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“Be not afraid”: Affirming the truth about sex and identity

Truth & Love Conference
2020

Offering practical and pastoral guidance on the topics of homosexuality and sexual identity to clergy, religious, pastoral ministers, and lay professionals.

April 27 – April 29, 2020

Holiday Inn Washington-Dulles International Airport

45425 Holiday Dr, Sterling, VA 20166

Registration open now

Click here to sign up today!

“The future is in your hearts and in your hands. God is entrusting to you the task, at once difficult and uplifting, of working with him in the building of the civilization of love.”
World Youth Day Toronto, 2002

“Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ… Do not be afraid. Christ knows ‘what is in man’. He alone knows it.”
Homily of John Paul II for the inauguration of his pontificate

 

“Be not afraid: Affirming the truth about sex and identity” is the theme of the latest Truth & Love conference.

This conference aims to provide comprehensive formation from experts in the fields of pastoral ministry, theology, philosophy, psychology, and health care in caring for people who experience same-sex attractions and/or gender dysphoria. It will also feature testimonials from men and women who themselves experience SSA and who have embraced the Church’s teaching on chastity.

Attendees will include clergy, religious, and lay professionals who are seeking a deeper understanding of homosexuality, gender identity, and related issues. The event is especially geared towards those working in pastoral care, education, medicine, and the mental health professions.

The 2020 gathering will also mark the 100th birthday of Pope Saint John Paul II by establishing him as the official patron of Truth & Love. Known for his extensive writings on sexual morality, particularly Theology of the Body and Love and Responsibility, John Paul II is a fitting patron for this formation initiative.



This event is an initiative of Courage International.

Presenting Speakers

Click on photos for additional information

  • Father Philip Bochanski

    Presenting: The Importance of an Authentic Christian Anthropology, An Authentically Welcoming Parish: Preaching, the Sacraments and Parish Life, & Authentic Pastoral Care in Light of Confusion About Sexual Identity

  • Helen Alvaré, J.D.

    Presenting: SOGI Laws: Reflecting and Forming Culture

  • Hudson Byblow

    Presenting: Testimonial

  • Suzanne Baars, Ph.D

    Presenting: Guarding our Capacity for Authentic Love: The Importance of Affectivity in Daily Life

  • Paul Darrow

    Presenting: Testimonial

  • John Grabowski, Ph.D.

    Presenting: Engendering Discussion: Recent Catholic Thought on Sexual Difference

  • Mary Rice Hasson

    Presenting: LGBTQ Ideology & Its Impact on the Family

  • Trent Horn

    Presenting: Love That Makes Sense

  • Michael Horne, Psy.D.

    Presenting: Charity and Clarity

  • Garrett Johnson

    Presenting: Testimonial

  • Deacon Patrick Lappert, M.D.

    Presenting: Transgender Surgery & Catholic Anthropology

  • Bishop John Keenan

    Presenting: Challenges of Sharing the Church’s Teaching on Same-Sex Attraction in the Modern World

  • Timothy Lock, Ph.D.

    Presenting: Deepening Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity Through an Understanding of the Psychological Sciences

  • Quentin Van Meter, M.D.

    Presenting: Bringing Transparency to the Treatment of Transgender Persons

  • Alphonso Lopez Pinto, STD

    Presenting: Spiritual Friendship and the soul’s pilgrimage to God

  • David Prosen

    Presenting: Counselling Family Members with Loved Ones who Experience Same-Sex Attraction, “I Thirst”: What We Who Experience Same-Sex Attraction Need from You in Pastoral Care

  • Avera Maria Santo

    Presenting: Testimonial

  • Rilene Simpson

    Presenting: Testimonial

  • Father Paul Sullins

    Presenting: Developmental Outcomes with Same-Sex Parents: The Irreplaceable Advantage of Man-Woman Marriage

Father Philip Bochanski

The Importance of an Authentic Christian Anthropology

(Pastoral Care Track Session I)

(Sexual Identity Track Session II)

The Church’s teaching about sexuality in general, and homosexuality and gender in particular, is rooted in its understanding of the human person.  This talk will consider the fundamental teachings of the Church regarding personal identity, the ordering of desires, and the morality of actions, and provide terminology and perspective for communicating these teachings in a clear and compassionate manner.

