Church-connected programs in Poland are ministering to people with same-sex attractions, encouraging them to live chaste lives amid their sufferings and burdens.
The Odwaga center, whose name means “Courage,” was founded in 2007 by the church-associated Light-Life Foundation. It reportedly offers “therapy” for homosexuals in the southeastern city of Lublin.
According to Agence France Presse, Odwaga programs require first-year participants to dedicate one weekend a month to support group sessions. In the two following years, they devote 20 hours a month to group therapy sessions led by psychologists, who are often priests.
They can also pray and receive Communion in the center’s chapel.
Lena Wojdan, a psychologist involved in Odwaga programs, described the program’s aims to Agence France Presse.
"The goal isn't to change the patient, to shift their orientations, but rather to prepare them to accept their leanings," said Wojdan. "They need to accept that God created them as they are. This is something that they have been given to bear as a burden."
"This is a kind of suffering which has meaning for Christians, a suffering that they have to face each day,” she added, saying that people can overcome their feelings and resist their urges.
Odwaga also runs groups for participants’ parents or others close to them.