See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

What about the children?


Reflections on the Archdiocese of Denver Catholic School Admissions Policy.
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I expect many people to be blogging about the decision of a Denver priest, Fr. William Breslin, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Boulder, Colorado to implement archdiocesan policy refusing enrollment in Catholic school to children of same-sex parents.  The Denver admissions policy states:  "No person shall be admitted as a student in any Catholic school unless that person and his/her parent(s) subscribe to the school’s philosophy and agree to abide by the educational policies and regulations of the school and Archdiocese.”
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The official statement from the Archdiocese explains the policy as it pertains to this case:  "Parents living in open discord with Catholic teaching in areas of faith and morals unfortunately choose by their actions to disqualify their children from enrollment. To allow children in these circumstances to continue in our school would be a cause of confusion for the student in that what they are being taught in school conflicts with what they experience in the home." - Source 
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Additionally, Archbishop Chaput further explained the decision in his weekly news column:  “If parents don’t respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible." - CNA
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Exploiting the children for equality?
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Sadly, the children are becoming pawns in the great fight to gain same-sex marriage recognition in the U.S. and abroad, but it is not the Catholic Church doing the exploiting, rather it is the homosexualist movement and the same-sex parents.  I definitely agree with the policy statement of the Archdiocese of Denver, although I regret that it might also mean that a child is denied an opportunity for a Catholic education - specifically solid Catholic catechesis and admission to the sacraments.  Considering the irregularities of my own upbringing, if it hadn't been for Catholic school, I doubt I would have any faith at all.  Nevertheless, my parents did accept Catholic teaching regarding faith and morals, and they had the desire that I be brought up in the Catholic faith.  It is  obvious children in similar circumstances today would never be rejected by Catholic schools, as Archbishop Chaput affirmed:  "Many of our schools also accept students of other faiths and no faith, and from single parent and divorced parent families. These students are always welcome so long as their parents support the Catholic mission of the school and do not offer a serious counter-witness to that mission in their actions." - CNA 
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Unfortunately, so it seems to me, same-sex parents do not share that commitment nor do they have that intention to train their children in the faith.  I strongly suspect enrollment in Catholic school has more to do with quality of education than belief in or acceptance of Catholic doctrine. 
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Case in point is the story of Carol Curoe's family; her same-sex partner, and their children.  Curoe wrote a book with her dad, Robert Curoe, titled, "Are There Closets in Heaven?".   After reading the book, my impression is that Ms. Curoe is a sort of CINO Catholic - Catholic in name only, since she rejects Catholic teaching regarding sexuality as well as Roman Church authority to define faith and morals.  Sadly, her father has been misled by erring theologians and priests (McNeill, Nugent, Sr. Gramick, etc.) into believing the Catholic Church can and will change Her teaching to finally accept homosexuality and bless same sex-marriages.  That is simply impossible, the Church and her ministers do not have the authority to alter moral and natural law.
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Exploiting the Church.
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Reading Carol Curoe's book reveals the extent to which she accepts Catholic teaching on these issues, and my supposition being it most likely reflects the Boulder couple's non-acceptance of Catholic teaching as well.  In her book, Ms. Curoe clearly states:
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"Although I was raised Catholic and had seventeen years of Catholic education, you'd be hard pressed to call me a  'good' Catholic or maybe even 'a Catholic.'  We belong to a Catholic parish and I go to church; in my heart it doesn't make me a good Catholic.  There's so much about the Church that I don't agree with, and I'm always battling its policies in my mind.  I like our parish, I rationalize that we belong to St. Joan of Arc parish, not the larger Catholic Church.
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Susan and I struggled to decide whether we wanted to baptize Patrick, and any future children, into the Catholic Church.  We wanted to baptize him into our parish, but felt baptizing him into the Catholic Church was hypocritical.  It took many months to make the final decision to do it.  A decade later we laugh about it, saying Patrick was the only boy in that group who walked to his own baptism.
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Susan and I don't pretend to be anything we aren't in terms of the Church.  We've made it clear to our sons that the majority of the leaders of the Catholic Church do not think homosexuality is okay...  We do not protect our sons from the knowledge that many people and organizations not only may not agree with having two lesbians for parents - in fact, they may actively work against it.
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... We pointed out that just because people join an organization, it doesn't mean they agree with everything it stands for; our membership at St. Joan of Arc was a simple analogy." - Are There Closets In Heaven?
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Too bad these people, highly educated, informed, and progressive as they are, do not understand that the Catholic Church cannot be reduced to an organization or an institution.
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"We need to examine our hearts with real candor. And we need to ask ourselves how “Catholic” we really want to be. If the answer is “pretty much” or “sort of” or “on my own terms” -- then we need to stop fooling ourselves, for our own sake and for the sake of the people around us who really do believe. There’s no more room in American life for easy or tepid faith." - Archbishop Chaput, 21st Century Bishop
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To support Fr. Breslin, Archbishop Chaput, and the Archdiocese of Denver policy, vist Fr. Z's post: To Arms - Denver priest attacked for his obedience.
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Photo: File; "gay parents".

