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Update: Bishop Cannot Intervene in Catholic School Expulsion of Pro-Life Student
LifeSiteNews.com ^ | November 2, 2005 | John-Henry Westen

Posted on 11/02/2005 10:17:50 PM PST by LifeSite News

Sacramento Catholic School Expels 15-year-old Student who Alerted Bishop to Abortion Activist Teacher Bishop's Hands are Tied

By John-Henry Westen

SACRAMENTO, November 2, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A 15-year-old girl at a Catholic school who was responsible for alerting her bishop to the presence of a pro-abortion activist teacher on staff at her school has been expelled from the school. Katelyn Sills, was expelled from Loretto High School in Sacramento last week, two weeks after the teacher, who was found to be an abortion clinic escort, was dismissed at the behest of the local Bishop William Weigand. (see LifeSiteNews.com coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/nov/05110110.html )

Katelyn informed her mother after she recognized Marie Bain, one of the teachers at Loretto, as an escort at a Planned Parenthood abortuary where Katelyn and her family had regularly taken part in pro-life rallies. After unsuccessful attempts to quietly have the school address the situation of Mrs. Bain, Katelyn's mother Wynette Sills sent photos of Bain escorting women into the abortion center to Bishop Weigand.

KATELYN EXPELLED AFTER MOTHER BANNED FROM CAMPUS

LifeSiteNews.com contacted Edward Sills, Katelyn's father who noted that although the family is not yet ready to speak to the media, a press release and comments have been issued on Katelyn's website. On the website, http://standupandspeakout.blogspot.com/ , Katelyn reports that: "As of Saturday, October 29th, I was given official notice by express mail that I am expelled from Loretto High School. This was given completely without forewarning, without a meeting, and without a chance to say goodbye. My family is now seeking legal advice, and more details will follow." Prior to her expulsion, she reported that "Loretto's administration has banned my mother from campus since October 16th."

SCHOOL ALLEGES "ATTACKS"

In a short interview with LifeSiteNews.com, Loretto President Sr. Helen Timothy said she could not comment on the matter but did say she would fax a press release from the school. That press release, dated, October 28 - a day before Katelyn said she received notice of her expulsion - says of the expulsion that it was a "last resort" and accused the Sills family of "an escalating series of public attacks made against Loretto". The release says that "these attacks have included taunts, threats and verbal abuse directed against members of our school community, as well as a mass e-mail campaign slandering the school's reputation as a Catholic institution."

In the press release on her website, Katelyn's family responds to the school release saying, "Coming in the middle of fall term, this dismissal is most unfair and undeserved. What is worse, however, is the administration's outrageous charges that our family has engaged in 'threats', 'abuse', and other 'malicious' behavior toward members of the Loretto community. These charges are categorically false and defamatory. In actual fact, our family has at all times acted respectfully in attempting to resolve a difficult situation for the good of all members of the Loretto community, continuously seeking reconciliation."

DIOCESE UNABLE TO INTERVENE UNDER CANON LAW

The diocese says it is unable to act on the matter of Katelyn's expulsion. Rev. Charles S. McDermott, S.T.D. Chancellor and Vicar Episcopal for Theological Affairs for the Diocese of Sacramento, explained to LifeSiteNews.com that the school is run by an order of nuns popularly known as the Loretto Sisters. Rev. McDermott described the order as "A religious institute in the church which is of pontifical right," explaining that "they are subject in their internal affairs directly to the Holy See and not to the local bishop."

In the matter of the pro-abortion teacher the bishop exercised special powers reserved to him in canon (church) law permitting him to intervene in cases of faith and morals, explained the diocesan Chancellor.

Rev. McDermott did however provide key information shedding light on the disagreement between the family and the school. He told LifeSiteNews.com that "The mother approached Loretto high school about it quite quietly, as far as I understand, and asked them to respond to the situation." The school failed to act, and the matter was "eventually" brought to the attention of Bishop Weigand.

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION DISAGREED WITH BISHOP BUT DID FOLLOW DIRECTION

Rev. McDermott notes that when the Bishop raised the issue with Sr. Timothy and Principal Sr. Barbara Nelson, they "did not agree entirely with our position." However, Rev. McDermott added that Sr. Timothy "quite correctly and honorably followed the bishop's suggestion and removed Mrs. Bain, the person in question, from employment."

The only means to address the grievance, says Rev. McDermott, is internally within the order of the Loretto Sisters, known formally as the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM). Recourse to the Provincial Superior of the Loretto Sisters, who is in charge of the IBVM in the United States may be undertaken and beyond that to the General Superior of the order in Rome.

