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Gay cure advocates visiting Australia next week

The Sydney Archdiocese is hosting a visit next week from a controversial clinical psychologist and priest team from the US who claim that homosexuality can be cured.

Dr Peter Rudegeair and Fr John Harvey will speak at St Mary's Cathedral Hall on Wednesday.

Harvey is the founder of Courage, a Catholic ministry promoting celibacy for homosexuals that has been endorsed by the Pontifical Council for the Family. Rudegeair has been prominent in urging the American Catholic bishops to take a stronger stance on homosexuality as part of their response to the recent clergy sex abuse crisis.

In an open letter to Catholic bishops in July last year Rudegeair and two colleagues from the Catholic Medical Association wrote that "same-sex attractions can be identified and healed", and that "large numbers of people, including clergy, who had same-sex attractions are now substantially cured".

Gay activists critical of the visit claim that the views of Dr Rudegeair are at odds with the official policy of the American Psychological Association, which stopped defining homosexuality as an illness to be cured some 25 years ago.

Rainbow Sash Movement spokesperson Michael Kelly said it's deeply concerning that "the organisation headed by Rudegeair and Harvey is being promoted so enthusiastically and officially by the Archdiocese of Sydney".

Sydney Star Observer

Homosexuality and hope: Statement of the Catholic Medical Association
Psychiatrists' Letter to the US Catholic Bishops
Rainbow Sash Movement
Australian Archbishop Promotes U.S. Style Gay 'Cure' (GayToday)

24 Jan 2003