telephone interview, speaking on condition of anonymity.

For gay rights campaigners, the programmes of Odwaga and its ilk are an aberration and can even threaten participants' mental health.

"When a homosexual goes to see these psychologists, he or she is told: 'You'll get over it.' But you don't 'get over it'," said Marta Abramowicz, a psychologist who works for the Campaign Against Homophobia, a Polish-based gay rights group.



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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Salutations as always Nikkits and thanks for posting. Very disconcerting and disturbing, I'm 100% with Ferny on this one.

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Our users say:
Posted by: T | 2008/06/08

im gobsmackd! i belive in God and talk to him on a daily basis bt i wouldnt go so far as to say im christian( i suck at it). no1 has the right to play god, especially not the catholics. im straight, i dont know why people are different, no1 is the same. we are all unique and GOD LOVES ALL OF US

Reply to T
Posted by: LONEWOLF | 2008/06/06

I agree with you Ferny. Who are the Church. It is a human institution, run by humans who more often than not claim Divine inspiration for all and sundry. If you look down the history of the Church in general terms and what was done in the name of God, it is horrific. try to get hold of a copy of "A World lit only by fire" by William Manchester. Very insightful. Enjoy the weekend

Posted by: Ferny | 2008/06/06

It's SO,SO sad that this kind of pathetic rubbish is being foisted on GLB persons who are living in places where they are just plain scared to be themselves!!

And all because "someone" sits in Rome and decides that they want to play God. :-(

And that the spokesperson called them "patients" as if they are sick.....just makes me sick!

This is the exact reason why my son who grew up in the catholic church walked away from it, because they preach this nonsense that you can be catholic & be gay BUT you must see it as a burden imposed on you by God, a "cross" to carry throughout your life BUT you must NEVER act on it!!!

Well, I can tell you from personal knowledge & you don't need to be a rocket scientist to work it out for yourself that the catholic church is full of gay priests who entered the priesthood precisely because they were brainwashed into believing it was the right thing to do.

The problem comes about when that same gay priest is unable to remain celibate for his entire life precisely because he has entered the priesthood for all the wrong reasons & then we all know what happens. Sad but so very true.

The sooner ALL religions started looking at themselves before judging others the better it would be for the whole world. Religions have a lot to answer for.


Reply to Ferny

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