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Lesbian couple's child barred from Catholic school

It is the teaching of the church to "avoid every kind of unjust discrimination" against those who are gay or lesbian. "They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity," according to The Catechism of the Catholic Church.So I don't see how the Archdiocese of Denver or the pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Boulder, Colorado can justify their decision to bar a pre-schooler from re-enrolling in the parish school because the child has two moms.But defend it, they do. You can read their justifications here and here.Call it what they may, I don't think their decision to discriminate against this child reflects Catholic values.

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Do they apply it across the board -- i. e. by not accepting any children born out of wedlock or whose parents are not validly married in church eyes?

It seems to me that by the logic of the Archdiocese, they should exclude any student who has a gay family member or friend. I they don't want to teach a child that his or her gay parents are "bad," then they shouldn't want to teach a child that his or her gay brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or best friend is bad. When I read the reasoning of the Archdiocese, I said to myself, "Oh? And what is the real reason?" I wonder, by the way, what the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese teach their pre-schoolers about same-sex marriage? What is their pre-school sex-education curriculum? Catholic schools accept non-Catholic students without concern that they have to water down what they teach. I don't see why they can't accept a pre-schooler with same-sex parents.Of course, we shouldn't use the words "bigotry" or "homophobia" here lest we hurt anyone's feelings, because no doubt they love gay people and accept them with "with respect, compassion, and sensitivity." This brings to mind the lines from Tom Lehrer's National Brotherhood Week:It's fun to eulogizeThe people you despise,As long as you don't let 'em in your school.

File a law suit on behalf of a child not capable of stating his sexual orientation. It will prove blatant discrimination and disgraceful prejudice.

I really don't know how to respond. It is a sad, sad situation. It is amazing to read the Orwellian speak in Father Bill Breslin's homily.

"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.""...in open discord" is the key phrase here that distinguishes this situation of a publicly homosexual couple bringing their adopted child to Catholic school versus the examples cited for comparison such as "children born out of wedlock or whose parents are not validly married in church eyes". The latter is in no way as public a scandal as a homosexual couple, which by definition is living in open discord with Church teaching. I think there may also be a difference in intent: someone with a child born out of wedlock or not married in the church may be working assiduously to correct that situation, if their immoral situation has been made known to them. But a homosexual couple, by definition, have no intention to correct their immoral situation. On the contrary, their very relationship is a public reproof to Catholic teaching.At our Catholic school, we had a lesbian teacher. No problem, it's not as if she indoctrinated her third graders regarding her sexual orientation. But later, when her partner was also employed by the school, and they came to school in the morning in the same car, it crossed the line into open discord with Church teaching which made employment of both a public scandal for the Church. There was a substantive difference between the one teacher not in "open" discord and the couple, which could not help but be in "open" discord with Church teaching.It's hard not to avoid the tu quoque here: if this couple were denied admission to a Muslim school for the same reason, would we be reading about their "rights" being denied? Or would we be hearing about how the couple were intolerant in trying to impose their personal views against the tenets of Islam?

This is so sad. And I believe news like this makes the Church and the Gospel much less credible to people. I am assuming Chaput's hand is in this?

This statement does seem like a step into the unknown:"To preserve the mission of our schools, and to respect the faith of wider Catholic community, we expect all families who enroll students to live in accord with Catholic teaching."What does this say about all the non-Catholic kids in Catholic schools, often from difficult family situations? To shut down all Catholic schools in inner-cities, for example, and keep them the preserve of mass-going suburbanites (who keep their discords closeted) portends a radical transformation of Catholic education in the U.S.

Catholic schools are closing left and right. [maybe not right!] I am old enough to remember when getting into a Catholic school was an exercise in manipulation and 'pull'. The closings now are due to low enrollment in almost all cases, and this should give someone a clue that so called 'Catholic values' are not 'playing' well to the so called 68 million Catholics. I would like to hear why the same sex couple want to send their child to Catholic school! And whatever happened to 'here comes everybody' and JPII's 'take them as they are', They should be in any revision of the catechism.

The parish handled this quietly and privately, right? And now it's drummed up into a banner cause by gay-rights activists, with a poor little kid caught in the middle. Somehow I'm not feeling the compassion of the "tolerance" people, here.