To respectfully express your concerns:

Sr. Helen Timothy President Loretto High School htimothy@loretto.net (916) 482-7793 ext. 104

IBVM Provincial Superior Rosemary Lynch 630-665-3814 rlynch@ibvm.org


TOPICS: Activism; Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: abortion; bishop; prolife; school

1 posted on 11/02/2005 10:17:51 PM PST by LifeSite News
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To: LifeSite News

Ya know I love ya'll Catholics as much as my fellow Protestants, but yer pretty odd after reading this article.


2 posted on 11/02/2005 10:29:24 PM PST by trubluolyguy (Is it more stupid believe in God, or to be offended by that which you don't believe exists?)
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To: LifeSite News

Thanks for the update on this story.

I'm proud of the pro-life student and her family. They did the right thing.

Sounds like the school doesn't deserve them anyway! Time to homeschool!


3 posted on 11/02/2005 10:32:10 PM PST by Cedar
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To: trubluolyguy

Nuns are not under the bishops direct control, and many orders tend to be more "liberal" than the average lay Catholic. But Mother Angelica, who became very conservative, was able to criticize the theology of the Cardinal archbishop of Los Angeles and get away with it because her order was directly under the protection of the pope. But even this did not keep the bishops from trying to take her television network away from her.


4 posted on 11/02/2005 10:36:07 PM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: trubluolyguy

If "odd" means following established order, I'd agree :)


5 posted on 11/03/2005 3:16:10 AM PST by bornacatholic
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To: LifeSite News

So why doesn't the Sills family ask the Bishop to request that the Pope order her admitted back into school. Benedict seems like the type who would do this just to send a message to the vindictive liberal nuns.


6 posted on 11/03/2005 6:20:50 AM PST by LibertyGirl77
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To: LibertyGirl77

And besides, aren't they talking about "pruning" schools with weak Catholic identities? This seems like a good place to start.


7 posted on 11/03/2005 6:22:41 AM PST by LibertyGirl77
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To: LibertyGirl77
So why doesn't the Sills family ask the Bishop to request that the Pope order her admitted back into school.

The pope's a busy man - he generally doesn't get involved in individual disputes. This bishop has a couple of options - he can essentially ignore the expulsion or he can warn the Loretto sisters that they are in danger of being kicked out of his diocese. I suspect the good sisters already feel unwelcom and are pricing properties in LA or some other liberal diocese.

My guess is that the bishop's involvement in this case is over. As much as the bishop would love to kick some Loretto butt, it's just not good administrative policy to be so heavy handed or to be known as a micromanager. Let's hope the bishop starts working on building some conservative high schools in his diocese.

8 posted on 11/03/2005 6:29:17 AM PST by old and tired
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To: LifeSite News; american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
From their web site:


A 17th century artist's depiction of Mary Ward, founder of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with her early companions

The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary., The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, often called "the Loretto Sisters" was founded by the Englishwoman Mary Ward in 1609. Her dream was to begin a new kind of community of women religious - an independent, self-governing congregation patterned after the model of the Society of Jesus, free of the confines of the cloisters, and responding to the urgent needs of her time."

The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Who we are

IBVM Loreto Sisters are women drawn to companionship in the service in the Gospel. Inspired by Mary Ward and the Ignatian spiritual tradition, we strive to support growth into freedom through spiritual ministries, education, and any other works which meet the needs of our times.

IBVM Loreto Sisters are women drawn to companionship in the service in the Gospel. Inspired by Mary Ward and the Ignatian spiritual tradition, we strive to support growth into freedom through spiritual ministries, education, and any other works which meet the needs of our times.

Time to send a memo to Benedict XVI

9 posted on 11/03/2005 6:31:32 AM PST by NYer (ôSocialism is the religion people get when they lose their religion")
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To: LifeSite News

The pope should make clear that this retalitory persecution of someone with clear catholic beleifs is a disgrace.


10 posted on 11/03/2005 6:44:37 AM PST by x5452
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To: Cedar
I'm proud of the pro-life student and her family. They did the right thing.

Amen. Expulsion from that school sounds like a gift of grace from Our Lord.

"Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you." Matthew 5:11-12

11 posted on 11/03/2005 7:29:45 AM PST by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: LifeSite News
Loretto Sisters, known formally as the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM)

Great. An order dedicated to the Blessed Mother, supporting an abortuary volunteer?

Lord, where is Thy light?

