Sunday, January 05, 2014

Pope Francis asks for 'a rethink' in how the Church responds to children of gay parents.




I couldn't agree more.

Praise God - apparently the Holy Father doesn't believe in punishing the children for the sins of their parents.
Rome (AFP) - Pope Francis has called for a rethink in the way the Catholic Church deals with the children of gay couples and divorced parents, warning against "administering a vaccine against faith".
"On an educational level, gay unions raise challenges for us today which for us are sometimes difficult to understand," Francis said in a speech to the Catholic Union of Superiors General in November, extracts of which were published on Italian media websites on Saturday.
"The number of children in schools whose parents have separated is very high," he said, adding that family make-ups were also changing.
"I remember a case in which a sad little girl confessed to her teacher: 'my mother's girlfriend (fidanzata) doesn't love me'," he was quoted as saying.
The pontiff said educational leaders should ask themselves "how can we proclaim Christ to a generation that is changing?"
"We must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them," the 77-year-old added. - Source 
 
As a child of a divorced and remarried Catholic mother, I was able to attend Catholic school.  If that had not been possible I doubt I would be Catholic today.  I wasn't treated the best, but I was taught the faith and received the sacraments.

If the Holy Father gets his way, perhaps now children of gay parents will not be kicked out of Catholic school.

I often think of Bl. Laura Vicuna when I remember little children of irregular marriages or relationships.  Her mother had been the mistress of an abusive man, who beat the little girl so badly once when she was ill,  she died.  She was educated by Salesian nuns.  Perhaps the Argentine mentality understands the importance of the education of children better than Catholics in the United States.

16 comments:

  1. Are children with gay parents prevented from going to Catholic Schools in the US?

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  2. There were a couple of expulsions in the past few years - one situation in Boston and another in Colorado - the kids were not allowed back. I haven't heard of other situations recently. I think the Cardinal in Boston may have allowed the kids back in school. The Colorado situation was resolved by Archbishop Chaput, and he upheld the prohibition. It's been awhile, so I'm not sure.

    Locally there is no problem. Gay families have their kids in Catholic school and no one says a thing.

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  3. As a parent I see many problems. You have a situation that is morally wrong and you put the child (of the same sex parents) in a position of conflict where what they are learning about the faith makes it clear the adults they're living with are in a state of sin. The children are innocent but the reality is still there. And what of the other parents? I could NEVER let a child of mine go play at the home of same-sex adults. And then you have the question of whether the child has been inappropriately sexualized, Testimony of young people who've been raised in same sex households illustrates that. I think there are a lot of problems to consider. And, frankly, I'm not sure what the answer is.

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  4. I couldn't disagree more.

    "The lesbian couple’s mere presence in the school community creates ambiguity about moral truth and risks silencing the Church’s voice—within that community–on marriage and sexuality. The lesbians expect to be treated just like the married parents of other children–showing up together at school assemblies, helping on the lunch line, or visiting the classroom, a situation sure to create confusion among other children. What should a teacher say when a student asks why the lesbians’ child has two mommies but everyone else has only one? No one wants to offend the twosome or hurt their feelings or the children’s. And teachers and parents certainly don’t want to explain lesbian coupling before they have to, either. Yet saying nothing and pretending that this couple is just like any other set of parents sends an erroneous message to the entire school community: it suggests that their sexual relationship is normal, moral, and equivalent to marriage. The Church teaches otherwise."

    "What about the suggestion that gay couples are singled out for exclusion while contracepting or divorced couples are not? Here’s the difference as I see it. It’s likely that other parents at the school have failed to live up to their marriage vows (and the Church’s teachings) in some way or another. They may be divorced and remarried outside the Church, contracepting or sterilized, perusing pornography or having an affair. And certainly most of them—all of us in fact–are at times self-centered, unforgiving, unkind, lazy or irresponsible in our family duties. We can fail to live the truth of marriage in endless ways. But however much we fall short, we are still attempting to live marriage as the Church understands it. Not so with the lesbian couple. Gay sexual relationships, lived publicly and asserting a moral equivalence with marriage, turn the truth about marriage on its head. They attempt to rebrand a disordered sexual relationship as “marriage” and themselves as otherwise-typical parents. As such, they are a “serious counter-witness” to the Church’s mission to educate in light of the truths of Catholic faith and morality.

    Archbishop Chaput was right. Enrolling the children elsewhere is the best solution for all concerned."