"The closings now are due to low enrollment in almost all cases, and this should give someone a clue that so called Catholic values are not playing well to the so called 68 million Catholics."I would think today's $6000-10,000 annual tuition rate per child has a lot more to do with it than any conjectural rejection of Catholic values. One has only to look at the waiting lines for Catholic school tuition grants to see the desire for Catholic education (whether parents seek doctrine or discipline). Falling enrollment is purely an economic issue."I would like to hear why the same sex couple want to send their child to Catholic school"An excellent observation. Is this couple involved in homosexual activism? Trolling for a lawsuit? One would almost prefer that, rather than think there might be such complete cluelessness regarding Church teaching on the intrinsic disorder of homosexual acts.

What is the mission of a Catholic school? Historically in the US, Catholic schools were established as a kind of parallel school system, in large part to counter Protestant/anti-Catholic teaching that was taking place in the public schools. Thus the mission was to provide education and Catholic formation to the Catholic community. Seen in that light, I do think the archdiocese's explanation makes sense - it is defensible to expect families to abide by Catholic teachings in faith and morals.But ... What we've seen in Chicago, and I'm sure in other urban areas, is that the missions of at least some schools has changed, often in response to shifting demographics. Parishes often provide social services to non-Catholics, and many enrollees in the schools are non-Catholics - because the schools are better academically, the environment is safer and more supportive, and parents like the Christian moral formation that is provided. What expectations can the school have for non-Catholic families? Clearly, not an expectaiton that the parents be in full communion with the church. Yet does that mean that there are no expectations whatsoever?It would be interesting to know why the parents want to send this child to a Catholic school.

There are parishes that would not baptize this child, either, because the family situation suggests that there is not a reasonable expectation that this child would be reared in the Catholic faith.

It's a PRESCHOOL, sometimes known as a DAYCARE CENTER. My husband's church runs a preschool and many of the people who send their kids there are not involved in any church (and yes, they've had kids with two mommies and two daddies). As if lesbians couldn't be believers. It's a good thing for Catholics and the Catholic Church in the U.S. that contraception is a private matter. That way the majority can never be called out for their own sins even as they are complicit in the hypocrisy that calls out others for theirs.

The fact is that Catholics who want to enrol their kids in Catholic school need to be practicing Catholics living in accordance with Church teaching.Cohabitating (un-married) parents choose to disqualify their kids from enrolment in Catholic school, as do divorced-remarried Catholics. Likewise, a homosexual couple disqualifies their child from enrollment in Catholic school.In any case, why would one want to enrol their child in a school that teaches that what is going on at home is immoral? The normal course is for parents to prefer a school that reflect their family values.As such, sadly, this is most likely a stunt to gain publicity, with the parents using the child for their own activist aims.Sigh -

Barbara - Catholic schools view preschools as kindergarten was viewed when I was a tot: as a way for the child and the family to enter the school community. It isn't just babysitting.

Jim, a daycare center isn't just babysitting, so what? The notion that Catholic schools are going to expel all students whose parents aren't practicing Catholics is simply inconsistent with the status quo over the last 30 years, and, basically, isn't going to happen. Are they expelling the remarried and single parents whose children are in the school and if not why not? But as usual, Kathy takes the cake. It's amazing how reflexively we cling to privacy for things that would be embarrassing or diminish our influence. One doesn't have to think too deeply to see how destructive this tendency is for the church.

Again, I think we need to look very hard at these questions: what is scandal and why is "gving scandal" wrong? And what is it to "give" scandal? Also, which word is used in Scripture? What does it mean there? Then we need to consider carefully how it should be handled prudentially, which, of course, can be different in different cases. I'm quite sure the parents should not be called "bad". "Mistaken" is a good substitute at times, I'm sure. "Mistaken" also judgeth not the consciences.of the individuals involved, whether parent, principal, priest or prelate.(For Lent could those inclined to use the term "lies" please use the phrase "is mistaken" or even "misses the mark" instead? It would cool tempers a lot. In most cases I suspect they would also be closer to the truth.)

