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USCCB youth refugee materials updated to address gay, transgendered youth

Catholic World News - October 29, 2013

Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS), a project of the United Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services, has updated and expanded its training to workers in federally-funded refugee resettlement programs, in part to “address the needs of particularly vulnerable groups of children, including youth who may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered.”

The training is intended for those who work with youth in the custody of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement / Division of Children's Services.

The revised Tier One Training Manual – copyrighted by the United Conference of Catholic Bishops, and published with the assistance of a Department of Health and Human Services grant – notes that “it is important to be alert for homophobic remarks among the staff. If any are made, discuss in a non-judgmental way how these kinds of remarks may make a young gay resident feel.”

If a “boy teases another boy, saying that he is gay, standing too close to him, and so forth, it would be a form of sexual harassment.”

“Exploring Complexities” – the new Tier Two Training Manual, also copyrighted by the United Conference of Catholic Bishops, and published with the assistance of a Department of Health and Human Services grant – presents a scenario in which two male minors are “rubbing each other with their feet on the other’s genital areas.”

The training advises:

After allowing the staff to discuss this, you can suggest that the young men should learn not to engage in sexual contact in the residence, and they should develop a stronger sense of sexual boundaries – to keep sexual activities private, even after leaving the residence …

You can mention that young people engage in sexual behaviors for all kinds of reasons, including to relieve tension or boredom, for the thrill of breaking rules and doing something prohibited, because they are lonely and want to connect with another person and sexual activity is one way to establish a connection, and simply because they are easily stimulated at that age.

In another scenario, three young men have reported that another minor male resident has been exposing himself to them on different occasions. The training advises:

Presuming these reports are true, why would Telmo engage in these kinds of behaviors? It is possible that he has simply never been taught appropriate sexual boundaries … While Telmo needs to understand that he should not expose himself to others and should keep from touching other residents inappropriately, he should not be shamed or humiliated for his actions. If Telmo continues to engage in these kinds of behaviors he may need to be transferred to a more restrictive setting.

The BRYCS manual makes no reference to moral law or the practice of virtue.

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Show 12 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Oct. 30, 2013 1:09 PM ET USA

    I guess it's part of "Comprehensive Immigration Reform." In light of this they might also update their VIRTUS material. Seems to me that if a child were to present themselves in such a way as to make it clear they are gay, lesbian, bi or transgender; those caring for them should see these as possible signs of past or on-going sexual abuse.

  • Posted by: Baseballbuddy - Oct. 30, 2013 12:54 PM ET USA

    THis presumes that the Catholic Church does not already teach us to respect the dignity with which all humans are divinely imbued. Who knew.

  • Posted by: NAVIA85245101 - Oct. 30, 2013 12:18 PM ET USA

    Starting with Our Lord's words, "No fornicator will enter the kingdom of Heaven." Why has it not dawned upon the USCCB that what these Refugee Children and Youth need is Catholic moral formation according to the Gospel and not deformation of conscience through 'safe fornication' programs? The 1995 document, "The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality" would be beneficial. Education of Chastity includes self-mastery where we govern our passions and are responsible toward ourselves and others.

  • Posted by: littleone - Oct. 30, 2013 1:08 AM ET USA

    When we as Catholic Christians choose to engage in acts of Christian charity that must comply with the requirements/norms of the State,vis a vis children in its custody for which it is tasked as acting in loco parentis,we are required to develop training materials that comply with the State's expectation "as parents" regarding healthy treatment of children.These materials are fairly nuanced and could be much worse.Verbiage like "can" indicates suggestions to prepare staff for the unexpected.

  • Posted by: tmsharel5764 - Oct. 29, 2013 11:10 PM ET USA

    Deliver us from the unjust and deceitful people who wrote this dangerous material. Shame, sin, death, and hell are the means that we have that are effective against sodomy, perversion, abuse, and molestation. What kind of minds want any mention of the evil of these sins purged? Do we not know? Of course, we know. Those whom we pray to be delivered from.

  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 29, 2013 9:23 PM ET USA

    Presumably the Committee on Migration members had something to do with this – notice that Archbishop Gomez, Bishop Vann, Cardinal Mahoney and Ken Hackett (the new ambassador to the Vatican of CRS fame) are on it (among others). The hits just keep on comin'...

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Oct. 29, 2013 7:42 PM ET USA

    This makes me want to vomit! The USCCB is no different than the old corrupted Levitical Priesthood that offered a pinch of incense to Nero every day just to hold onto power.

  • Posted by: Oliver Plunkett - Oct. 29, 2013 6:52 PM ET USA

    2nd comment: replace “Telmo” with “Fr. X” and this reads: “While Fr. X needs to understand that he should not expose himself to others and should keep from touching other residents inappropriately, he should not be shamed or humiliated for his actions. If Fr. X continues to engage in these kinds of behaviors he may need to be transferred to a more restrictive setting.” Sound familiar?

  • Posted by: Oliver Plunkett - Oct. 29, 2013 6:51 PM ET USA

    OK, when I was a bored minor I guarantee the furthest thing from my mind was to rub my friends genitals with my foot. Call me old fashioned but I’ve never, ever heard of this before….

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Oct. 29, 2013 6:09 PM ET USA

    Here we go again. A manual made in conjunction with HHS on how to treat homosexuals. Wow! Just reading some of the training issues can give you nausea. Here we have the feel good group at it again and forget any immorality or lack of practice of virtues. Wonder if this was put together by the pro-homosexual group within the USCCB?

  • Posted by: Seriously - Oct. 29, 2013 5:41 PM ET USA

    Whaaaattt??? Please tell me that no money I donated last year to the USCCB Campaign for Development went towards this exercise in evil! FYI to all, they're collecting on Nov. 24 for this year's campaign. I had already written my check ... and now I am seriously reconsidering my decision.

  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 29, 2013 10:38 AM ET USA

    Let's see if I get this right, the BRYCS manual that the USCCB owns (copyrighted) makes no reference to moral law or the practice of virtue among gays, etc? Why should it? The bishops haven't cared about scandal in years. As the United Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services is involved, does this mean that they want gays, etc, to be enter the US (we know the administration does)? Is Archbishop Gomez involved in this too?

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