    - http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/cw/post.php?id=241

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  5. Terry, not so fast on the "locally, its OK" thing. It depends on the school. At the (very) few schools that teach the Catholic Church's teachings on marriage and sexuality, there are not any same-sex couple "parents." There are divorcees, and that is actually quite difficult to deal with as it is.

    The fact is that it is a conundrum. Catholic schools, per the Holy See, are supposed to partner with parents in educating children. The parents are the primary educators of the kids. If a school cannot partner with the parents (i.e., they are not on board with certain teachings and actively promote dissent), they cannot go to that school. However, if a same-sex couple are okay with the kids being taught the truth about marriage and sexuality, and do not stand in the way whatsoever by creating a culture of dissent, that may be okay. There are still questions there, however.

    1.) Is it merciful to create confusion and possibly hurt in the children of same sex couples by teaching them the truth about marriage and the fact that the adults in their home are engaging in a disordered and sinful life? Knowing that they will go home and see adults living differently than what they have learned is "true" at school. It is a difficult thing to justify.

    2.) Is it merciful to the other children and families to expose them to scandal, that is avoidable, when they are trying to raise and educate their children in a hostile world?

    Lets go back to divorcees again. These kids are exposed to the hurt of hearing the truth. I have seen it first hand. Yet the kids know it. They know their parents have done something wrong and are living a different life. They love them, but they know its not right. Other kids see it too and it becomes a delicate balancing act of saying, essentially, "your parents, like all of us, are fallen and do sin. The Church teaches the Truth on marriage and sexuality, but many are not willing to do what it takes to get there. We must pray for them to accept the grace and strength that the Lord provides to do just that."

    Its not perfect, but no school is. Let them in? Only if the adults are fully on-board with the confusion and hurt that will follow. Better scenario? The adults get their acts together first, so as to provide a better example, and then have the kids educated.

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  6. "Gay sexual relationships, lived publicly and asserting a moral equivalence with marriage, turn the truth about marriage on its head. They attempt to rebrand a disordered sexual relationship as “marriage” and themselves as otherwise-typical parents. As such, they are a “serious counter-witness” to the Church’s mission to educate in light of the truths of Catholic faith and morality."

    But if this is indeed the" truth"..the truth always shines through. You can't turn "truth," on its head, as the truth is the truth. I believe Pope Francis believes this and is not afraid of it. I detect quire a few people would love to keep their kids away from a situation like this to yes keep them away from what they view a morally corrupt situation but also out of fear that maybe, just maybe their kids may see for themselves gay couples and families who are totally "normal," (I am not even going to touch the "inappropriate sexualized," comment as who knows what that means or where that comes from..) and that no amount of trying to change their minds in the future will work. Let the truth come out if it is indeed the truth. I know that kids who group up all around us, in the neighborhood, kids of our friends, my now adult nephew and his friends, kids at school, kids and people at church, see a far different truth then what the hysterics would portray. And nothing is ever going to change that for them. So indeed if you believe in your truth you wouldn't be that afraid of gay couples and their kids in your church, school, etc. If your narrative is true, that gay couples are doomed to a life of misery and unhappiness, let the kids see it for themselves. Or maybe your afraid they wont see that and gasp...not really care.

    As for me I would allow kids to go to people's homes who were self righteous, and maybe a bit ignorant so that they would see that is not how we want them to be and that the world is full of such people..so don't add to the number. Sometimes the best education can be to show the opposite of what you want for them, so they can see the truth.

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  7. I wonder why gay couples would want to send their children to Catholic schools in the first place. If the parents do not agree with Church teaching, as would seem to be evidenced by their lives, why would they want that teaching to be taught to their children?

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    1. How many Catholic parents believe in the teaching of birth control..divorce and remarriage... or even gay issues and gay marriage? And still send their kids to Catholic school? Pope Francis is saying the Church and Catholic schools are not a private club for the exceedingly pious. Most likely those gay parents discuss the Church teachings with their kids..the history and cultures which created those teachings..disect them and let them decide for themselves..and maybe you have kids who both respect the Catholic faith and can borrow..think for themselves.

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    2. Mack,

      Believing in Church teaching is not being "exceedingly pious." Also, why do you obsess over numbers, as in the majority who dissent from Church teaching? That is not how the Truth is determined.

      Either the Church is who She claims to be - and so her moral teachings on marriage are not subject to change - or She is not. If not, then there is no reason bothering with being Catholic. To dissent from the Catholic Faith is not to "respect" it. It is to fundamentally misunderstand it.