53 comments:

  1. My question would be: how consistently is this policy enforced in the Archdiocese? There is more than one way to "dissent from Church teaching." Most of the time one's tuition check is enough to ensure a child's Catholic education. Perhaps if this couple were more affluent, there would be no issue.

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  2. You wrote, "I strongly suspect enrollment in Catholic school has more to do with quality of education than belief in or acceptance of Catholic doctrine."

    So true, some students here were removed from our high school because our school is "too Catholic" for their parents.
    ******
    Next- Please God clean up our childrens religion books (lower grades) after you clean house with the people who are defiant and rebellious.

    Traitor Catholics make me sick.

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  3. Mr.Thom, Oddly enough I've wittnessed that the more affluent the parents seem to be then the more "Catholicism" seems to be an issue for them but I don't understand why.

    Affluenza seems to cause brain damage in some way or another of course it's not always the case but it often is.

    When you threaten administrators with removal of funds they simply balk at you. They have a "so what?" attitude. Besides affluent people often expect to be catered to. They can be such a pain yet if they're holy - a great blessing to their parish family in many ways.

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  4. Maria2:01 PM

    Thom: what does SFO stand for?

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  5. I suspect this has major political ramifications rather than a religious one; unfortunately, the Church gets lambasted for something that was, in times past, something taken for granted.
    This has nothing to do with "justice" or "equality"...why would you want your child taught the Catholic Faith when you are living in absolute opposition to it?
    Weakness is one thing; ignorance another.
    But weakness and ignorance do not seem to be what the issues are here.
    I smell a rat.
    Sorry.

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  6. I read Father Zs post also, and have seen this in the mainstream news.

    Thom's remark that there are many ways to dissent from church teaching is what also came to my mind. Has there, in Denver, been another child barred from attending a Catholic school for any other issue along these lines (dissent)?

    I hope there will be (by the mercy of Our Lord) a time when this child will become exposed positively to Church teachings. Were I in Denver, I would imagine that I would defer to my Bishop's decision - but it would still trouble me.

    SFO - I think Maria, this is Secular Franciscan Order, but Thom or Terry can correct me if I'm wrong.

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  7. Aceman2:47 PM

    Pennyyak wrote: "Thom's remark that there are many ways to dissent from church teaching is what also came to my mind. Has there, in Denver, been another child barred from attending a Catholic school for any other issue along these lines (dissent)?"

    That came to my mind too, such as divorced and remarried (outside the church) parents. These are much more common, I would think, than same sex families who send their kids to parochial schools. Or families that belong to a parish, to get the lower tuition rate, but never go to mass. How far does the digging into one's family proceed prior to accepting someone as a student in a school?

