Skip to content

Children and Schools

March 11, 2010
by

Life is messy.  Archbishop Chaput has made a federal case, to use an expression, out of a situation in a parish school.  Supporters of the Archbishop have argued that scandal has been created by the school accepting the children of a lesbian couple as students.  Critics have noted the real and publicly knowledgeable sins of other parents such as invalid marriages, at least in the abstract although neither I nor you as the reader should have doubt over their representation, and they have noted that the school accepts non-Catholic children.  The lesbian parents have not spoken publicly at this point and have stated their intention not to do so.

To address one of the more peripheral issues first, I would like to see a case where people who claim to be scandalized are the ones staying quiet and refusing to participate in having their issue adjudicated in the media.  That some lay person somewhere is stating or acting incorrectly isn’t a cause to run to the media or demand a pastor or a bishop run to a microphone or issue a press release.  We should afterall be vigilant to not be scandal mongering.  No, it isn’t just a matter of what the sinner did is wrong; it is the case that person’s confrontation with sin isn’t always your business.  Addressing someone else’s sins is an exercise in prudence, not some absolute right.  And the goal of such correction is not the edification of oneself, but the desire to see the one corrected become reformed.  And while I don’t have personal knowledge of this particular case, I would place my bets that the reason this issue has become widely known is not the lesbian parents making demands or doing ostentatious actions, but rather some folks making it their business that everyone become aware of the fact the kids are in a household headed by lesbians.  This kind of stuff doesn’t make the lives of parish and diocesan officials easier.

As to the substance, I’m not seeing the bright line others are seeing.  I think the parish’s and ultimately Archbishop Chaput’s actions are defensible.  If they would have gone the other way, their actions would have been defensible as well.  Archbishop Chaput is certainly correct in stating that Catholic schools were primarily established for the benefit and enrichment of Catholic children.  They also do have a  secondary purpose as a missionary witness in the world.  These purposes should not conflict, but if one is to suffer, the latter would be the one that must cede.  I understand Archbishop Chaput to be arguing that providing this witness to children in gay households provides too great a harm to the primary mission of Catholic schools.  Specifically, he notes the contradiction present with regard to children from single parent households and children from non-Catholic and even non-Christian households.  I do not believe he makes the case convincingly that these households support the Catholic mission whereas a homosexual household cannot.  This is not because I don’t believe any argument can be made supporting exclusion, because I do think such an argument could be made.  Despite many protestations otherwise, there is nothing wrong with treating the children as if they lack their own agency.  Traditionally, children could not be entered into the church against the will of their parents until they had reached the age of majority.  Whether that age should be 12 or 18 doesn’t matter in this case, because it certainly isn’t 4 or 5.  Jews that were protected during WWII were not allowed (with exceptions here and there) to enter the Church on their own volition until they had the competence to do so.

I think I grew tired of the cultural wars, because people never wanted to focus on real problems.  They always wanted to focus on symptoms.  Divorce has done far more harm to the institution of the family than any of the trifles we discuss now.  While legitimate concerns, a decent chunk of the Same Sex Marriage debate seems to involve wills and estates and visitation rights.  As I said, those concerns are certainly legitimate, even if the ultimate answer is to leave them to be addressed personally.  This isn’t what the institution of the family is about though.  When we look to Catholic schools, the problem is also much larger.  The natural question arises, “Why would a parent send their children to be educated in a place that finds the parent’s values inimical?”  While we can throw some window dressing up, the overwhelming conclusion should be that parents don’t actually see such a threat.  In many Catholic schools, the only radical witness children will see is that of middle to upper class yuppie-dom.  Thankfully, I’m impoverished enough that I don’t have to concern myself with that.

About these ads
61 Comments
  1. ben permalink
    March 11, 2010 2:27 pm

    MZ,

    I thought this was very well presented. Thank you.

    I think you ask the right question and draw the right conclusion in the end.

    The reason that I don’t send my own children to schools in the Archdiocese of Denver is because too many among the staff and the student body find my values inimical.

    The schools in the Archdiocese of Denver don’t have a very good track record. Of all the young men studying for the priesthood here, only a small handful are the product of parochial education. Most were either homeschooled or went to public schools.