Mike Harden,Could you explain why you don't think a child being born out of wedlock is "public"? If you look at the pre-Vat II church, or just ask anyone over 50, you will find that unmarried pregnancy was considered something that needed to be veiled. For example, my dad's classmate in the 50s became pregnant and had to leave catholic school. I think this happened in public school also.Also, if you are going to give the benefit of the doubt to unwed parents as trying to rectify the situation, how can you not give the same benefit to a gay couple? Maybe they are thinking of living chastely in the future?

Or maybe they are living chastely now. Or have always lived chastely as "roommates." How does anyone know, anymore than they know whether the married couples in their midst are using "intrinsically disordered" means of contraception?

"things that would be embarrassing or diminish our influence"--Barbara, I have no idea whatsoever what is meant by this vague expression.

Kathy, Reread your first comment. The notion that privacy is meant to protect the child here, that's what it's in reference to.

The parish handled this quietly and privately, right? And now its drummed up into a banner cause by gay-rights activists, with a poor little kid caught in the middle. Somehow Im not feeling the compassion of the tolerance people, here.Kathy,I have read several news accounts, and none mention "gay activists." Where did you get the notion that "gay activists" are involved? I see that web site of America magazine is looking askance at this development. Are Paul Moses of Commonweal and Fr. Jim Martin of America "gay activists"? School staff members are "disgusted." Are they "gay activists"?

Gay couple's child denied re-enrollment at Catholic schoolBOULDER - A preschool student at a Catholic school in Boulder will not be allowed to return next school year because of what is going on at home.The student's parents are two women and the Denver Archdiocese says their homosexual relationship violates the school's beliefs and policy.According to teachers at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School, a meeting was held Tuesday to discuss the issue. The staff was told a student would not be allowed to re-enroll because of his or her parents' sexual orientation. The staff members were also told not to talk to the media.In a statement sent to 9NEWS, the Archdiocese said, "Homosexual couples living together as a couple are in disaccord with Catholic teaching."According to the Archdiocese, parents who enroll their kids at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School are expected to follow the Catholic Church's beliefs."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," the statement said.Because this student's parents are homosexual, the Archdiocese says they were in clear violation of the school's policy.School staff members, who asked to remain anonymous, say they are disgusted by the Archdiocese's decision.One employee said she could not believe a student will have to suffer because of his or her parents' sexual orientation.The Archdiocese also told 9NEWS, "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."Staff members said they were not allowed to discuss the decision after it was made. Some of them said they were disheartened to work at a school that preaches peace and love, but also makes this decision.According to legal experts, it is legal for the Archdiocese to deny a student enrollment because of the school's policy.(KUSA-TV 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

Does this incident perhaps highlight the lack of a common mission and purpose among Catholic schools? Should Catholic schools take all comers and see their schools as a form of evangelization? Or should Catholic schools be Catholic-only enclaves where kids can be raised in the faith without confusing outside influences? I think there's a case to be made on both sides.I will say that my son's preschool experience at a Catholic school clinched our desire to convert. Conversion didn't "take" for me, but my son will be confirmed this Sunday (prayers, please!) and Raber is still flipping those fillets at the fish fry on Fridays and leaving Ron Rolheiser columns in strategic places in hopes I'll find my way back.It would be interesting, instead of getting all knee-jerky here, to think about what the school gains and loses by rejecting this child. Or, perhaps more important, what the child has gained or lost.

The fact is that Catholics who want to enrol their kids in Catholic school need to be practicing Catholics living in accordance with Church teaching.Ken,How do you explain the fact that Denver Catholic schools accept non-Catholic children of non-Catholic parents?

Interesting comments under the articles linked in the opening post. I wondered about the same thing this poster asked:"What is the school's plan for dealing with . . . children whose parents utilize birth control..."

It would be interesting, instead of getting all knee-jerky here, to think about what the school gains and loses by rejecting this child. Jean,From what we know so far, it wasn't the decision of the school not to let the child return. It was the decision of the Archdiocese of Denver. And who is the Archbishop? Chaput.

"Jim, a daycare center isnt just babysitting, so what?"I thought you were arguing that preschool somehow wasn't really full-blown Catholic school, Barbara. If that wasn't your point in saying, "Its a PRESCHOOL, sometimes known as a DAYCARE CENTER. My husbands church runs a preschool and many of the people who send their kids there are not involved in any church" then I apologize for misunderstanding you.