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  8. Aceman and pennyyack: I think this has to do with this lesbian couple publicaly espousing their dissent to Church teaching...those who are in irregular marriages, don't go to Mass regularly, cohabitation, (heterosexual couples and maybe even homosexual couples who are not publicaly "out"),whatever, are in some sense in the "internal forum" (which means that most do not know of their situations and there is no public scandal).
    That might seem hypocritical; the fact is that when you are public about your beliefs and situation which is contrary to Church teaching, it is different than when there is no scandal involved or things are private.
    I know this sounds awful. It might even sound like a double standard. But the fact remains that if you speak and live in a public way against Church teaching, there are consequences. And that's according to canon law.

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  9. OK, divorce and one-parent families aren't fantastic role models for Catholic kids. I give you that. But when the parents of such children pick up their kids from school - the parents, whether the single mom or dovirced dad - they are HETEROSEXUAL PARENTS.

    For this little girl in the story, if her parents pick her up from school or attend the Christmas pageant, all the other kids see 2 mommies. That's what I'd be worried about.

    If the divorced mom is screwing some guy every night after Billy goes to bed, no one else knows but the mom and little Billy. But when a child of 2 homosexual parents has....well.....2 homosexual parents, everyone sees it and is conscious of it.

    I'm not excusing the bad single, heterosexual parents. But at least in those situations there is the veneer of normality. It doesn't cause immediate scandal at the most foundational level of Catholic teaching. But when you have 2 openly-gay parents, it does.

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  10. So, Charlotte, this "sin" is "different" because the sin is "gross?"

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  11. Maria3:37 PM

    Padre; I quite agree with your statement: "But the fact remains that if you speak and live in a public way against Church teaching, there are consequences. And that's according to canon law".

    The issue is scandal.I also wholeheartedly agree with Chaput's statement: "We need to examine our hearts with real candor. And we need to ask ourselves how “Catholic” we really want to be. If the answer is “pretty much” or “sort of” or “on my own terms” -- then we need to stop fooling ourselves, for our own sake and for the sake of the people around us who really do believe. There’s no more room in American life for easy or tepid faith." - Archbishop Chaput".

    We are entering into a very real, spiritual warfare. We can thank God for men like Chaput. His stand requires moral heroism. He will not doubt be persecuted and needs our prayer.

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  12. If they don't agree with the Catholic church why make everyone else miserable and why be a part of something that you don't believe in, it makes you look stupid.

    Why can't people who hate the Catholic church or who can't accept her for the way she is just peacefully walk away.
    Some people don't seem to be happy unless they trash the place on their way out.

    Rebellion- it's so demonic.

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  13. Thom, where did I use the word gross? I didn't.

    Homosexuality is intrinsically disordered. I could be wrong, but I think that exact same phrase is in the catechism? Well, anyway, it is.

    Showing off your 2 mommies is a vastly different thing than showing off your recently-divorced and single mother. One is disordered at the most base and foundational level. The other is sin of the common heterosexual variety.

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  14. Whatever we think about how the parents are conducting their lives, it seems a harsh thing to exclude the kids. Are they also refusing to Baptize the children? I don't see a great deal of difference between this situation and one in which heterosexual parents (or maybe only one of them is actually the parent) are co-habiting without marriage. That is also pretty much a public situation. If we (as a church)treat kids like they are damaged goods because of their family situation, I wouldn't give very good odds for them growing up with much if any religious beliefs; and certainly none favorable to the Catholic Church.

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  15. According to the CCC, torture is a grave evil. If the child of a US government-employed "enhanced interrogator" tries to enroll his child, would that child also be denied?

    Methinks not.

    (BTW, the overused term "intrinsically disordered" does not necessarily constitute a greater gravity of sin.)

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  16. Mark 10: 13-16: "And Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, except for the ones who live in irregular family circumstances that we don't approve of; their parents are just troublemakers anyway, and you know the apples don't fall far from the tree.'"

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  17. "We are entering into a very real, spiritual warfare."

    Let's say we have been in a very real spiritual warfare for sometime now, the difference is that the "laws" have now reached into individual homes and the souls occupying them don't like the intrusion. The odd thing is that if Christians took their belief more seriously even 40-yrs ago, we might not be at this point today. But, God has a way of making crooked roads straight ... it is going to hurt ...

