WWJD? Pre-school Child Kicked out of Catholic School due to Lesbian Parents

In yet another example of the Catholic Church attacking the GLBT community, a church in Boulder, CO has decided to kick out a pre-school child because his/her parents are two lesbians according to Politics Daily.  The child had been attending Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School and was denied re-admission due to his parent’s sexual orientation.

Ask yourself – What Would Jesus Do (WWJD)?  Although I’m a lapsed Catholic, I’m sure that he would not in any way, shape or form endorse this type of behavior by the Catholic bureaucracy. Only a hateful organization would see it rightful to attack a child for the status of the parents that they did not choose. This hypocrisy is framed by the church as being due to the parent’s failure to follow Catholic doctrine, with the Church stating the following:

“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 response to this statement, I ask myself when will the Catholic Church kick out the children of divorced parents or the children of re-married parents or the children of parents using birth control or the children of women who have had an abortion at some time in their history or illegitimate children born out-of-wedlock?

This intolerant behavior on the part of the Church, follows the Catholic Charities of the Washington Archdiocese decision to rescind future spousal insurance coverage as a protest to providing health care coverage to the the legal spouses of gay and lesbian employees.  This marital status was created due to the newly passed equal marriage protection law in the District.   Catholic Charities will continue to provide coverage for the spouses of their heterosexual employees who were covered prior to the policy change, but will not provide any future coverage to any spouses of either sexual orientation according to TPM.

Given the ultra-doctrinarian philosophies of Bishop Listecki and Bishop Morlino, stay tuned for similar actions in the Madison and Milwaukee archdioceses.

This one isn’t going away as can be seen by the protests in Boulder against the Church policy.

Meanwhile a group of Catholics has founded and launched a website for the group “Catholics for Marriage Equality“.   The group has a stated belief that the Church should acknowledge civil marriages even if it is unable or unwilling to do the same for church marriages.  Their statement of belief tells it all:

“As Roman Catholics, we differentiate between sacramental marriage and civil marriage. Therefore, we perceive that same-sex civil marriage poses no threat to our Church. While we respect the authority and integrity of the Church in matters of faith, our prayers and discernment have brought us to a new openness on this issue. We do not ask the Church to perform same-sex marriages. We do implore the Church to honor the States’ prerogative to authorize civil marriages for our gay and lesbian family and friends.”


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24 thoughts on “WWJD? Pre-school Child Kicked out of Catholic School due to Lesbian Parents

  1. And Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.”

    And the Catholics say, “Nope.”

  2. While I don’t with the Church’s position, I think I do have to agree that as a voluntary organization, they should be allowed to turn away individuals who openly disagree with one of their principles. Should NOW be able to kick out some one who publicly speaks out (appearances on Hannety, et. al.) against women working outside of the home or voting? How are the situations different?

    In response to this statement, I ask myself when will the Catholic Church kick out the children of divorced parents or the children of re-married parents or the children of parents using birth control or the children of women who have had an abortion at some time in their history or illegitimate children born out-of-wedlock?

    Those things are fundamentally different than the situation in the article in that they are almost all in the past tense. There is a difference between doing something an organization you belong to is opposed to and choosing to continue to do it. Premarital sex would be on the list too – tell the priest you’re sorry & don’t intend to do it any more and you can same some Hail Mary’s & be good. Say you’re going to keep doing it and it’s a very different story.

    For the life of me, I can’t understand why people enjoy banging their heads against a wall. Religion is the epitome of a voluntary organization (well at least in this country). And there are lots of them, with all kinds of different wrinkles. If you don’t agree with the tenets of one – leave. There are plenty of others that would love to have you. Lawsuits and fighting the Catholic Church aren’t going to force it to change. If enough people leave, it might.

    1. Thanks for your feedback. I kind of see where you’re coming from in terms of sins that have occurred and have been forgiven vs. those that are still present as somewhat of a rationale for not being hypocritical in removing the children of these parents from Catholic schools.

      However, your argument doesn’t hold true for the child of parents who are re-married without a church-sanctioned divorce. How is this any different than being the child of two lesbian or gay parents? These parents are still living in sin and against the belief system of the Catholic Church and as such should not be allowed to have their children in Catholic schools. How about the married man or woman who masturbates by themselves? The Catholic Church defines this as a disorder and as such the children of parents who masturbate should not be allowed to go to a Catholic sponsored school. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_on_masturbation

  3. Isn’t this a matter for the Catholic church (a private organization) to decide? If you think they are being hypocritical, I guess they are free to do so. If you are a member, take it up with your church. If not, it’s none of your business. I could cite plenty of Catholic church hypocrisies unrelated to this, but that’s why I have nothing to do with that particular organization.