"Again, I think we need to look very hard at these questions: what is scandal and why is gving scandal wrong? And what is it to give scandal? "Hi, Ann, in faith-and-morals discussions, the word "scandal" has a different definition than the common one. Here is how the Catechism defines it:"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."I don't believe "scandal" (in this sense) is the issue in this case.

Jim,What do you suppose Catholic preschools teach children about same-sex marriage that would confuse a 5-year-old with two mommies?

Think of the prior blog post about this AB and his parish. AB Chaput is too busy talking to the Baptist ministers of Houston and excoriating the memory and history of President Kennedy. Let's see - one of his Houston statements is that abortion is the "foundational" pro-life issue.He seems to need a refresher course on what the gospel imperatives are? Me thinks he picks and chooses like any good cafeteria catholic.Embarrassing.

"Could you explain why you dont think a child being born out of wedlock is public?It's not the public nature of the bastard child, but whether his mother understands the immorality that led to an unwed birth and is seeking now to ameliorate the situation through all available means. A homosexual couple is simply, by definition, not seeking to amend their way of life."Or maybe [the homosexual couple] are living chastely now. Or have always lived chastely as roommates. How does anyone know?"That's quite a stretch there, well beyond the requirements of charity, at least insofar as this debate goes. If they were intent upon amending their immoral lifestyle, the very first thing to do would be to cease living together as a couple, chaste or not, because of the obvious scandal.

"Are they expelling the remarried and single parents whose children are in the school and if not why not? "Barbara: by "single" you mean "born out of wedlock", yes? Is that a sin? Usually. Is there a remedy? Yes - confess the sin and receive absolution. Problem solved.I assume "remarried" is shorthand for "previously married and then remarried without getting the previous marriage(s) annulled". Is that a sin? Yes. Is there a remedy? Possibly: get the previous marriage(s) annulled, and then get the current marriage blessed by the church. If that is done, problem solved. If it isn't done, then that could be a problem in Denver, per their policy. Btw, I think a lot of parents do take the divorced-and-remarried teaching seriously, and do leave the church over it, and do pull their children out of the school because they're no longer part of the church. Children leave Catholic schools every year for all sorts of reasons, and that is one. On the other hand, many parents would view switching schools as disruptive to the child and so might try to keep the marital circumstances unknown to the archdiocese.

"What do you suppose Catholic preschools teach children about same-sex marriage that would confuse a 5-year-old with two mommies?"Hi, David, I have no idea what is taught in their preschool, but I'd be surprised if they get to same-sex marriage. Several of my children attended a Christian (non-Catholic) pre-school, and the theology curriculum was along the lines of, "Jesus loves you". But as I mentioned to Barbara, the expectation is that you enroll your child in Catholic preschool because you want them to go through all of the grades to graduation; and that you become a member of a Christian community (the "school family"). So there are other dimensions to it.

'It would be interesting to know why the parents want to send this child to a Catholic school'Well some of the poster here speculated that this is a homosexual agenda 'trolling for law suits'. talk about suburban paranoia!Too bad these posters probably don't live in an urban areas as they would have to assume that thousands of these gays are 'trolling lawsuits' by attending Mass every Sunday.My take is that too many Catholics believe secret sin is OK and that's why they are willing to pony up a few billion dollars to cover-up abuse. I remember way back when that used to be called hypocracy. The Scarlet Letter is alive and well in Denver.

This is again one of those circumstances when full disclosure would help the conversation.It seems to me, if not disengenuous, at least a little confusing for people who outright reject the Church's teachings on homosexuality to cherry pick one line from the catechism regarding that teaching as a basis for criticism. If you want to discuss whether this is unjust discrimination as described in the catechism, you have to make that judgment in the context of the Church's teachings on sin, family, justice, and scandal. People ought to say whether they reject the Church's teaching before they criticize the implementation of it - it at least puts the argument in context. I mean, if you believe it would be OK to have openly lesbian priestesses, then of course this situation is a problem.JCThe comparison to out of wedlock children is a red herring. This is not about punishment, it's about scandal.For those railing against the Archdiocese of Denver, what about these hypotheticals -The child of parents who weekly stand outside Catholic Churches passing out anti-Catholic leaflets.The child of an outspoken advocate of polyamorism.The child of a famous and outspoken neo-Nazi.Is the principle involved that every child be included regardless of concerns over scandal? Or is it just that this particular situation doesn't scandalize you, and if it scandalizes other Catholics, then that's their problem.

