Over the past few years, Catholic schools have been the targets of people and organizations who seek to use the schools as a way of attacking the Church’s teachings, particularly those on human sexuality. Typically, what happens is that the school, either in ignorance or out of a guilt felt by school administrators over Church teachings, hires a homosexual teacher or administrator or staff member. After some period of time, that person “comes out” with a “domestic partner.” Then the school is forced to either accept the scandal of the Church employing someone living, in legal parlance, “openly and notoriously,” in violation of Church teachings or fire them and become the latest “intolerant Catholic school” story.
Now we have another of those stories emerging. (h/t to our new colleagues at pjmedia.)
A homosexual couple tried to enroll their child in St. Ann Catholic School in Prairie Village, a suburb of Kansas City, KS. This presented the school with a major problem. Either accept “parents” who were, in a very calculated manner, living in defiance of Catholic teachings (and the teaching of Christ, too, for that matter) and thereby creating scandal (see definition) in leading other people to believe that homosexual “marriage” is fine, or to refuse to enroll the child and be criticized for it.
The archdiocese responded:
“Marriage is considered the building block of the family, of society, and the heart of the Church. The Church’s teaching on marriage is clear and is not altered by the laws of civil society,” the statement reads, in reference to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision that legalized gay marriage nationwide.
“The decision of the Supreme Court to grant marital status to same-sex unions does not change Church doctrine on marriage, but does present the Church with new pastoral challenges.”
The fact that a same-sex couple is not capable of modeling the “essential components” of the Church’s teaching on marriage “creates a conflict for their children between what they are taught in school and what is experienced at home,” the archdiocese said, and could become a source of confusion for other students.
“Our schools exist to pass on the Catholic faith. Incorporated into our academic instruction and spiritual formation, at every grade level, are the teachings of the Catholic Church,” the statement continues.
“It is important for children to experience consistency between what they are taught in school and what they see lived at home. Therefore, we ask that parents understand and be willing to support those teachings in their homes.”
The archdiocese concluded its statement by saying that the Church does not think it respectful, fair, loving or compassionate for individuals who disagree with the Church’s teaching to “place their children in an educational environment where the values of the parents and the core principles of the school conflict.”
This is the correct response.
It is very difficult to accept that a homosexual couple would want to use a Catholic school for any purpose beyond creating a headline. If, on the off chance, they were acting in good faith, then the Church certainly doesn’t want to teach children contrary to what they are being taught at home.
A petition is being circulated demanding that the parish and the diocese reconsider their Catholicism:
The petition points out that the school admits children of parents who are in violation of other church teachings such as divorced and remarried couples, those who have conceived through in-vitro fertilization, as well as non-Catholic children and families.
This is nuts. First off, there is no way you can determine if a child was conceived in vitro or even the marital status of the kid’s parents UNLESS they openly advertise it. If they did so, the diocese would have a similar but very different problem. The admission of non-Catholic children is a red herring as being non-Catholic does not imply you reject the Church’s teachings on morality and very few families have discussions over either transubstantiation or Papal supremacy so this wouldn’t pose any conflict.
These fights are going to become more and more frequent. The American Catholic Church appears, under Pope Francis, to be on a slow slide into schism. Some diocese, like Kansas City and Philadelphia, are very orthodox. Some, like Chicago and Newark, are a hop-skip-and-jump from neo-paganism. But for Church institutions, like schools and hospitals, to be able to retain a Catholic character they have to be consistent in their adherence to Church doctrine. Once you start employing that great gay choirmaster, you lose the ability to decide some other activity, like the Gay Pride club, is a bridge too far.
The Kansas City Archdiocese took a courageous step here. I’m sure they will lose some parishioners over the decision and that is a good thing. There are entirely too many lukewarm Catholics and like someone famous once said, we should “spit them out of our mouth.”
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