Loading
Founder of Catholic homosexual support group passes away
By Marianne Medlin, Staff Writer
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Fr. John Harvey, known for founding Courage, the international support group for Catholics who experience same-sex attraction, passed away recently at the age of 92. 

Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a Catholic psychiatrist who worked with Fr. Harvey for 30 years, remembered the priest as a “brilliant moral theologian” whose life was a “gift to the Church.”

Father Harvey died on Dec. 27, the feast of St. John the Evangelist, at Union Hospital in Elkton, Maryland. Born in Philadelphia, he was priest for 66 years and an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales for 73.

In New York City in 1980, Fr. Harvey helped found Courage, the Church-approved ministry devoted to helping Catholics who experience same-sex attractions live in accordance with Catholic moral teaching. 

The apostolate is aimed at strengthening chastity, religious devotion, healthy friendships, and a spirit of fellowship and support among Catholics who experience same-sex attractions. Courage incorporates a modified version of the “Twelve Steps,” traditionally used in the treatment of substance-abuse, in its work helping Catholics who struggle with homosexuality to lead chaste lives.

With the endorsement of the Vatican, Courage now has more than 110 chapters and contact people world-wide.

“Fr. Harvey responded to the needs of those with same sex attraction in the Church through the development of Courage,” Dr. Fitzgibbons said.

He called Fr. Harvey's prominent book, “The Truth about Homosexuality,” a “great gift to the Catholics” that should be “required reading” for clergy, educators and laity.

Dr. Fitzgibbon's praised Fr. Harvey as a “brilliant” moral theologian, but explained that more importantly, the priest defended the Church's teaching on sexual morality “with great wisdom, love and gentleness.”

“He was a gift to the Church during a troubled historical period when many in the Church abandoned the teaching of Christ and His Church in regard to sexual morality and homosexuality, in particular, resulting in great confusion and significant trauma,” the psychiatrist added.

Dr. Fitzgibbons also noted Fr. Harvey's “great devotion” to St. Francis de Sales,  whom he called “a source of wisdom and comfort for him during times of great trials.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
24

Liturgical Calendar

October 24, 2014

Friday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:54-59

Gospel
Date
10/24/14
10/23/14
10/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 4: 1-6
Gospel:: Lk 12: 54-59

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/24/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:54-59

Homily
Date
10/24/14
10/23/14
10/22/14