The names and email addresses submitted on the registration form will be kept in confidence by Courage & EnCourage’s chat group screeners and moderators. They will not be shared with anyone else unless a registrant’s conduct within the chat group necessitates a third-party consultation or intervention (see Confidentiality section below).

Registrants will also be sent a link to the privacy policies of the external chat group platform we will be using. IMPORTANT: To maintain your anonymity in the new chat groups right from the start, be sure to use a pseudonym when you first sign up through the link the moderator will send you after you submit your registration. You will also be able to change your display name at any time after signing up. This platform will give members access to all group posts within the last 90 days; after 90 days, messages will automatically be deleted and will not be kept on file anywhere.

As with all our venues (either in-person or online), we trust that those who apply and participate in our chat groups are acting in good faith and have been truthful in completing their registration form. There is always an element of risk that someone may join our groups under false pretenses; therefore, we ask chat group participants to always remember to be discreet about any personal issues and details they may choose to share with others on this platform. We want to foster a friendly spirit of trust and openness, but we must be vigilant nonetheless.


While the following was written to address sharing and confidentiality within an actual Courage meeting, the same principles are to be applied to what is shared in our online chat groups.

Courage Handbook, p. 37:

The ability of each member to speak honestly about his or her journey of conversion is assured by the mutual trust that what is said at the Courage meeting will be held in confidence by all who attend. Especially when a member needs to talk about personal struggles with temptation and sin, it is important that everyone knows that what is said at the meeting stays there. In general, no one should bring up what is shared in a Courage meeting in another context. 

The Courage meeting is not conducted under the seal that pertains to the Sacrament of Confession, however, and there are important exceptions to this expectation of confidentiality of which both the chaplain and the members should be aware. For example, if a member discusses plans to attempt suicide or to harm another person, or discloses incidences of abuse or neglect of children or other vulnerable persons, chaplains are generally mandated by civil law to report this to appropriate authorities. In particular, Courage chaplains and members must always follow all relevant civil and ecclesiastical laws regarding reporting of sexual abuse of minors and other vulnerable persons. In handling such mandated reporting, chaplains should maintain discretion and concern for the rights of all involved, and not discuss the situation beyond what is required. Conversations between members and the chaplain that do not fall under these particular exceptions of mandated reporting should be treated with the confidentiality always due to the (non-sacramental) internal forum. The chaplain should never give a member reason to fear speaking honestly about difficult or sensitive situations, which is the foundation not only of the Third Goal but of one’s road to conversion and growth in holiness.  

Sensitivity to the particular situation of each individual member also calls for respect and reserve when members meet each other or the chaplain in a setting outside the Courage meeting. As mentioned in the Introduction, some members are more private than others regarding their experience of same-sex attractions and their participation in Courage. Generally, when members encounter one another in public, a polite smile may be better than a greeting, particularly when one member is accompanied by family members or acquaintances who may ask how they know the other person. This is not a hard-and-fast rule – in large crowds or away from home, for example, anonymity may not be an issue – but members should be reminded from time to time to respect each other’s privacy even when away from the meeting.

We encourage all chat group members to familiarize themselves with the full content of the Courage Handbook.