  2. Colin Gormley permalink
    March 11, 2010 2:35 pm

    “I think I grew tired of the cultural wars, because people never wanted to focus on real problems. They always wanted to focus on symptoms. Divorce has done far more harm to the institution of the family than any of the trifles we discuss now.”

    I share in your fatigue. From this standpoint I wonder if arguing about gay “marriage” is trying to close the barn door after the animals have left.

  3. Chris Sullivan permalink
    March 11, 2010 2:59 pm

    My problem with Chaput’s approach is that it isn’t the gospel. It isn’t even the Torah, which insists on not visiting the sins of the parents on the children.

    In this Sunday’s gospel we will hear how the Pharisees objected to Jesus because he “welcomed sinners and ate with them”.

    Seems like in Denver we can’t even welcome the children of sinners.

    All Denver will do is convince more and more people that Catholic sexual theology is not based so much on the good of the human person (which it is) but on prejudice, bigotry and intolerance.

    The elephant in Chaput’s room is that we welcome children into our schools from, for example, Muslim or Protestant homes, where the theology of marriage is also different to the Church.

    God Bless

  4. RedMaistre permalink
    March 11, 2010 2:59 pm

    To me (and this is a view coming from a philosophy student at CUA,not a theology expert) the strategy of the Church hierarchy and wider body of believers should be focusing on ressuercting the values of celibacy, chastity, and holy virginity, as opposed to playing a losing game for the institution of marriage. There will be no marriage or giving in marriage in the Kingdom of Heaven. And the Kingdom of heaven is near, is among us now. Marriage is no sin, but celibacy is better, as St. Paul clearly states.

  5. March 11, 2010 3:06 pm

    MZ, I think you did a good job of highlighting the true villains in this story — the busybodies who saw fit to tattle to the rectory about the couple, and turn a pastoral question into a federal case.

    I am also fearful that this, along with the consistency gotcha arguments being deployed, are going to result in a flood of similar cases being highlighted, and more children being driven from Catholic schools.

    I’m not seeing any winners.

  6. RedMaistre permalink
    March 11, 2010 3:09 pm

    But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. 34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

    “But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. 38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.”

  7. David Nickol permalink
    March 11, 2010 3:10 pm

    What seems to me wrongheaded is that instead of dealing with this case as an individual case, the pastor involved and Archbishop Chaput have articulated a general policy that children being raised by gay parents may not attend Catholic schools. They had the option of saying something like, “In order to protect the privacy of the parents and the children in this situation, we are not going to comment except to say we are attempting to deal with this difficult situation by discerning not merely what is best for our schools, but also what is best for the parents and children involved. We are doing everything possible to protect their privacy, and we hope the media will do likewise.”

    The way the policy is articulated, if other children being raised by gay people are found to be Catholic school pupils, the children will either have to be expelled from the school, or the archdiocese will have to explain why the general policy they articulated does not apply in each particular situation.

    One can only hope that very few if any Catholics in the Archdiocese of Denver are interested in witch hunts, because by articulating the policy against children of gay couples the way they did, the Archdiocese has given people of ill-will a very handy weapon to cause trouble.

  8. RedMaistre permalink
    March 11, 2010 3:11 pm

    Sorry, didn’t give proper references to it, those quotes are from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 7:32-38

  9. March 11, 2010 5:44 pm

    I am reminded of the quote, “hate the sin, love the sinner.” And besides, we as Catholics recognize we are ALL inherently sinners. The married Catholic parents of the other kids are just as guilty of being sinners as the lesbian parents.

    He who is without sin, cast the first stone.

  10. March 11, 2010 5:54 pm

    Catholic Schools exist primarily to serve Catholic families with an education shaped by Catholic faith and moral formation. This is common sense. Other religious traditions do the same according to their beliefs, and at a heavy sacrifice. We need to remember that Catholic families pay twice for a Catholic education: through their taxes, they fund public education; then they pay again to send their children to a Catholic school. The idea that Catholic schools should require support for Catholic teaching for admission, and a serious effort from school families to live their Catholic identity faithfully, is reasonable and just.

  11. David Nickol permalink
    March 11, 2010 6:58 pm

    The idea that Catholic schools should require support for Catholic teaching for admission, and a serious effort from school families to live their Catholic identity faithfully, is reasonable and just.

