An Epicopal ministry aimed at converting homosexuals into heterosexuals has the endorsement of Episcopal Bishop William Frey of Colorado but has been criticized by some diocesan clergy.
The King's Ministries program is coordinated by William Preussing, who said the program is one of about 30 such organizations in cities around the country. He said his organization is for homosexuals who do not want to be homosexual ("They) can come out of it. I did," he said.
Preussing said the group has an income of about $1,400 a month and spends about $1,600. Those seeking help from the organization are referred to sympathetic Episcopal priests for counseling, though "far to few" such priests have made themselves available, he said.
Convinced he was homosexual when he was a teen-ager. Preussing says he has come to feel heterosexuality" is a better way of life and more complete. I want to share it . . . People aren't born gay, I don't know the reason for a person's being gay."
In a letter to bishops and other clergy. Bishop Frey said the group seeks to "encourage men and women to seek freedom from those life-styles that are incompatible with the teachings of traditional Christian theology. The approach is to present its material in a factual, nonjudgmental, nonemotional and yet deeply committed biblical fashion."
"The idea of changing homosexuals to heterosexuals is in disagreement with everyone in psychology and psychiatry," said the Rev. Marion Hammond of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. "King's Ministries says the condition isn't inborn but developed. No psychiastrist would make a statement like that," he said.
A priest who said Bishop Frey would not let him functionas a priest in Colorado because of his homosexual life-style, called King's Ministries' "whole philosophy . . . appalling . . . I don't believe that homosexuals. We're part of the created order."
The Rev. Richard Kerr, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Redeemer in Denver, said psychologists have "virtually abandoned the idea of changing sexuality. People ought to be taught, instead, to accept themselves and how to integrate into the whole community."