    While I am not a member of that church body, I can say that plenty of other church bodies do not tolerate unreprentant sin (whether that be a couple living together or any kind of sin that they continually participate in and openly and without repentance). If that member did not repent when confronted, the member would be asked to leave. I’m not sure if they would or would not permit a child to keep going to the affiliated school, but certainly that parent would not be allowed to attend school or church functions because then it would appear the church permits the behavior of that sin.

    I’m not sure your gay parent/masturbation argument holds up. While one might struggle with masturbation, that person may ask for forgiveness or try to stop. The gay couple living together has made a choice to live in that relationship, and if they are asking for forgiveness they would need to show a true attempt at curbing that (i.e. not living together).

  4. The Catholic faithful have suffered far worse persecutions than being called “intolerant” and “ultra-doctrinal” by formerly Catholic bloggers. And we aren’t afraid of watching the lukewarm Catholics leave, either.

    What we fear is that some soft-hearted pastor will, “Don’t worry, ladies. We’ll overlook your public scandal and let your child attend our school.”

    We fear this, because all of the other school-children will get the wrong impression. “Well, it looks like there really are no consequences for making bad sexual choices after all. Life at my church is just like those shows on TV.”

    Meanwhile, we are also concerned about the ladies’ souls. Hopefully, this will be a bit of a wake-up call to them… While their pre-schooler’s expulsion is an embarrassment now, their chosen lifestyle may land them in an eternally uncomfortable situation later. Because of this, it would genuinely cruel to say, “Don’t worry ladies. We won’t comment on your lifestyle, and everything will be fine.”

    This incident may be their first real awareness that they are living apart from Christ. Let’s hope that they think deeply about it.

    1. Well said, Del. I should also point out that many churches follow the Biblical steps of confronting someone about sin with love. First, you confront that person privately on your own. If they refuse to listen you bring one or two trusted individuals. If they again refuse you bring more the church into it. Asking them to leave and removing them from the church is only a last resort, a sad and painful resort that must be taken if that person refuses to be at one with the church in beliefs.

      Did you stop to think why a gay couple would choose to send their child to a Catholic school? I’m sorry but religious schools are not meant to be a nice option to public schools — they can be, but their purpose is to provide a Christian environment of nurturing and learning.

      *When you send your child there you are asked to raise that child in the teachings of the church/school. So in this case, the school is telling them that practice is wrong, but then the parents tell them that is ok? If you’re not on board with the doctrine of that church and parochial school, try a private school instead.

    2. I suspect that the Church will continue to face even worse “persecutions” as you call them, given its trajectory down a path that few want to follow and the hypocrisy that the Church continues to display in a wide variety of its decisions and actions. (Pedophiliac priests, Gay sex scandal in the Vatican http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/03/06/earlyshow/saturday/main6272743.shtml

      I find it unconscionable that you would turn your faith against a child who did not choose his or her parents. Since when is there being two lesbians a public scandal? Come on! Since when is one’s sexuality a choice? Do you think anyone would choose to be ostracized by the likes of people like you and your Church if it was a choice? Being gay is no more a choice then being heterosexual. Did you choose to be heterosexual?

      Should school children be taught that it is okay to ostracize others that come from a different family situation then theirs or should they be taught to respect others in all their diversity in Christ?

      This incident should really be a lesson to these ladies that their child is unwelcome due to the lunacy of a religion that has loss its grounding in what religion is all about.

      1. You seem to be ignoring the fact that Catholicism considers the practice of homosexuality a sin. It’s not about BEING gay or straight, it’s what you do. They don’t consider BEING heterosexual a sin, but would certainly say it is a sin to sleep with someone outside of marriage. No one is saying whether homosexuality is a choice or not, but it certainly is a choice to live with someone in that kind of a relationship.

        Let’s say the school follows your advice. Are you okay with the school teaching that child with gay parents that the practice of homosexuality is a sin? You seem to be forgetting that when the kid gets there he’s going to be taught stuff that you also do not like.

        I get that you have a problem with the Catholic Church. I do too on a number of fronts, and as I said I don’t even belong to that church. But whatever beliefs they hold, that’s up to them.

  5. Catholic schools are most commonly supported by contributions from a parish, whose goal it is to evangelize, that is, to spread the gospel, by helping families to teach Catholicism to their children.

    These parents are receiving charity from the parish school under false pretenses. To send one’s child to a Catholic school to receive a high quality private education at reduced cost, and then to criticize the primary goal of the school, the teaching of Catholicism, is dishonest. It is also painful and damaging to the child, to be torn between two mutually exclusive worlds, because the parents want to save money on tuition.