    Gregory,

    But the Catholic schools in the Denver Archdiocese admit non-Catholic children of non-Catholic parents. Do they require the non-Catholic parents of the non-Catholic children they admit to live as Catholics?

    An as-yet unanswered question is whether the Archdiocese of Denver would eject from a school children being raised Catholic by divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. Clearly divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, who may not receive communion, are not living their Catholic identities faithfully. Should their children not be permitted to attend Catholic schools?

    My father was not a Catholic and never attended any Church, yet he promised to raise me, my brother, and my two sisters as Catholics. Had my mother died while we were still young, should we have been ejected from Catholic school because my father had no Catholic identity at all?

    And I know Archbishop Chaput threw in the complaint about paying for education twice, but what in the world has that got to do with anything? Anyone who sends children to private schools — religions or nonreligious — continues to pay for public education. If you mean that Catholics who pay for their schools have a right to keep Catholic schools Catholic, who would disagree with that? I have no children at all, and I am expected to pay taxes for public education. Is that unfair?

    Finally, if you want to include a link to the Catechism of the Catholic Church as your website, use this

    http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/

  12. sibyl permalink
    March 11, 2010 8:02 pm

    Abp. Chaput is absolutely doctrinally on target, in my opinion, but this pastoral action strikes me as very strange. It doesn’t seem right to me that you would deny Catholic education to children whose parents request it for them.

    However as with all pastoral actions taken by our bishops, I have to believe that there is more to this than we are privy to. Some ideas:
    1. the lesbian parents might be overtly coaching their children to derail/contradict Catholic teaching (this seems unlikely considering how young they are)
    2. the parents could be consistent in their attempts to sabotage the school’s mission, despite being asked to stop
    3. the parents might have been attempting to exempt the kids from all religious classes and practices

    Just a thought.

  13. Kurt permalink
    March 11, 2010 8:33 pm

    Yes, I think it was mishandled. In the end, I expect the Archdiocese of Denver to maintain its new policy.

    Some married Catholic parents are already pulling their children out of this school because they cannot accept what they believe to be a bigoted policy. Some benefactors of the school are withdrawing support; some on their own initiative and some after being contacted by members of the public. Some teachers are considering resigning. In the past, the school has raised $300,000 a year from corporate and public contributors that is now at risk and, as with all tuition based schools, they will take a hit if every desk is not filled next year.

    I understand those who feel they can no longer in good conscience support a school that would expel an innocent child under these circumstances. In fact, I join with them. Chaput has thrown down the gauntlet on this, and people who cannot accept this in good conscience need to ask Catholic schools from Maine to California where they stand.

    I am a benefactor of four Catholic schools (all outside the Archdiocese of Denver). My conscience has forced me to ask each of them for assurance in writing that they do not refuse otherwise qualified students simply because their parents are gay. Two have already responded with verbal assurances and have sent my request up the pipeline for a written statement. I think a large number of parents and benefactors share my views and it is critical we stand up for what we are convinced is right and decent.

  14. RedMaistre permalink
    March 11, 2010 9:04 pm

    “1. the lesbian parents might be overtly coaching their children to derail/contradict Catholic teaching (this seems unlikely considering how young they are)
    2. the parents could be consistent in their attempts to sabotage the school’s mission, despite being asked to stop
    3. the parents might have been attempting to exempt the kids from all religious classes and practices”

    This constitutes a very reasonable criteria, in my opinion, for deciding the case set above in the post. But the whole discussion of gay couples and their place in the church is a distraction from the larger challenge, the long term plan the church must consider: the eschaton has (in one sense) arrived among us. We must be gradually disentangling ourselves from the institution of marriage itself, to hasten the coming of the kingdom.

  15. Ronald King permalink
    March 11, 2010 9:20 pm

    David, Same with my father. My mother never went to mass and yet each of the six of us went to catholic school because my father honored my mother’s wish. Two months before my dad died at age 59 he saved the parish 10,000 dollars putting a new roof on the steeple. That was 30 years ago. He knew how to love.