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  18. Melody, I agree that the children of those people need to be in Catholic schools- welcomed and loved.

    The problem is that sadly children have always paid for their parents sins.

    But the question I have is why would homosexual couples (or otherwise) choose to send their children to an organization that goes against their beliefs?

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  19. "But the question I have is why would homosexual couples (or otherwise) choose to send their children to an organization that goes against their beliefs?"

    Actually, no, that's really not our concern. You, nor I, know what they believe- about the Eucharist, about morals, or anything else.

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  20. michael r.5:39 PM

    Gay, gay, gay, everyday... I thought we were letting this go for a while.

    Nazareth priest is right. There are children from irregular parenting situations enrolled in Catholic schools everywhere. It must be because this couple is flaunting their livestyle, or pushing a lot of buttons out there, that they have been met with this kind of response.

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  21. Michael, you don't think it could have anything to do with the fact that certain sorts of Catholics are obsessed with sex?

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  22. Maria5:43 PM

    Thom: Certain Catholics are concerned about sin and its impact on the Faithful. Either we stand for Truth or we stand on the side of sin. We cannot have it both wats. We can thank God that Archbishop Chaput possesses th moral courage that he does.

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  23. Maria, I hear you... but those sins, that "Truth," is always always always about sex.

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  24. Disobedience, arguing a futile point, not accepting church authority and creating general chaos within the church is an indication of a spiritual bankrupt soul.


    Love for the church or for one another is an act of the will and it's more than a warm fuzzy feeling. Love is reflected in our works and by our actions for one another and it's not about how warm we feel on the inside.

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  25. As I noted in my post, my parents were in an irregular marriage and the parish knew - my mother was Catholic, divorced and remarried to my Lutheran dad. However, their intention was that I be raised Catholic, and though they did not attend Church they accepted and believed what the Church teaches. I know these matters were discussed with the priest and nuns at the time. My parents had no intention of challenging Catholic teaching on divorce and remarriage, nor did they attempt to justify their state.

    Archbishop Chaput, in union with the Church, recognizes similar circumstances, as he stated and I quoted in my post:

    "Many of our schools also accept students of other faiths and no faith, and from single parent and divorced parent families. These students are always welcome so long as their parents support the Catholic mission of the school and do not offer a serious counter-witness to that mission in their actions."

    The situation the same-sex parents present differs in that the issue has become politicized, notorious and presents a public scandal. And as I wrote in my post, the Boulder couple most likely shares the same POV as that of the MPLS couple I hi-lighted with passages from Carol Carue's book, "Are There Closets In Heaven?"

    It is obvious these couples are challenging Church teaching at their children's expense. Therefore, in all likelihood they have no intention of raising their children in the faith which condemns the homosexual lifestyle. Instead I expect they are simply seeking to benefit from the academic standard of excellence Catholic education is known for.

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  26. Terry, no, it's not obvious that these parents are "challenging church teaching at the child's expense." The child has already been enrolled in the school- quietly- for a year.

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  27. Maria6:05 PM

    Thom: Our Lady, in multiple apparitions has told us, that more people go to hell for sins of the flesh than almost any other form of sin. We live in a world now saturated with sins of the flesh. It is also destroying families. The Archbishop is saying that we must now take a stand for the Truth and for the Faithful. Persistent, obdurate sin that is flouted in public, that scandalizes the Faithful,is what is at issue.

    Belinda: Disobedience is what propells sin. Right you are.

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  28. Aceman6:15 PM

    'The official statement from the Archdiocese explains the policy as it pertains to this case: "Parents living in open discord with Catholic teaching in areas of faith and morals unfortunately choose by their actions to disqualify their children from enrollment. To allow children in these circumstances to continue in our school would be a cause of confusion for the student in that what they are being taught in school conflicts with what they experience in the home." '

    I am assuming that if the children in Denver Catholic schools are being taught that homosexual marriage is wrong, that they are also being taught that remarriage (after the civil dissolution of a Catholic marriage) outside the Church is also wrong. Aren't the people in such a union are "living in open discord with Catholic teaching in areas of faith and morals?" Aren't they in fact, excommunicate?

