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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!

For information on registration, accommodations, and transportation, scroll below

 

“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 professionals who are seeking comprehensive formation on the topics of homosexuality and gender identity. 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 & Authentic Pastoral Care in Light of Confusion About Sexual Identity

  • Helen Alvaré

    Talk title and description: coming soon

  • Hudson B

    Testimonial

  • Suzanne Baars, Ph.D

    Presenting: Guarding our capacity for authentic love: the importance of affectivity in daily life.

  • Paul Darrow

    Testimonial

  • John Grabowski, Ph.D.

    Presenting: Engendering Discussion: Recent Catholic Thought on Sexual Difference

  • Mary Hasson

    Talk title and description: coming soon

  • Trent Horn

    Talk title and description: coming soon

  • Michael Horne, Psych.D

    Presenting: Charity and Clarity

  • Garrett J

    Testimonial

  • Deacon Patrick Lappert, M.D.

    Presenting: Transgender Surgery & Catholic Anthropology

  • Bishop John Keenan

    Talk title and description: coming soon

  • Timothy Lock, Ph.D.

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

  • Quentin Van Meter, MD

    Talk title and description: coming soon

  • Alphoso Pinto

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

  • David Prosen

    Presenting: “I Thirst”: Concrete Ways to Meet the Needs of Those of Us in the Church, Who Experience Same Sex Attractions.

  • Avera Maria Santo

    Testimonial

  • Rilene Simpson

    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.

 

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

Hudson B

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

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 Hasson

Trent Horn

Michael Horne, Psych.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 J

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

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, MD

Alphoso Pinto

Spiritual Friendship and the soul’s pilgrimage to God.

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

“I Thirst”: Concrete Ways to Meet the Needs of Those of Us in the Church, Who Experience Same Sex Attractions.

(Mental Health Track Session II)

(Pastoral Care Track Session IV)

How do we welcome and accompany those with SSA into the Church? Today, this question is at the forefront, as priests, deacons, and lay leaders struggle to find the balance of loving the person, while not condoning sexual sin. David suggests that maybe we are asking the wrong question, as he turns to those words said by Jesus on the cross: “I thirst”. By reframing this question, he gets past the cultural confusion and explores the spiritual needs of those who experience same sex attractions. David, who through the power of Christ no longer identifies as a “gay” man, speaks from his own experience and Church teachings, offering concrete ways to help meet these needs.

Avera Maria Santo

Rilene Simpson

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.


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

Schedule: coming soon!

Registration cost

Early registration

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

PLEASE NOTE: These costs 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

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.

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.

From the train station (by car)

Wiehle Reston East Metro Station
• Follow VA-28 S towards Dulles Airport. Exit to VA-267 E towards Washington. Take exit
13 to Wiehle Ave. Turn left onto Wiehle Ave.
• Estimated distance to the hotel: 8.2 miles

Sponsors

Coming soon!