    What is doctrine without knowing how to love? BS

  16. brettsalkeld permalink*
    March 11, 2010 10:15 pm

    It seems to me that if the Church wants to be taken seriously in its teaching concerning homosexual acts, then cases involving active homosexual persons need to be treated the same as cases involving active contraceptors. Until this happens we can hardly complain at being called bigots. How many contracepting parents send their kids to Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Denver?

  17. March 11, 2010 10:21 pm

    Kurt,

    Before you commenced your own witch-hunt on Catholic schools, did you consider the possibility that there may be details of the case that you’re not privy to, and it’s not simply a atter that they “refuse otherwise qualified students simply because their parents are gay.”

    Actually, we already know that is incorrect, because it is the parents’ behavior, not their sexual orientation, that is the problem.

    Again, I am not convinced this was the correct pastoral decision, and it is quite an appropriate subject of discussion. But could we take a deep breath before letting the condemnations fly?

  18. March 11, 2010 10:33 pm

    I have never been impressed with Archbishop Chaput, pastorally or intellectually.

  19. digbydolben permalink
    March 12, 2010 3:28 am

    Please notice how everybody here is ignoring what RedMaistre is saying: that this “gay marriage” issue is peripheral to the larger question, which is how to respond to the end of “sacramental marriage” as a value in this culture, and to how this refocuses attention on the TRUE Christian tradition that chastity is of a higher value than connubial life.

  20. David O'Rourke permalink
    March 12, 2010 5:04 am

    The fact is that abortion and same sex marriage are the two issues which presently define the battle for the soul of western society. It is useless to say that divorce has done more to damage the institution of marriage than the same sex issue. Today,same sex marriage, not divorce, is the issue that is set before us.

  21. Kurt permalink
    March 12, 2010 6:35 am

    Before you commenced your own witch-hunt on Catholic schools…

    I am not part of any witch-hunt. I have a moral duty to be a good steward of my resources. As my means allow me to contribute to only a small fraction of those who make appeals to me, I am obligated to make sure those institutions I am a benefactor of are doing the most good as I see it.

    …did you consider the possibility that there may be details of the case that you’re not privy to…

    I have actually been in direct contact with some of the concerned parties in Boulder and am hoping I can soon share here at VN what I have learned.

  22. David Nickol permalink
    March 12, 2010 7:41 am

    . . . . did you consider the possibility that there may be details of the case that you’re not privy to, and it’s not simply a atter that they “refuse otherwise qualified students simply because their parents are gay.”

    We don’t know anything that went on behind the scenes in this case, but the clear policy of the parish and the archdiocese — set out and justified at length — is precisely “refuse otherwise qualified students simply because their parents are gay.” Read the statements from Father Breslin and Archbishop Chaput and see if you can find any hint that anything more than having same-sex parents is required to refuse a child admittance to Catholic school.

  23. M.Z. permalink
    March 12, 2010 8:52 am

    I’m not as concerned about sacramental marriage as much as here and in the world marriage. This whole we can have our own version of marriage and the world can have theirs is I believe a concept that is ultimately incorrect.

    At one time, graduates of the local Catholic school and members of the local Catholic school’s parish would have been co-extensive. That they are considered two fund raising groups is another indication of our society’s decline.

    I’m sorry, but same sex marriage is not a major issue. The likely change from same sex marriage is that households largely unknown to me will remain largely unknown to me except that they might have a marriage license. I actually do know numerous families and children that have seen their lives destroyed by divorce. No, I don’t support same sex marriage. I am not however going to be an alarmist.

  24. RedMaistre permalink
    March 12, 2010 9:05 am

    At the risk of being the annoying anonymous visitor: I would add that it may also be wise for the ecclessia to reconsider its multiple ideological investments in the traditional family unit (which is mearly one among many historical human constructs built for the raising of children) and try to imagine more communal ways of fostering and education of the young into society. A raising of children in a communal way, I might add, would among other things foster an ability to have a wider, more universal range of relationship, breaking the boundaries to affect generally created by the “biological” family model.