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  29. Maria, "sins of the flesh" are nothing new; there is no fresh "saturation."

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  30. This is not an attempt to somehow excuse "irregular" marriages.
    But there are some very strange, complex and difficult situations, for one reason or another, where there is divorce/remarriage or cohabitation, and children are involved.
    This is not to say this is a good situation. But if these parents live as close as they can to the proper roles of parents and do what they can, this is is absolutely different than a man/man or woman/woman arrangement.
    I'm sorry if this offends anyone, but this is the teaching of the Church and even Pope Benedict has made this very explicit in his defense of the family.
    I do not approve of irregular situations; they exist; you do what you can. Children need a stable home life with a mother and a father. I'm sorry if that's offensive. A same-sex couple is not the same.

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  31. 30 comments! Holey Moley! I haven't had that many comments on all of my posts of the last four years.

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  32. Many feel sorry for the children. But the pastor of of Sacred Heart of Jesus parish has pointed out that the problems would be even greater for children of homosexual relationships in a Catholic school.

    When catechism instruction points out that homosexual activity is wrong and a mortal sin, this will become very difficult for a child to accept that the parent and the partner are grievous sinners.

    They would not be invited to school or parish events, either, isolating the child from schoolmates.

    Children in same sex partnerships is an untested experiment of very recent origin. It will be many years until we discover the damage that is being done to those children. But then it will be irreversible.

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  33. Terry - I'm glad you wrote on this. You've done so in a charitable and objective fashion - much more so than if I had blogged about it. Now I feel like I'm off the hook ;-)

    This is indeed a tragic situation, for the child involved.

    Pray, and if you feel so inclined, do go to Fr Breslin's site and leave him an encouraging and supportive comment. Far too many of the comments at his blog are vitriolic and intolerant and hateful. Let him know that he is not alone.

    Fr Z. recommended saying the St Michael's prayer and the Memorae for Fr Breslin, his school and Archbishop Chaput. They need supernatural protection right now.

    And pray for the girl as well!

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  34. Maria9:07 PM

    Larry D--I sent an E-mail of support to Chaput yesterday but will follow your advice and send on to Breslin.

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  35. I spent 9 years teaching RE and 4 years in a private Catholic School. Many of the children were in "irregular" families or had parents that did not attend Mass.

    It always pained me when we discussed sin and I knew these kids were thinking, "Hey, my Mom's in the state of mortal sin."

    It is a terrible position to put your children in. Those two women are only trying to make a statement at the expensive of their children.

    Nazareth Priest stated the truth of the situation quite well and that should really put an end to the "discussion."

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  36. Thom and Melody K--I agree with your points..

    It would be intresting to see how many OB/GYNs and other doctors who perform sterilizations, abortions, and prescribe contraceptives send their children to Catholic schools with nary a blink of an eye or criticism from others...oh its because their kids need to go to a GOOD private school so they can get accepted to Yale or Harvard. And since they're DOCTORS they're upstanding members of the community...blah blah blah..

    The "double standard" just blows my mind....maybe it's because I wasn't raised in the Catholic faith--was a hard-core Protestant-- and as a recent(6+years) entry in my Catholic journey I'm learning as I go...

    Yes homosexual people, please come to our church..we love the sinner and hate the sin..but in the MEANTIME just keep a real low profile, sit in the back pews, we can't let anyone know or it will cause a SCANDAL.. Heaven forbid...

    Seems like when my Catholic auntie got a divorce from her abusive husband back in the 50's she was treated pretty much the same way...and she ended up leaving the Church because she sat by herself in church, got "the look" from other parishioners, and no one would even give her the time of day..

    I'd probably leave too..