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  8. "Either the Church is who She claims to be - and so her moral teachings on marriage are not subject to change - or She is not. If not, then there is no reason bothering with being Catholic. To dissent from the Catholic Faith is not to "respect" it"

    Ask Galileo that question. One faulty Church teaching which has been handed down for generations does not "make," the Church. To question means you care. To blindly follow what is spoon fed (not that is what you are doing but what you post seems to support) to you means you crave a safety net of absolutes in a crazy world. I understand, but that is not what we have.

    Say for sport that the Church did change its teachings on gay, birth control, divorce and remarriage ...whatever, pick it..would that make you question the truth the heart of the Church? Would it make you loose your faith?

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  9. "Either the Church is who She claims to be - and so her moral teachings on marriage are not subject to change - or She is not. If not, then there is no reason bothering with being Catholic. To dissent from the Catholic Faith is not to "respect" it"

    Ask Galileo that question. One faulty Church teaching which has been handed down for generations does not "make," the Church. To question means you care. To blindly follow what is spoon fed (not that is what you are doing but what you post seems to support) to you means you crave a safety net of absolutes in a crazy world. I understand, but that is not what we have.

    To say you blindly follow something like a cult would be an insult to you and presume I know what your inner spiritual life is about. To deride anyone who questions the Church and disagrees as "not being Catholic," (at least not enough to fit our standards) is insulting mine. While I question the Church it is not because I find it convenient or I am a sinner (which I am) that doesn't want to faith the truth. I disagree with Church teaching because of I have thought about it, and feel in my heart it is wrong, just as you feel in your heart it is right. We are both on a..and excuse me as I get all new agey and Oprahish..."spiritual journey," in examining Church teaching. After the Fall of Man things got pretty messy here on earth, and the Church is run by humans who make mistakes and have brought their own personal and cultural bias to the table.

    Say for sport that the Church did change its teachings on gay, birth control, divorce and remarriage ...whatever, pick it..would that make you question the truth the heart of the Church? Would it make you loose your faith? I am not trying to insult you I just find this interesting reading on blogs where a lot of Trad Catholics are bemoaning the Pope who has not changed one Church teaching but who just has a different style in presenting it.

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    1. You could do a ten minute search and find a reply to the "Galileo" issue, Mack. Apologetic sites or books have it in spades.

      You have it all backwards, Mack. The Truth is protected by the Church. I believe all that is taught, in part, because of what I believe more fundamentally regarding the nature of the Church. To separate out certain teachings from "the heart of the Church" or "my faith" is not a logical possibility.

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    2. Mack said, "Ask Galileo that question. "

      Oh, you really got us there. How will we ever defend the Church against the mighty charge of "ask Galileo"? That is the end-all, be-all of Catholic silencers on the internet. It is full-proof. A slam dunk.

      Or not.

      Catholic priest Nicholas Copernicus advanced the heliocentric theory that the sun, not the earth, is at the center, and that the earth goes around the sun. He did this more than half a century before Galileo. But Copernicus had no direct evidence, and he admitted that there were serious obstacles from experience that told against his theory. For instance, if the earth is moving rapidly, why don’t objects thrown up into the air land a considerable distance away from their starting point?

      Galileo defended heliocentrism, but one of his most prominent arguments was wrong. Galileo argued that the earth’s regular motion sloshes around the water in the oceans and explains the tides. In reality, tides have more to do with the moon’s gravitational force acting upon the earth.

      In reality, the Church was the leading sponsor of the new science and Galileo himself was funded by the church. The leading astronomers of the time were Jesuit priests. They were open to Galileo’s theory but told him the evidence for it was inconclusive. This was the view of the greatest astronomer of the age, Tyco Brahe. The Church’s view of heliocentrism was hardly a dogmatic one. When Cardinal Bellarmine met with Galileo he said, “While experience tells us plainly that the earth is standing still, if there were a real proof that the sun is in the center of the universe…and that the sun goes not go round the earth but the earth round the sun, then we should have to proceed with great circumspection in explaining passages of scripture which appear to teach the contrary, and rather admit that we did not understand them than declare an opinion to be false which is proved to be true. But this is not a thing to be done in haste, and as for myself, I shall not believe that there are such proofs until they are shown to me.” Galileo had no such proofs.