  25. Cindy N permalink
    March 12, 2010 10:25 am

    In most ways this makes me think about the child. I know the bishop must feel he is doing justice by the child, but I am not so sure I would agree with that. If God knows our hearts, and if we are actually chosen by God and if faith is truly a gift, then this child should have the opportunity to learn the Catholic Faith and attend a Catholic School, regardless of whether his parents are living in sin or not. There are many confusing aspects to our world, and I see there would be a conflict likely later on as he grows older. But is it better to push him out and give him no chance of learning the faith fully? Sometimes God works in mysterious ways and we should always look to the children for our future. This child could have grown up to be a wonderful priest. You never know.

  26. Gerald A. Naus permalink
    March 12, 2010 12:05 pm

    Matthew 19:14
    “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them *”

    * unless their parents are gay. (Rev. Ed. 2010, Archdiocese of Denver)

  27. ben permalink
    March 12, 2010 1:06 pm

    RedMaistre,

    What are you talking about? The human family, based on the the marriage of the mother and father fro the purpose of bearing and raising children is not a historical human construct.

    Our church teaches that this is of Divine institution, even for non-christians.

  28. March 12, 2010 1:35 pm

    Gerard,

    Do you really believe that is an accurate representation of Abp. Chaput’s and the school’s position?
    Do you really think that moves to conversation forward?

    Again, I think we need to consider how Catholic institutions respond to the reality of different family formations. Cindy’s comments ring true to me, and I am not at all convinced that the Denver archdiocese has arrived at the correct solutions.

    But I also see no evidence that anybody is acting out of anything other than a desire to find the best solution for all involved.

    This is a difficult problem, and I don’t see any solution that doesn’t involve significant pain. I don’t see how demonizing people over the pain they are causing helps us find the right answers.

  29. March 12, 2010 1:37 pm

    I’m reminded of words from another context: Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.

  30. M.Z. permalink
    March 12, 2010 1:49 pm

    People keep interchanging family and household. The household is not an institution. The family is one. If one traces one’s family, it should precede the State. Perhaps I should write a post in its own right on this.

  31. M.Z. permalink
    March 12, 2010 1:54 pm

    While I’m complaining, people seem to have accepted the very modern concept that children should be treated as having their own agency. The idea of punishing the child for the sins of his father is the idea that the child has some sort of agency that allows himself personality outside his father. He doesn’t. The child is his father’s child until such time as he is his own man.

  32. RedMaistre permalink
    March 12, 2010 1:54 pm

    Leaving aside the ample anthropological research showing the diversity of forms the human family has take over the centuries, I will focus on my readings of the Scriptural and Sacred Tradition based reasons for my statements.
    If the institution of marriage (the connubial union of man and women) itself is a transitory, all too human institution with the coming of the new reality Kingdom (in which, I will repeat again, there is no marriage), just so is the familial structure for raising offspring that conventionally went along with marriage. Now, none of this is to deny that the traditional family is not (or rather, was not) a divine institution. Rather, it is to say that there is a time and season for every thing under the sun, even for consecrated things; for to each truth there is a time and place. Not to long ago, divine right monarchy, feudal ties, chivalry,crusades, and slavery were considered divine institutions (and in a sense they were). Others things now have their place. Just shall be the case with marriage.

    And I am not even elaborating upon the strong support in Holy Tradition for the primacy of celibacy over familial life (Augustine, Jerome, Pius XII). Theology of the Body is a recent degradation of Church into idolatrous celebration of carnality (and a ridiculous one as well, considering its coming mostly from unmarried men who either blind to, or unwilling to see, the real complexities of sexuality)

  33. RedMaistre permalink
    March 12, 2010 2:02 pm

    Pardon my poor grimmer, I wrote my post above in a hurry.

  34. M.Z. permalink
    March 12, 2010 2:09 pm

    Being celibate isn’t opposed to family life. It is complementary.

  35. March 12, 2010 2:09 pm

    RedMaistre – See my first ever post at Vox Nova:

    http://vox-nova.com/2007/05/18/howard-zinn-on-families-as-pockets-of-insurrection/

    The human family, based on the the marriage of the mother and father fro the purpose of bearing and raising children is not a historical human construct.

    Our church teaches that this is of Divine institution, even for non-christians.

    Doesn’t have to be an either/or.

  36. David Nickol permalink
    March 12, 2010 2:14 pm

    What are you talking about? The human family, based on the the marriage of the mother and father fro the purpose of bearing and raising children is not a historical human construct.

