Today, on the third anniversary of the death of Father John Harvey, OSFS, co-founder of Courage, I am examining a topic close to my heart: what Father Harvey said and did about marriage involving a spouse with same-sex attraction (SSA).
Update (28 December 2013): In yesterday's version of this post, I overstated my case as to the lack of discussion of mixed-inclination marriages in Father Harvey's second book. I have updated that paragraph to reflect that Father did report other counsellors' findings about numbers with passing commentary about processes. Given that his second book was meant to expand his first, I continue to find the difference striking. I remain open to correction from those who are more knowledgeable about Father Harvey's thought.
The fact that homosexual practices have wrecked many marriages has caused a psychiatrist and a canonist to consider the possibility of making homosexuality an impediment to marriage.... Instead of more speculation about the confusion which the proposed canonical impediment would bring, it seems better to recommend another approach involving pastoral rather than canonical considerations. Efforts should be made to persuade genuine homosexuals and persons of confirmed bisexual tendencies to give up the idea of marriage and to practice perfect chastity in the world. To this end a practical program should be spelled out. Since there are different degrees of inversion and of apparent bisexuality, it will be necessary to adapt the pastoral approach to the specific type with whom one is dealing, and to go still further in the refinement of counsel in consideration of the individual's personal history.
(“Homosexuality and Marriage,” Homiletic and Pastoral Review [December 1961], 227–234; available at CatholicCulture.org)1
When Courage was established in 1980, the original members, who were pursuing celibacy, developed the Five Goals: Chastity, Prayer and Dedication, Fellowship, Support, and Good Example. The original wording of the Fourth Goal was
To be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in a celibate Christian life and to encourage one another in forming and sustaining them.
Father Harvey's first book, The Homosexual Person: New Thinking in Pastoral Care (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1987), gave his most comprehensive review of married persons with SSA and included seven brief case studies, one exceedingly positive.