An Authentically Welcoming Parish: Preaching, the Sacraments and Parish Life

(Pastoral Care Track Session IV)

Ministry to the parish community is often characterized by what Pope Francis has called “the art of accompaniment,” and clergy and others in pastoral ministry must be prepared to welcome and accompany parishioners who are living with the experience of same sex attraction or confusion about sexual identity in their own lives or in the life of a loved one. Father Bochanski will discuss what the Church expects an authentic welcome to look like in parishes and schools. In particular, he will consider the guidelines that the Church provides for participation in parish life and ministry, and for the celebration of the sacraments. He will also consider the importance of adult faith formation and the Sunday homily among efforts to “speak the truth in love.”

Authentic Pastoral Care in Light of Confusion About Sexual Identity

(Sexual Identity Track Session VI)

Our pastoral priority toward people who are experiencing confusion regarding their sexual identity, and towards their parents and loved ones, must be to welcome them in the name of Christ and to help them to understand and accept God’s plan for their lives. This talk will consider how “speaking the truth in love” to someone about his or her identity, vocation and relationships can lead him or her to a greater self-understanding and fulfillment in Christ. It will also consider the impact that the experience of confusion about sexual identity can have on the life of the parish, and how clergy and others in ministry should respond.

Helen Alvaré, J.D.

SOGI Laws: Reflecting and Forming Culture

(Wednesday Plenary Session)

This talk will discuss the current shape and status of sexual orientation and gender identity laws at both the state and federal level, their history and legal context, and their impact of the formation of culture.

Hudson Byblow

Witness Testimony

(Sexual Identity Track Session V)

Hudson Byblow is a speaker and author who addresses the difficult topics facing today’s Catholic youth. He has spoken across North America at conferences, to school boards, college missionary groups, Catholic Universities, and at diocesan events. More information can be found at Hudson’s website, www.hudsonbyblow.com.

Suzanne Baars, Ph.D

Guarding Our Capacity for Authentic Love: The Importance of Affectivity in Daily Life

(Pastoral Care Track Session II)

(Mental Health Track Session III)

Affectivity is our capacity to be affected or moved by the human emotions of love, desire and joy – emotions necessary for our ability to be moved by the goodness of things and persons. It is complemented by effectivity, or our ability to think and act effectively, to produce or achieve something. While both effectivity and affectivity – or mind and heart – are necessary for a balanced human life, so often we find ourselves striving to make things better, produce change, or fix problems – and wound already wounded people in the process. While such goals may be commendable, the ability to love authentically develops more readily when one recognizes that it is the heart, or affectivity, that brings peace and resolves difficulties. When we learn to approach others with open hearts, our actions are more likely to be experienced as respectful and loving, and therefore bring healing.

Paul Darrow

Witness Testimony

(Mental Health Track Session V)

Paul Darrow moved to Manhattan immediately after college and became an international fashion model and an atheist. Shortly after converting to Catholicism, Paul was filmed as one of the subjects in the award-winning film Desire of the Everlasting Hills. He has appeared on EWTN and is a frequent guest on talk radio.

John Grabowski, Ph.D.

Engendering Discussion:  Recent Catholic Thought on Sexual Difference

(Sexual Identity Track Session I)

Recent Church teaching has warned of the dangers of “gender ideology” and its destructive impact on persons and families.  But what positive resources does the Christian tradition have to offer a culture which now lists over 70 genders on Facebook?  Surveying recent Catholic theology and Church teaching (particularly the Theology of the Body of St. John Paul II), the presentation will argue that sexual difference is best understood as two complementary personal expressions of the one nature of humanity.  That is, sexual difference is accidental to human nature but essential to existing human persons.