    Ben,

    Yes and no. I would imagine for most of human history, the nuclear family (mother, father, children living together, with no other relatives) was pretty rare. The extended family is still common in many areas of the world. Without doing any research, I would assume that “Honor thy father and thy mother” was a commandment that made a lot more sense where the extended family was the norm.

    I think my family was a pretty typical nuclear family. I grew up in Ohio, but all of my father’s family lived in Pennsylvania, and all of my mother’s family lived in Indiana. Seeing grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins was rare.

    I can’t help but think that the extended family is better for children.

  37. M.Z. permalink
    March 12, 2010 2:17 pm

    The nuclear family is a modern construct, established to advance its own ideology that was actually anti-family.

  38. RedMaistre permalink
    March 12, 2010 2:21 pm

    I respect many of the stances you take, Michael (Sorry for the overly casual tone), and you seem to be one of the more reasonable commentators at Vox Nova but I must say: I find it deeply ironic that someone who takes so seriously (and with perfect right) the coming of the kingdom in matters related to social justice would not give equal weight to what the Scripture clearly indicates on the consequences of entrance of the eschaton into history for matters familial and sexual.

    By the way, I do not wish to give offence to those who are married through what I say, for they do not sin, as St.Paul says, by entering into married life. I say to them only that they should be ready to acknowledge that something greater then their households and marriages is being prepared by God’s providence in history.

  39. RedMaistre permalink
    March 12, 2010 2:55 pm

    I have always found it a telling hint of Scripture that Adam and Eve only have children after the fall. And I find it rich in suggestion the fact that not only are the first fruits of Christ’s Redemption are described not only as virgins but as being clothed (no return to Edenic bodily innocence). Carnal union is a vestige of the old man Adam and his dying world (albeit a particularly noble one); Spiritual union, Spiritual brotherhoods, are what we are called for by the new world that is rising, from the new bond between God and Man, the bond in which their is no man or women, but only the asexual (or transsexual) body of the Ressurected Christ.

  40. Cindy N permalink
    March 12, 2010 3:08 pm

    Luke 12:7 “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

    Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

    I don’t know why these two verses pop into my head when I think about this child. I really feel that we are called by God. It pretty much states so in the Bible. God understands our worries and he values each and every one of us. To me that would seem to mean that God even understands what family we will grow up in. This child was brought to the Catholic School and in my view he is valued by God. God comforts our souls. We are chosen by God, it’s not that we get to decide who we feel fits in to who we think should be chosen for God.

    That is how I view this child. I feel that he ended up into that school for a reason. Just as God used Saul for being one of the most faithful person’s to spread the word of God throughout the nations.

    You just never know what use God has in store for each and every one of us. To reject a innocent child because of the sins of his parents, in my view is just something I can not support.

  41. Kurt permalink
    March 12, 2010 3:48 pm

    JohnMcG,

    I do see Gerald’s comment as an accurate reprsentation of Chaput’s position.

    And certainly there is no effective “conversation” here. Neither the Principal nor any of the teachers endorsed the action by the Archbishop (and have told to be quiet for fear of their jobs). The child was originally accepted by the school with the pastor and Principal knowing she had gay parents. The soon to be expelled student’s classmates and their parents are very upset about what is being done to their classmate. Many of the school’s benefactors are outraged. There was no wide pre-decisional consultation by Chaput.

    I understand the pain of having a beloved classmate expelled from your school.

    If Chaput is pained by the presence of this innocent child in a Catholic school, he deserves such pain.

  42. March 12, 2010 4:27 pm

    Cindy, I agree with you.

  43. March 12, 2010 4:39 pm

    Kurt,

    First, sudden expulsion is not what happened, as I think you know.

    I don’t think Abp. Chaput makes a regular practice of auditing the Catholic schools in his archdiocese for children of gay parents, do you? His letter states that they don’t go looking for reasons to get kids out of school.

    This was obviously brought to his attention in some manner. As I noted upthread, I have very serious problems with people running to the chancery when they have a problem with their neighbor’s behavior.