Let me say something else: I just commented that the church (mercifully) provides remedies for situations like being born out of wedlock and having remarried-but-unannulled parents. That comment may suggest that, to "qualify" for Catholic school, you just need to jump through the right hoops.Of course, it's much deeper than that. The expectation of the Denver archdiocese seems to be that children live in Christian families that are in full communion with the church. That is the end that they are trying to foster. Getting a Catholic education is another means to that end.The hoop-jumping that I described is part of the process of remaining in full communion, right? We try, but we sin; but our sins don't bar us from the church; instead, the church provides a way for us to reconcile.Surely there is a remedy for the two parents of this child, as well, but probably it wouldn't be a simple one. Presumably it would mean the two parents recognizing that their way of life is sinful, and changing it (at the very least, no longer cohabitating), and resolving to live chastely in the future. Again, with the goal of fostering a Christian family that is in communion with the church.

But as I mentioned to Barbara, the expectation is that you enroll your child in Catholic preschool because you want them to go through all of the grades to graduation; and that you become a member of a Christian community (the school family). So there are other dimensions to it.Jim,What about non-Catholic children of non-Catholic parents attending Denver Catholic schools? Are they not being taught something other than their parents teach them at home? Wouldn't they be confused as to why their parents are not Catholic, or why they don't convert? We know nothing about the lesbian parents, but if they are Catholics who dissent on the idea of same-sex marriage and want their child to be raised Catholic, aren't they more nearly Catholic than the non-Catholic parents who send their non-Catholic children to Denver Catholic schools?

"Its not the public nature of the bastard child, but whether his mother understands the immorality that led to an unwed birth and is seeking now to ameliorate the situation through all available means." Are the fathers of "bastard" children required by Church teaching to acknowledge (legitimatize) their children and support them, and "to ameliorate the situation through all available means"?"I am assuming Chaputs hand is in this?" Are Opus Dei members, including popes, archbishops, Supreme Court Justices, et al., required to obey their directors in all matters?

The comparison to out of wedlock children is a red herring. This is not about punishment, its about scandal.Sean,The explanation by the Archdiocese says nothing about scandal. It says that a child of same-sex parents would be confused and might think the Church was teaching that their same-sex parents are "bad." The Archdiocese seems to be saying (from its point of view) that it is better for a child to be raised to believe error than for the child to learn one thing at home and learn the truth at school. It is a curious position.

For those railing against the Archdiocese of Denver, what about these hypotheticals -Sean,We are not dealing with your hypotheticals. It may seem to you that a child having lesbian parents is equivalent to a child having outspoken Nazi parents, but not everyone believes that lesbians are as fearful as Nazis.

"What about non-Catholic children of non-Catholic parents attending Denver Catholic schools? Are they not being taught something other than their parents teach them at home? "David - good questions - in fact, I raised them myself in a previous comment :-). I don't know the answer for Denver. I'd think, though, that Denver disapproves of a gay couple cohabitating whether they are Catholic or not, so I'd think that the standard would be the same regardless of the church the couple belongs to.

Jean said: It would be interesting, instead of getting all knee-jerky here, to think about what the school gains and loses by rejecting this child. David N replied: From what we know so far, it wasnt the decision of the school not to let the child return. It was the decision of the Archdiocese of Denver. And who is the Archbishop? Chaput.Jean comments: My original question was whether this issue might sprinboard into a larger discussion about the mission of Catholic schools, not Archbishop Chaput's policies specifically. Since that's not an angle anyone seems inclined to pursue, I'll butt out.

"if they are Catholics who dissent on the idea of same-sex marriage and want their child to be raised Catholic, arent they more nearly Catholic than the non-Catholic parents who send their non-Catholic children to Denver Catholic schools?"Wouldn't "if they are Catholics who dissent ..." be an example of a hypothetical? :-)

The expectation of the Denver archdiocese seems to be that children live in Christian families that are in full communion with the church.Jim,Demonstrate this, please.Here's an excerpt from the Admissions Policy of Good Shepherd Catholic School in Denver:

GOOD SHEPHERD CATHOLIC SCHOOL ADMISSION POLICY First priority will be given to siblings of current Good Shepherd students. (Preschool through 8th Grade) Second priority will be given to active, registered parishioners in good standing* of the Church of the Good Shepherd. Third priority will be given to non-active, registered parishioners of the Church of the Good Shepherd. Fourth priority will be given to all other families.

I dont see how the Archdiocese of Denver or the pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Boulder, Colorado can justify their decision . . .You "don't" see, or you won't see?As for Kathy's point (11:04), it is rather curious that such a couple would really want their child to go to a Catholic school. The teaching of the Catholic Church is extremely clear, and the position of the Archdiocese of Denver is especially well known. So why would this couple want their child going to a school that teaches against what they believe and has by their compatriots been called anti-gay and homophobic??Perhaps because they did not really want their child going to such a school. Perhaps because this was always a scam, an excuse to rail against the Church and have protest marches and have all the usual suspects once again spew their contempt for the Church.Make no mistake -- the same things will happen in D.C. Those hostile to the Church will go out engage in the same kinds of farces, fraudulently creating opportunities to attack the Church on such false charges of injustice.

Jean - FWIW - I also mentioned the angle of the mission of Catholic schools. The comments are flying so fast and furious right now that maybe people will return to this later.

I wrote: "The expectation of the Denver archdiocese seems to be that children live in Christian families that are in full communion with the church."... to which David N. replied: "Demonstrate this, please. Heres an excerpt from the Admissions Policy of Good Shepherd Catholic School in Denver:"David, do I really need to demonstrate that the archdiocese wants children to live in Christian families that are in full communion with the church? At any rate, the archdiocese's mission is not the same as a school's admissions policy, although we'd hope there is some relation between the two. But the archdiocesan statement linked in the original post (which, for some reason, I'm not able to highlight in order to copy and paste here) gives grounds for my supposition which you quoted. That link contains a further link to the mission of the archdiocesan school system (also unpasteable, at least for me). For further evidence, cf Matthew 28:19-20, I suppose.

"A protest was being organized for this morning outside the church associated with a Catholic preschool in Boulder that told a lesbian couple their child could not re-enroll because of their lifestyle."--Denver Post(Did the preschool use the word "lifestyle", or is that the Denver Post's interpretation?)

D - How do you explain the fact that Denver Catholic schools accept non-Catholic children of non-Catholic parents?Well David, before enrolling their non-Catholic children in Catholic school, non-Catholic parents are properly informed that while their child will not be forced to attend mass or force-fed Catholicism, that because the school is a Catholic school, certain Catholic notions will be reinforced.Of course (for example) it is no scandal for a practicing Muslim couple to send their child to a Catholic school (or vice versa for that matter). However the Muslim parents will be told that the curriculum will reflect a Catholic world view, for example; while Catholic social teaching will be routinely discussed, the Koran will not be central.Now, how reasonable is it for a lesbian couple wanting to enrol their child in a school that teaches that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered, which is to say that the child will routinely and repeatedly be told his or her parents are living an intrinsically disordered lifestyle?Imagine if they allowed the child of this lesbian couple to attend. How long would it be until the couple begins complaining that by promoting a Catholic worldview; the school in effect is setting the child against the lifestyle of the parents? When that happens, of course the lawyers arrive and the money flows. At that point would you think the school should abandon pointing out that the Church views homosexual lifestyle as intrinsically disordered? Would the school have the right to teach a Catholic view or the world?I guess that is the question.To me this smacks of a petty publicity stunt by the couple, hoping to entangle the school and the Church in this controversy.As such it seems the school is correct to avoid the problem by simply not engaging this couple.

How very helpful it would be if a site that purports to be Catholic would make a good faith effort to learn and understand Catholic teaching so that they might explain and defend that teaching to the world, which is a part of their Confirmation obligation to be a witness to the world, rather than looking for excuses for them to tell us once again how crappy the Church and her teachings are, and how the bishops and other shepherds are always wrong and unjust and evil.

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