      The idea that Galileo was tortured for his science is, of course, ridiculous. This is perhaps the most recurring motif, and yet it is entirely untrue. Galileo was treated by the church as a celebrity. When summoned by the Inquisition, he was housed in the grand Medici Villa in Rome. He attended receptions with the Pope and leading cardinals. Even after he was found guilty, he was first housed in a magnificent Episcopal palace and then placed under “house arrest” although he was permitted to visit his daughters in a nearby convent and to continue publishing scientific papers.

      Galileo was neither charged nor convicted of heresy. He was charged with teaching heliocentrism in specific contravention of his own pledge not to do so. This is a charge on which Galileo was guilty. He had assured Cardinal Bellarmine that given the sensitivity of the issue, he would not publicly promote heliocentrism. Yet when a new pope was named, Galileo decided on his own to go back on his word. Asked about this in court, he said his Dialogue on the Two World Systems did not advocate heliocentrism. This is a flat-out untruth as anyone who reads Galileo’s book can plainly see. Even Galileo’s supporters, and there were many, found it difficult to defend him at this point.

      What can we conclude from all this? Galileo was right about heliocentrism, but we know that only in retrospect because of evidence that emerged after Galileo’s death. The Church should not have tried him at all, although Galileo’s reckless conduct contributed to his fate. Even so, his fate was not so terrible. Historian Gary Ferngren concludes that “the traditional picture of Galileo as a martyr to intellectual freedom and as a victim of the church’s opposition to science has been demonstrated to be little more than a caricature.” Remember this the next time you hear some half-educated atheist rambling on about “the war between religion and science.”

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    3. Mack also said, "I disagree with Church teaching because of I have thought about it, and feel in my heart it is wrong, just as you feel in your heart it is right. "

      Mack, the Catholic Church makes a claim that she has and teaches the Truth without error. To decide that she is wrong.,and to lapse into private judgment on settled matters, is to simply stop being Catholic. That is the very definition of protestantism. No on has to say "you're not Catholic" because you already aren't as a result of your own judgment based upon feelings. You have rejected the, and by "the" I mean "THE" central claim of the Catholic Church: That she is the Mystical Body of Christ who is guarded from error by the Holy Spirit.

      It is your choice to decide whether or not you believe that. But be honest with yourself and with us. Just as I cannot claim to be a member of the Minnesota Vikings, no matter how much I feel that I am or actually believe it, you cannot claim to be Catholic if you reject that she is free from error on matters of faith and doctrine.

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  10. I usually don't bother with answering you as I can't figure out if your "internet aggression," is meant to intimidate someone or to provoke attention.However...

    All that proves "Jericho," is that you can do a Google search and paraphrase from "Catholic Answers," or some other web site. The fact of the matter is that the Church did take that the view that scripture said that the earth was the center of the universe and yes, in their edict they said that Galileo does follow a "doctrine," (lower case d for sure) of the opposite. Galileo told them that he would not advocate it sure, because he was afraid of being imprisoned and charged as a heretic and getting even worse. As the Church had no "moral" right to strong arm anyone or to stop the discussion (which they did indeed want to do) they were wrong. So Galileo tried to circumvent the old men protecting the status quo (and their own power) by saying that he was just "discussing," it not holding "belief," or advocating that.

    So the Church convicted Galileo of heresy and in doing so forbade anyone of even "reading" his thoughts, and they put him under house arrest for the rest of his life. So yea, bully for the Church for not torturing the guy, but in the mean time they censored his work, stopped him from going out in the world with his views and I don't know about you, but even house arrest for the rest of your "life," be unpleasant.

    So we see that the Church over stepped its bounds (in our modern idea of democracy, freedom you know all those silly things we have come to appreciate) censured someone and in doing so did not allow their thoughts and writings out into the world and well, they were just plain "wrong."

    Those are the facts.

    The Church is sometimes wrong, its very much invested in protecting what power it has left in the world, (and still loathe to admit its wrong) and its entrenched bureacracy is medieval so don't expect changes.

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    1. Um, no Mack. Those are your skewed "take" on the actual facts, which I presented. Look, you don't have to like the facts, but they are what they are. You've been proven wrong.

      As for the Church being wrong, on matters of dogma and doctrine, that is simply not the case. She is absolutely correct on matters of human sexuality, as those fall within doctrine. She is protected from error. That is what we believe.

      Apparently you don't, which is fine. It just makes you not Catholic. But don't take my word for it, as you were already there.

      We will not agree on this.

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