    Once brought to his attention, he had to deal with it in some manner. I’m inclined to think the best response would have been, “your problem with your neighbor’s behavior is not my concern,” but I’m also not a bishop.

    I do think that Cindy strikes the right note — it seems we have forgotten that God is on our side, and if we’re truly trying to educate people about God’s love and plan for the world, it belies that trust to think that would be a bad thing to do.

    That we’re making things much too hard. There’s a child in front of us asking for a Catholic education. Why not educate him?

    M.Z.: I’m not sure why I missed your comment earlier.

  44. Gerald A. Naus permalink
    March 12, 2010 5:23 pm

    I had been aware of Catholic institutions firing people for their OWN behavior, but this is a new one. By the archbishop’s rationale, will kids with divorced-and-remarried parents get the boot, too ? Those of unmarried parents ? Who will remain ? Orphans and the kids of the parents who ratted out everybody else ? (that kind of sin doesn’t disqualify, one assumes) Nah, gays are just easy to “spot” and pick on.

    Chaput writes, “Sacred Heart of Jesus parish has borne the difficult publicity surrounding this issue, but archdiocesan policy was followed faithfully in this matter, and the policy applies to all Archdiocese of Denver schools.”

    It’s peculiar that frequently those claiming Jesus the most act like his antagonists, the Pharisees. In turn, Pharisees quoting the social-justice-prophets condemned healing on the Sabbath. It’s almost a rule that hierarchical systems produce what the “founder” worked against.

    Btw, Jesus denied the notion of guilty-via-parents (John 9).

    Is this rule Chaput cites the rule (albeit ignored) for Catholicism in general ?

  45. RedMaistre permalink
    March 12, 2010 5:35 pm

    Which is always why, Gerald A.Naus, the founder’s legacy must always be fought for against the visible,nominal guardians of the faith. The Church must be saved from the Church. Or one can just give up the struggle in cynicism and all too easy spirit of despair, like you appear to have.
    (Apologies if I seem condescending in my frankness about my opinion about your public apostasy)

  46. Gerald A. Naus permalink
    March 12, 2010 6:13 pm

    P.S. I do understand the point of an organization when it expects people to take it seriously. I wouldn’t send my kids to an organization considering my orientation “unnatural”. A vegetarian like me shouldn’t apply for a job as a butcher. Etc. This is why I didn’t “downgrade” to being a “C&E Catholic” but left altogether, except for Vox Nova cameos to “promote the radical gay agenda” :-P

    (of course, most parents don’t ponder the religious implications of Catholic school but simply want a good school. If rich school districts shared money with poor ones…one school drowns in money, another is crumbling. But, that’s the USA for ya, inequality as art form)

  47. Kurt permalink
    March 12, 2010 6:25 pm

    I would put Chaput first on my list to try to re-normalize the term “bastard.” It would fit right in with his thinking.

  48. ben permalink
    March 12, 2010 9:08 pm

    MZ,

    I think you should do that other post.

    RedMaistre,

    I’m still not sure what you are talking about. Sure, in the next life there is no marriage, but I don’t know how that relates to finding new ways of raising children. There aren’t children in the next life either.

  49. David Nickol permalink
    March 13, 2010 2:17 am

    There aren’t children in the next life either.

    ben,

    What about those who die as children?

  50. RedMaistre permalink
    March 13, 2010 6:21 am

    ben
    The point is that through Christ, the “next life” is already here. The ressurection has already happened. Heaven has already come down and kissed the groaning world of the first creation. And this means that the higher vocation for the Catholic ought to be the imitation of Christ, the carrying out of the promise that he made that we will not give or be given in matrimony anymore but will be “like the angels”.

    One way to hasten the passing of marriage is to re-imagine and remake the way children are educated and brought up, from having biological families to having the whole community of the ecclessia be their families. This would greatly expand the average child’s capacity to love if he thought about every man and women as his brother and sister rather than being distracted by a partiality for his brothers and sister according to the flesh.

    And who said there will be no children in the coming Kingdom ? They will be, must be, produced without intercourse, certainly, but I believe that God will to create is as infinite as his love, and so he will find for us an asexual means of reproduction.

  51. Cindy N permalink
    March 13, 2010 10:12 am

    RedMaistre,
    I am a little confused by your last paragraph. How do you come to the idea that there will be children reproduced in the coming kingdom? After our deaths?