    Parents who are in open conflict with Catholic Church teaching are being foolish and even abusive toward their own children when they knowingly send them to a school were values contradictory to their own are taught.

    If you don’t like art, don’t send your child to an art school. If you don’t like Catholic teaching, don’t send your child to a Catholic school. The parents should have seen that, and the Catholic school should not need to point out that contradiction and confusion is bad for children.

  6. This child has been removed from a dangerous situation. Catholic school children are at a great risk of being raped by their teachers

  7. The Catholic Church and Schools receive tax exemptions as religious institutions. As such they are benefiting from the tax dollars that their secular brethren pay to help keep their doors open. One solution to their anti-social belief systems and that of other churches that fail to be places of openness, healing, forgiveness and growth is to eliminate their tax exemptions and place them back on the tax polls to pay their fair share for the services they receive.

  8. The “benefits” from tax exemption for Catholic schools are miniscule, compared with the dollars that Catholics contribute to public schools through taxation, without receiving ANY benefit from those schools whatsoever.

    Eliminating tax exemption for Catholic schools would be great if it was paired with school tax exemption for Catholics who do not use the public schools.

    It is the public schools who make out like bandits in the present situation, not the Catholic schools.

    BTW, the small benefit of tax exemption given to religious institutions does not even begin to compensate those institutions for the charitable services that they provide to society — hospitals, food pantries, services for the poor.

    Finally, if you want to define “anti-social,” minority belief is against society, or “anti-social.” NOT majority belief. And so far, it is not the religious Americans who are in the minority, but those who are trying very desperately to redefine society with dangerous social experiments, who are in the minority and who are actually “anti-social.”

  9. A slippery slope if we were to provide a tax exemption for Catholics who do not use public schools. How about the large number of residents who have no children, never had children or are retired without children. They aren’t using public schools, should they have tax exemptions too?

    Here in Madison, the Bishop dumped his charitable services to the poor, not seeing it as his mission when he closed the Catholic Multicultural Center in a cost-cutting move. http://www.channel3000.com/news/19606839/detail.html Is this an example of an act of charity and goodwill towards the greater community as you seem to feel the Catholic Church embodies in its actions?

    In terms of religion and America, the statistics show that all major religions including Catholics are declining in number. If you look at data from the American Religious Identification Survey Christian self-identification was down 10.2% from 1990 to 2008, Catholics were down 1.2%. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Religions_of_American_adults

  10. I will defend to the death the right of religious organizations to set boundaries as they choose for their adherents…even when I disagree with them. I hope all of you feel the same.

    1. I agree with you PB.

      But I reserve the right to criticize those organizations when they set arbitrary and capricious boundaries. IMO, in less the School has also kicked out children from divorced or single parent homes they are being hypocritical.

      1. I’m in agreement with this as well – the Church should be free to set whatever rules they wish, again as a <b<voluntary organization. Whether their positions are hypocritical or not is really irrelevant (though again I’d say divorced/single parent homes are fundamentally different than gay parent ones). Along with the Church’s right to set their own policies, people have a right to protest those policies (obviously within reason).

  11. Just think if all the parochial schools were to close and all those kids came knocking on the public school door. These parents and schools do a service to public school system by relieving them of children they are obligated to educate and therefore do not have to build additional schools, hire more teachers, pay more benefits, more school buses, and on and on. Many costs are saved for taxpayers.

    Meanwhile these parents pay the taxes for public schools they do not use in addition to the tuition for parochial schools. Most of these parents are not wealthy, but place a value on a Christian education. And they keep YOUR taxes down too.

  12. MadCityMan–

    You shouldn’t bad-mouth the Bishop of Madison when he cuts spending in a recession. He cannot borrow from China or print extra dollars like Obama can. That is what reasonable people do when their budget shrinks — they cut spending what they don’t have.

    Incidentally, when the Catholic Multi-Cultural Center was reopened one month after its closing, the Bishop was first in line with a $100,000 donation to the center. The City of Madison contributed $13,500. (http://www.madisoncatholicherald.org/news/around-diocese/811-happy-reopening-of-catholic-multicultural-center.html)

    The Diocese of Madison also collected over $500,000. to assist Haitian earthquake victims (http://www.madisondiocese.org/). How much did Madison contribute?

    Be careful whom you badmouth — again, the pot should not be calling the kettle black.

    Hard to believe how people who practice little Christian charity can be the first to criticize others for not practicing Christian enough charity!

    God has blessed us with an outstanding Bishop in Madison, and you should do more homework before you accuse him publicly and falsely.

  13. If the Bishop had $100,000 to donate to the Multi-cultural center when it re-opened, then why did he close it in the first place? Unless I’m wrong, the re-opening was because a Catholic Parish was willing to take on the mission, not because the Bishop saw any need to continue the charitable mission of the church. If anything it looks like the Bishop was blackmailing parishioners since he hadn’t raised the funds he had expected through the Annual Catholic Appeal. When he quickly closed the Multi-cultural Center, he moved them to take action. Through the efforts of the Queen of Peace Parish, the Catholic Multi-cultural Center was able to re-open. http://www.channel3000.com/family/19668547/detail.html

    Kudos for the Haiti assistance – it sounds like the people of the Madison-based church were generous, unlike their leaders who willingly closed a mission in their own hometown. I wouldn’t expect the City of Madison to contribute anything to Haiti, that isn’t their mission unlike the mission of the Catholic Church.

    How do you know what “Christian Charity” any of us practice? It is hard to believe that you impugn someone without having done your homework.

    I know many Catholics who would not give the label “outstanding” to Bishop Morlino. Your welcome to your opinion, but I suspect the diminished fundraising results are in large part due to protests against his leadership.

    1. Somehow I have a hard time believing that some multi-cultural center closed because the Catholic Church’s local leaders were eargerly willing to close it down. Didn’t they start it in the first place? Nothing obligates them to keep it open though. And what does a multi-cultural center do anyway? I suppose next you will suggest that the government run one because private charity can’t be trusted.

  14. MadCityMan—

    You really seem to have a vendetta against the good Bishop!

    If the Bishop had $100,000 and it costs $350,000 annually to operate the Multicultural Center ((http://www.madisoncatholicherald.org/news/around-diocese/811-happy-reopening-of-catholic-multicultural-center.html), how could the Bishop keep it open? Can you pay less than 1/3 of your mortgage and expect to keep living in your house?

    If the plight of the Multicultural Center moved the hearts of one particularly rich parish in Madison to reach deeper into their pockets in order to reopen the Center, may God bless them, and you don’t need to search for ways to bad-mouth the Bishop of Madison, who cooperated with, helped them, and gave them $100,000.

    You also seem to have a poor understanding of the mission of the Catholic Church – the mission of the Church, the same as the mission of Christ, is primarily to TEACH the gospel. The charitable efforts are necessary, important, but secondary.

    Just as UW Madison primarily TEACHES students what they should do in life, and does not open food pantries, so also the Church primarily teaches. Jesus Christ primarily taught, and did not organize His apostles to open soup kitchens to assist the poor as a primary focus.

    The main focus of Christ, His apostles, and the Church, is to TEACH people to love God and one another – so that ALL people, not just Catholics or Christians, would carry out this work — so, yes, Madison SHOULD love and contribute to Haiti just as much as the Catholic Church does.

    The Catholic Church does NOT exist for the purpose of doing the good deeds that the rest of the world (and Madison) does not feel like doing. It exists to TEACH and persuade the rest of the world (yes, and to teach and persuade Madison) the love of God and of neighbor, which is the message of the gospel, so that we ALL shoulder the responsibilities toward our fellow humans.

    This teaching is not popular with some, who do not wish to shoulder these responsibilities, and prefer to leave that job to “religious” people.

  15. MadCityMan—

    Regarding your comments about Bishop Morlino and your flawed interpretation of Diocesan funding —

    I know many Catholics who label Bishop Morlino not only outstanding, but also very holy.

    Diminished fund-raising results are due not to the Bishop, but to the economy – for example, in the last 2002 “recession,” which was much smaller than this one, tithing to Evangelical Churches was down 62% (http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/121-tithing-down-62-in-the-past-year ). In the present recession, (September of 2009), numerous religious groups,including Jewish, Lutheran, Evangelical and Baptist, experienced millions of dollars in reduced income which forced them to close seminaries, campuses, and retrench their organizations (http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/07/local/me-beliefs7 ).

    Compared with these reports, the Diocese of Madison is not doing too badly right now in the midst of a severe recession.

    Bishop Morlino’s own Cathedral Parish had a 18% INCREASE in donations last year. Cathedral Parish members contributed 175% of the amount requested by Bishop Morlino in last year’s Annual Diocesan Appeal, in the midst of the recession.

    This holy man knows what he is doing, and his numerous supporters understand his and their mission.

  16. Well, in service to clarity, the mission of a Catholic School is to assist the parents in the Catholic formation of their children. If the parents obstinately reject the teaching of Jesus Christ in and through His Church, they fundamentally undermine or negate the school’s mission in relation to their child. If the parents are not committed to raising their child to be a faithful Catholic, and even a saint, the Catholic school cannot assist them.

    Secondly, despite any impressions to the contrary, Jesus Christ in and through His Church, teaches that legal recognition of unions between homsexual persons is also against the objective moral law and must be opposed by every proffesed Catholic:

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