Mary Rice Hasson

LGBTQ Ideology & Its Impact on the Family

(Tuesday Plenary Session)

LGBTQ ideology is rapidly reshaping culture, language, identity, and behavior, leaving an indelible impact on family life. This talk unpacks the hidden assumptions and outright falsehoods of LGBTQ ideology and offers suggestions for strengthening the family in the face of these challenges.

Trent Horn

Love That Makes Sense

(Wednesday Plenary Session)

Have you heard of LGBTQ+? Trent explains how our culture has rejected God’s plan for marriage and sexuality and why His plan alone makes sense to our minds and brings peace to our hearts.

Michael Horne, Psy.D.

Charity and Clarity

(Pastoral Care Track Session VI)

Given the current social and political climate of our country, conflicting messages are common surrounding the topic of male and female sexuality. This talk will examine common misconceptions held about same-sex attraction, with an emphasis on pastoral support, the dignity of all persons, and the importance of chastity.

Garrett Johnson

Witness Testimony

(Pastoral Care Track Session V)

Garrett Johnson came back to the Catholic faith after years of living a godless, pagan lifestyle. He joined the Arlington, VA chapter of Courage in 2013 and shares his journey on brotherwithoutorder. com. Garrett has spoken at Courage events and has appeared on EWTN. He lives in Washington DC where he is a stylist and salon manager.

Deacon Patrick Lappert, M.D.

Transgender Surgery & Catholic Anthropology

(Sexual Identity Track Session III)

The subject of Gender Identity will be examined, including a review of the history, terminology, scientific evidence, and the medical and surgical interventions that are proposed for the care of self-identified transgender persons. We will call upon the Catholic understanding of the nature of the human person to illuminate the crucial moral questions that must be addressed in pastoral care.

Bishop John Keenan

Challenges of Sharing the Church’s Teaching on Same-Sex Attraction in the Modern World

(Tuesday Plenary Session)

The Biblical vision about what it means to be a person and about the truth and meaning of human sexuality is a noble and thrilling one. It reveals what it means for us to be created as persons who love each other in the image of our Triune God. Yet it also takes into account our Fall from grace and has compassion on our straying and sadness along the way of our struggle for redemption. In the end it points us, by way of God’s grace and purity in heart, towards the revealing of God’s glory in our flesh, spirit and relationships. It is a vision that has been blurred by human attempts to propose an alternative version of personal fulfilment through self-fulfilment in this world alone. Engaging with society in its search for meaning and freedom the Church has, in recent years, tried to find new ways of expressing our vision that chime with the deepest experiences and highest aspirations of every person. The challenge for the Church is to make this vision known to Her faithful in such a convincing way that they find inspiration and courage to share it with all people of good will who, in their heart of hearts, only want what is good for themselves and best for others.

Timothy Lock, Ph.D.

Deepening Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity Through an Understanding of the Psychological Sciences

(Mental Health Track Session I)

Same-sex attraction (SSA) appears to be a condition that results from various psychological wounds and issues that develop during childhood.  The psychosocial development of an individual who manifests same-sex attractions is often fraught with pain and anguish.  Same-sex attraction is thought to be a symptom of these wounds.  Those who offer pastoral care to the individual with SSA must grow in their understanding of the psychological issues that are concurrent with the development of same-sex attraction.  Also, pastoral care will require an understanding of the “gay lifestyle” and the suffering present in many same-sex relationships.  Finally, those offering pastoral care must be willing to develop authentic relationships and tolerate the, sometimes cold reception, that they will experience by those with SSA.  The psychological sciences can foster growth in respect, compassion, and sensitivity that will ultimately decrease shame and stigma, “homophobia”, and isolation in a population that is yearning to know Christ’s love in the Catholic Church.

Quentin Van Meter, M.D.

Bringing Transparency to the Treatment of Transgender Persons

(Sexual Identity Track Session IV)

This presentation outlines the history of the transgender movement and how it was buried and shunned by academia until the infiltration of the Endocrine Society special interest group on transgender health, guided by WPATH from Europe. There are two pathways for evaluation and treatment. The counseling pathway (called “watch and wait” by transgender activists) has a very strong success rate, allowing upward of 90% or more patients to re-identify successfully with their innate biology. The “affirmation” pathway, which attempts to convert to the opposite sex by promoting a rejection of the innate sex and acceptance of an opposite gender identity, is favored by WPATH and the transgender activists, and it has no proven record of safety or long-term success and is blind experimentation on children and adolescents. It is high time that these two pathways for evaluation and treatment be evaluated for their scientific validity so that we can avoid a catastrophic disaster moving forward.

 

Alphonso Lopez Pinto, STD

Spiritual Friendship and the Soul’s Pilgrimage to God.

(Pastoral Care Track Session III)

This talk will discuss the proper context of spiritual friendship according to the medieval writer, Aelred of Rievaulx. In examining the differences between eros and agape, spiritual friendship seeks union with God as its goal. This is contrasted to problems in modern ideas of friendship that are self-seeking.

David Prosen

Counselling Family Members with Loved Ones who Experience Same-Sex Attraction

(Mental Health Track II)

Family members committed to Catholic/Christian values and beliefs who have family members experiencing SSA are often not taken seriously by the culture. They are labeled “haters”, “religious fanatics” or “bigots”. As a result, families often split apart because of this topic. All of this can exacerbate the already present deep pain and grief these Catholic/Christian family members are experiencing, leaving them confused and more isolated. This workshop will explore the needs of these family members and ways to help them find peace and authentically love every member in their family as the Gospel calls us to.

“I Thirst”: What We Who Experience Same-Sex Attraction Need from You in Pastoral Care 

(Pastoral Care Track Session VI)

How do we authentically love without condoning acts of sin? A Courage member and Catholic counselor who treats depression, anxiety, trauma, and more will speak about living with same-sex attraction and coming to embrace the Gospel call to holiness and chastity found in the Catholic Church. He will offer concrete strategies based on his own life experience as well as his educational and professional experiences, on how to reach out and support men and women who experience same-sex attraction.

Avera Maria Santo

Witness Testimony

(Pastoral Care Track Session V)

Avera speaks and writes on homosexuality and Catholicism at the young age of 22. She travels the country sharing her story, giving a tangible and joyful witness to the goodness, truth, and beauty of the Church’s teachings. Avera blogs at Inside My Holy of Holies: http://couragegulfcoast.wixsite.com/blog

Rilene Simpson

Witness Testimony

(Mental Health Track Session V)

Rilene Simpson was a self-proclaimed lesbian and atheist for most of her adult life. She was one of three people profiled in the documentary Desire of the Everlasting Hills, a story of redemption and conversion to Christ. Since returning to the Catholic faith in 2009, Rilene has shared her story at conferences, on radio and television.

Father Paul Sullins

Developmental Outcomes with Same-Sex Parents: The Irreplaceable Advantage of Man-Woman Marriage

(Mental Health Track Session IV)

Despite pervasive ideological claims to the contrary, every unbiased random sample study reveals emotional and developmental problems for such children. Three possible causes of the harm observed are: 1) the parenting or partnership arrangements involved, 2) homosexual orientation as distinct from partnership, and 3) the array of gender distinctions that come with same-sex parent families.  By rejecting a false consciousness that devalues sex and flattens gender, we are able to explore how the gender differences involved in same-sex parenting powerfully shape child well-being, illustrating how men and women are, in fundamental ways, made for each other, and jointly provide the best possible context for children to flourish.