  52. RedMaistre permalink
    March 13, 2010 10:52 am

    I think my reasoning on the matter is twofold: metaphysical eschatology and what we can expect to come from the development of modern technology First, I view it as a matter of God being compelled by love to reveal himself through unlimited creation, and that includes unlimited creation of rational creatures like us. On a more concrete level, I believe that it is a matter of time when our knowledge will be so expanded by developments in the areas of robotics, genetics, and medicine that the reproduction of human creatures without sex will be not only possible but common. Artificial insemination may be positively primitive and vulgar compared to what we will be able to by the end of this century (provided war or ecological disaster doesn’t hasten the eschaton for us).

  53. David Nickol permalink
    March 13, 2010 11:12 am

    How do you come to the idea that there will be children reproduced in the coming kingdom? After our deaths?

    Cindy N,

    I confess I never gave much thought to this before, and I am not sure how much of anyone’s description of an afterlife is true, but think of a world without children! Caring for children gives so many people’s lives meaning and purpose. Children are a delight, and Jesus even held them up as examples. I have often jokingly said that when I retire I am going to spend my time at my local Whole Foods cooing over other people’s babies. I think something will have to change profoundly in human nature at death if we are continue in an existence without children and not miss them.

  54. RedMaistre permalink
    March 13, 2010 11:25 am

    I think me and Cindy are talking pass each other, to a certain extent, because she appears to be talking about how human persons who have not yet been raised will continue to reproduce, while I am not speculating about them but rather what concerns the Church Militant here on earth who are building up the kingdom.

  55. Ronald King permalink
    March 13, 2010 11:55 am

    The archbishop’s decision makes perfect sense to me now. Given the Truth that God is Love and His Love is mysteriously infinite and we are not, it only follows that the understanding of Truth is relative to the understanding of God’s Love.
    So, it could be seen that for the protection of this innocent child the archbishop did the right thing but for the wrong reason.
    His statement could have been “Well, since I do not know how to love like Christ instructs me to love and no parent in this school can love as much as me because I am a bishop and I hold and teach the standard of the truth, it is therefore safer for this child to go elsewhere because this innocent human being is not safe with us.”
    That I could support.

  56. March 13, 2010 3:07 pm

    As far as whether there are children in heaven; there are the people who died as children. Do they grow up? Some people think we will all end up at age 33, because that was the age of Jesus on earth. Guess we will have to wait and see.

  57. RedMaistre permalink
    March 13, 2010 5:33 pm

    Ronald King

    I would add: It certainly showed dubious judgment on the part of the parents of the child to send the child to a school run by an ecclesiastical organization who has not figured out how to deal with homosexuality in the modern world. Because truly, until we have faced up to that reality authentically, gays and their children are “not safe with us”.

  58. Cindy N permalink
    March 13, 2010 6:38 pm

    Ron & RedMaistre,
    That is true and that is sad. That makes me sad that it’s us that gays are not safe with. I never thought about it that way.

    Also, I think it’s kind of interesting to listen to what other’s think of when they think of heaven. Thank you for sharing.

  59. grega permalink
    March 13, 2010 11:27 pm

    “Because truly, until we have faced up to that reality authentically, gays and their children are “not safe with us”.”
    Unfortunately with the kind of scandals we witnessed the past decade -plenty children indeed were not safe with ‘us’ – very sad – very damaging.
    Blowhards like Chaput only add to the damage.

  60. digbydolben permalink
    March 14, 2010 4:22 am

    Ronald, RedMaistre and David, you are all an inspiration to me; it is because of genuine thinkers and “holy people” like you that I am able to remain Catholic.

  61. Ronald King permalink
    March 14, 2010 8:44 am

    RM, I guess the parents took a risk thinking that a faith that proclaims God is Love might be a safe place for their child. Of course, that is my assumption.
    I absolutely agree with your addition.
    I am also curious if heaven will be like the community that I think Kyle wrote about a couple of weeks ago where he lives. We can get all kinds of body work and parts replacement accomplished without the use of a credit card. I could look like Steve McQween.

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 861 other followers

%d bloggers like this: