Catholic “Sports Camp” to Solve Homosexuality Through Sweaty, Completely Non-Homoerotic Exertions

In “news that feels like a put-on,” Elizabeth Fiedler at NewsWorks reports the Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood—a Catholic seminary, natch—is planning a “sports camp” to help gay men overcome their sexual inclinations by “letting go of the anxiety and shame” they felt playing sports as children. Because everybody knows the gays suck are very bad at sports, which is why the gay. Straight macho is as straight macho does, apparently.

But yes, the idea is to help gay men shed their homosexuality by gathering with many other gay or gay-ish men for a week of sweaty play! What could go wrong?

Father Paul Check said the camp helps men resist those attractions and strive towards chastity, fellowship, and friendship.  “We’re all struggling against different human weaknesses that we have and confusion about who we think we might be and being in good company helps us to clarify some of that and, where necessary, try to make a few adjustments; and we learn some things that help us to go out and perhaps be a little bit more confident that we can do the right thing.”

Ed Coffin is with Peace Advocacy Network, a Philadelphia-based social justice group. He is troubled by the camp and its mission, and he plans to protest.

“It’s very clear what this organization does is focus on turning people who are homosexual–basically trying to change them into heterosexuals or at least get them to live a completely chaste lifestyle–which requires them to not act on any of their homosexual inclinations,” Coffin said. “It falls under the broader realm of conversion therapy. We do feel that this is very detrimental, that’s it’s psychologically damaging.”

Either that, or a fabulous place to meet up.

This, seriously, is a testimony from a former participant  in Courage, the outfit that organizes the seminary’s sports camps to help people deal with same-sex attractions:

It felt so true-and good-to see myself as a peer and competitor to the other men instead of believing that I didn’t belong with the other members of my own sex. Instead of feeling intimidated or repulsed by the physical contact, I liked it. I enjoyed running up and down the court and assertively getting in others’ space. I experienced again the value and joy of playing as a team. One time a teammate gave me a sweaty celebratory hug. He was humbly secure in himself, just as he was, selflessly and joyfully showing affection to others. I also liked when one man, whom I’d felt intimidated by, gave me a pat on my belly, meaning “way to go!” His touch made me feel accepted as one of the guys.

C’mon! This is a put-on! Right? Right?