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MONDAY

Plenary Session: The Joy of Christ: The Splendor and Fulfillment of Truth. Veritatis Splendor at 25, by Father Paul Check

Film viewing with Panel discussion (choose one): 

Desire of the Everlasting Hills (1 hour)

The Third Way (40 minutes)

An Invitation to Courageous Love (Part 5)

Mass: Principle celebrant TBD

TUESDAY

Plenary Session: The Joy of Christ: The Splendor and Fulfillment of Truth. Veritatis Splendor at 25, by Father Paul Check

WEDNESDAY

Plenary Session: The Joy of Christ: The Splendor and Fulfillment of Truth. Veritatis Splendor at 25, by Father Paul Check


Monday – April 27, 2020

TIME

ACTIVITY

SPEAKER

3:30 pm Registration
5:30 pm Dinner Buffet
7:00 - 8:00 pm Opening Keynote Fr. Philip Bochanski
8:15 - 9:45 pm Movie with Panel Discussion
Desire of the Everlasting Hills
Paul Darrow, Rilene Simpson
8:15 - 9:30 pm Movie with Panel Discussion
The Third Way
David Prosen, Mary W.
8:15 - 9:30 pm Movie with Panel Discussion
An Invitation to Courageous Love (Part 5)
Fr. Philip Bochanski

Tuesday – April 28, 2020

TIME

ACTIVITY

SPEAKER

7:30 am Buses will leave from Holiday Inn to Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church
9:00 am Registration – Arrival
9:30 - 10:30 am Plenary Session: Challenges of Sharing the Church’s Teaching on Same-Sex Attraction in the Modern World Bishop John Keenan (via livestream)
10:30 am – 10:45 am Break
10:45 am – 11:30 Session I
Sexual Identity Track — Engendering Discussion: Recent Catholic Thought on Sexual Difference

Mental Health Track — Deepening Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity Through an Understanding of the Psychological Sciences

Pastoral Care Track — The Importance of an Authentic Christian Anthropology
John Grabowski, Ph.D.


Timothy Lock, Ph.D.



Fr. Philip Bochanski
11:45 am – 12:30 Session II
Sexual Identity Track — The Importance of an Authentic Christian Anthropology

Mental Health Track — Counselling Family Members with Loved Ones who Experience Same-Sex Attraction

Pastoral Care Track — Guarding our Capacity for Authentic Love: The Importance of Affectivity in Daily Life
Fr. Philip Bochanski


David Prosen


Suzanne Baars, Ph.D.
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Lunch – Break
2:00 – 2:45 pm Session III
Sexual Identity Track — Transgender Surgery & Catholic Anthropology

Mental Health Track — Guarding Our Capacity for Authentic Love: The Importance of Affectivity in Daily Life

Pastoral Care Track — Spiritual Friendship and the Soul’s Pilgrimage to God
Deacon Patrick Lappert, M.D.


Suzanne Baars, Ph.D.


Alphonso Lopez Pinto, STD
3:00 – 3:45 pm Session IV
Sexual Identity Track — Bringing Transparency to the Treatment of Transgender Persons

Mental Health Track — Developmental Outcomes with Same-Sex Parents: The Irreplaceable Advantage of Man-Woman Marriage

Pastoral Care Track — An Authentically Welcoming Parish: Preaching, the Sacraments and Parish Life
Quentin Van Meter, M.D.


Fr. Paul Sullins



Fr. Philip Bochanski
3:45 pm – 4:00 pm Break
4:00 – 4:45 pm Session V
Sexual Identity Track — Witness Testimony

Mental Health Track — Witness Testimony

Pastoral Care Track — Witness Testimony

Hudson Byblow

Paul Darrow, Rilene Simpson

Garrett Johnson, Avera Maria Santo
5:00 – 5:45 pm Session VI
Sexual Identity Track — Authentic Pastoral Care in Light of Confusion About Sexual Identity

Mental Health Track — Charity & Clarity

Pastoral Care Track — “I Thirst”: What We Who Experience Same-Sex Attraction Need from You in Pastoral Care
Fr. Philip Bochanski


Michael Horne, Psy.D.