    Peace.. Sara

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  37. Sara (3puddytats): You are right on about the double standard..."respectable people", ie. doctors who perform sterilization, dispense contraceptives, and do abortions; those who are divorced and remarried (without the proper dispensations) or those who cohabitate seem to be outside the "box" of being refused the sacraments or publically called to task. This is most unfortunate in this present day
    ...anyone who lives outside the norms of Catholic moral teaching should refrain from Holy Communion, attempt to be reconciled to the Church, and be held accountable.
    Alas, this is not the state of things presently in most places.
    Is this right?
    No.
    Compassionate, clear and thoughtful teaching from the pulpit, the confessional, and from other venues has got to correct the notion that anything goes.
    Is it right to ostracize someone who is in an "irregular" situation?
    No.
    I grant credit to my German great grandmother, who married a Methodist and could not practice her faith (Catholic) because of the prejudice and abuse of his family (alcoholic, abusive, and God know what else...)...I attribute my vocation to the consecrated life and the priesthood to this woman who probably was a martyr in many ways...yet in each generation there are Catholics...and now she has a great grandson as a monk/priest.
    Who da thunk it?
    God is good. He knows us and He gives us every possibility to know Him and love Him and change from our sinful ways.
    That's it. Sorry for the monologue!

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  38. Just a final P.S. that crossed my mind...and too this may be showing my Protestant roots...

    I would not want to be that person standing up in front of St Peter, and he asks "You had an opportunity to educate this child in a Catholic school, to teach her about the Church, and you did not...Why??"

    "Oh dear St Peter--I was worried about what other people would think, and the SCANDAL it would cause, because her parents were dreadful sinners.."

    We are ALL poor sinners--we must not get puffed up by pride like the Pharisees--their sins are worse than mine so I want nothing to do with them...who knows...maybe this child by her Catholic will be the catalyst nfor her parents to realise their sin..

    Fini... Sara

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  39. 3 Puddytats--from CCC

    2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

    2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."86 Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing.87

    2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.

    Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible."88 This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger,89 or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

    2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!"90

    Scandal has is not a minor issue in the Catholic Church. It has a different meaning than understood in common parlance.

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  40. Maria, none of those passages from the CCC address this situation.

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  41. My apologies--I got caught up in the topic and neglected to give my source...
    The prideful Pharisee--parable of Our Lord-- Luke 18:9-14.

    Peace.. Sara

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  42. Thom: I never seem to engage in this sort of debate with those who are obedient to the Magisterium.

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  43. Maria2:34 AM

    The 3 Munera (Duties of the Ordained)

    Munus docendi (duty to teach, based on Christ's role as Prophet).

    Munus sanctificandi (duty to sanctify, based on Chris's role as Priest).

    Munus regendi (duty to shepherd, based on Christ's role as King).

    Archbishop Chaput and Fr. Breslin are holy examples of what it means to be a priest.

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  44. Ray is right,
    I would never allow my children to go over and spend any time with the children of gay parents. None whatso ever.

    Children pay for their parent sins.

    Send the hate mail to ....
    www.tnelson@hotmail.com hahahaha

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  45. Thom doesn't want to acknowledge Catholic teaching or think through Catholic teaching to understand how it DOES apply to this situation.

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  46. Charlotte, that isn't fair or accurate. This debate thus far has included fact and opinion, and not personal motive. Let's not stoop to insulting each other simply because we disagree. The citations from the CCC that Maria quoted really do not apply. If you can make a case that they do, I'd be happy to know it.

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  47. In Thom's defense, no body does "wrong" with more grace and dignity.

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  48. I do think "scandal" HAS something to with this...scandal, as Maria has posted from the CCC is not about shocking people, but about giving a public example of something that is not moral that could lead others into sin.
    If others see that a same-sex couple, living as though in an analogous situation as married heterosexual couples, with children, is approved, then they might be influenced to act likewise.
    That's not discrimination; the Catholic Church has a right to make policies within the schools that are consonant with Her teaching. And Divine Law, I might add.
    A same-sex couple is not analogous at all to a married man and woman.

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  49. Denying a child access to Catholic education isn't scandalous?

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  50. Thom: It all depends.
    Denial, in and of itself, is not scandalous.

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  51. Ha ha Belinda - send the hate mail to me. LOL!

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