David Prosen
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Dinner - Break
7:45 pm – 8:30 pm Plenary Session: LGBTQ Ideology & Its Impact on the Family Mary Rice Hasson

Wednesday – April 29, 2020

TIME

ACTIVITY

SPEAKER

7:30 am Buses will leave from Holiday Inn to Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church
9:00 am Registration - Arrival
9:30 am – 10:30 am Plenary Session: Love that Makes Sense Trent Horn
10:30 am – 10:45 am Break
10:45 am – 11:45 am Small Group Discussions
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Lunch
2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Panel Discussion All speakers remaining
3:15 pm – 3:30 pm Break
3:30 pm – 4:45 pm Plenary Session w/Q&A: SOGI Laws: Reflecting and Forming Culture Helen Alvaré, J.D.
4:45 pm – 5:00 pm Wrap Up

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Registration cost

Early registration

(all registration costs go up $25 after March 15, 2020)

PLEASE NOTE: The prices listed here are for the conference only, and do not include the cost for accommodations.

 

Full Registration, including Monday dinner, Tuesday lunch & dinner, Wednesday lunch: $300

Monday only, includes dinner: $100

Tuesday only, includes lunch and dinner: $150

Wednesday only, includes lunch: $125

Monday & Tuesday, includes Monday dinner, Tuesday lunch and dinner: $210

Tuesday & Wednesday, includes Tuesday lunch & dinner, Wednesday lunch: $225

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Accommodations

Truth & Love has a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Washington-Dulles International Airport. The cost of $129 per night includes breakfast and all hotel amenities. Conference participants must make their own hotel reservations. Room pricing is guaranteed until Saturday, March 28, 2020. Mention the Truth & Love conference when making your booking. Conference registrations include lunch and/or dinner to be served in the ballroom.

Click here to reserve a room.

45425 Holiday Dr, Sterling, VA 20166
+1 (877) 875-9823

Holiday Inn Washington-Dulles International Airport amenities include

• Hotel check-in at 3pm; check-out at 12pm

• Complementary car parking • Airport shuttle

• Internet

• Business services

• Fitness center

• Housekeeping & Laundry

• Pool

• On-site restaurants

For alternative lodging, Best Western Dulles Airport Inn and TownePlace Suites by Marriott
Dulles Airport are less than ½ mile from the Holiday Inn.

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Transportation

Flying

The closest airport is Dulles International, which is about a 10 minute shuttle ride from the
hotel. An airport shuttle is provided by the Holiday Inn Washington-Dulles International Airport for those who are booked there.
Call the hotel directly for shuttle information: +1 (703) 471-7411.

Driving Directions

From the North: From route 7 the Leesburg Pike Take VA 28 south to the Sterling Blvd. exit.
Make a left at the light and cross the over pass. Make a right at the first light onto Shaw Rd.
Take your second right onto Holiday Drive and the hotel will be at the end on your left.
From the South: From Manassas take Rt 28 sully Rd north to Sterling and exit onto sterling Blvd.
heading East. At the first light take a right onto Shaw Rd and then take your second right onto
Holiday Drive. Hotel is on the left.
From the East: From US 495 take Rt. 267 Dulles Toll Rd north to the Rt. 28 exit and get onto Rt.
28 north. Take Rt. 28 north to Sterling Blvd. and exit onto sterling Blvd. heading East. At the first
light take a right onto Shaw Rd and then take your second right onto Holiday Drive. Hotel is on
the left.
From the West: Take the Dulles Greenway Rt. 267 to Rt. 28 north. Take Rt. 28 north to Sterling
Blvd. and exit onto sterling Blvd. heading East. At the first light take a right onto Shaw Rd and
then take your second right onto Holiday Drive. Hotel is on the left.

Train station

The train station nearest to the hotel is the Wiehle Reston East Metro Station. A taxi or ride sharing service (Uber, Lyft) can be taken to the Holiday Inn, which is about 8 miles away.

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Sponsors

Diocese of Arlington