12 posted on 11/03/2005 8:11:08 AM PST by Malacoda (Islam = deranged, evil suicide cult)
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To: bornacatholic

If "odd" means following established order, I'd agree :)




I guess what I mean't was that it seems this girl did the right thing and is being punished by an administration that is quite possibly sympathetic to the teacher that got fired. If that is the case, it seems very wierd.


13 posted on 11/03/2005 8:57:01 AM PST by trubluolyguy (Is it more stupid believe in God, or to be offended by that which you don't believe exists?)
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To: trubluolyguy

Every Catholic who is not a Bishop is under the authority of a Bishop, and if the Bishop is not the Pope, the Pope as well. The Pope, or those delegated by him, determines who is under what Bishop, normally by determining the boundaries of dioceses and by appointing the Bishop of the various dioceses.

Some groups of religious (nuns, monks and the like) are what are called exempt: the Pope has exempted them from the governance of the local Bishop. This exemption does not extend to actions that affect those outside of the exempt group. Some religious are not exempt.

The relevant doctrinal passage out of the Vatican II Document Lumen Gentium (known in English as the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church) reads as follows:
"With a view to providing better for the needs of the whole of the Lord's flock and for the sake of the general good, the Pope, as primate over the entire Church, can exempt any institute of Christian perfection and its individual members from the jurisdiction of local ordinaries [i.e. bishops of dioceses] and subject them to himself alone. Similarly they can be left or entrusted to the care of the appropriate patriarchal authorities. Members of these institutes, however, in fulfilling the duty towards the Church inherent in their particular form of life [e.g. teaching in the case of the Lorettos] must show respect and obedience towards bishops in accordance with canon law, both because these exercise pastoral authority in their individual churches and because this is necessary for unity and harmony in the carrying out of apostolic work." (LG 45--Flannery translation, 1988 edition)

The appropriate section of Canon law is canon 678, which reads as follows:
Section 1. Religious are subject to the authority of bishops, whom they are obliged to follow with devoted humility and respect, in those matters which involve the care of souls, the public exercise of divine worship and other works of the apostolate [e.g. running a high school in this case].
Section 2. In exercising an external apostolate [e.g. running a high school], religious are also subject to their own superiors and must remain faithful to the discipline of the institute which obligation bishops themselves should not fail to insist upon in cases which warrant it.
Section 3 In organizing the works of the apostolate of religious, it is necessary that diocesan bishops and religious superiors proceed after consultation with each other.

The situation is thus undoubtedly complex. The high school is an external apostolate, so, given section 1 of canon 678, it ought to be subject to the bishop--and thus the bishop could be justified in demanding the dismissal of the high school teacher. Identical justification could be used to intervene with regards to the expulsion.

The trick, in my estimation of Church politics, is in sections 2 and 3 of canon 678--if the provincial superior, who is outside of Sacramento, and thus outside of the Bishop's jurisdiction, has already implemented a discipline contrary to what the bishop would like to see done before the bishop intervenes, further action can take place only after the bishop and the superior come to agreement. Thus, the one who makes the first move wins until they decide to compromise until and unless Rome intervenes.

Frankly, from what I have experienced and heard of the Lorettos (my wife is an alumna of a Loretto High School), as they presently exist, the Church would be better off without them.

Traditionally, there are three ways of getting rid of exempt institutes.

One is to suppress them: the Templars (1303 or 1305--forget which) and the Jesuits (who were suppressed in 1773 and revived in the 19th century)being the most famous examples. This method is normally resorted to only in extreme circumstances, which, in the Church's perspective, translates into once every few centuries. Historically, the process is usually traumatic.


The second is to forbid them to receive new members. Franciscans are always fragmenting. Various Popes have attempted to bring more unity to the Franciscans by forbidding the reception of novices by any community of Franciscans unwilling to join with one of certain designated groups. This would be redundant in this particular case, because the IBVMs, at least on this continent undoubtedly have virtually no novices. One would merely be ticking off a bunch of battle-axes for no good reason.

The third is to let nature (or rather providence) take her course. The Lorettos, and a great many other orders, are presently Dead Men Walking. Forty years from now, their main presence in the Church will be found in Catholic cemeteries (maybe sooner depending on how quickly euthanasia catches on).





14 posted on 11/03/2005 9:21:06 AM PST by Hieronymus
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To: trubluolyguy

Weird only if one expects to encounter rationality and justice in this world. Providentially, the whole thing is beautiful. The school sounds like it is an expensive way to loose the faith, so the expulsion should probably be seen as a reward, from the divine perspective.


15 posted on 11/03/2005 9:24:18 AM PST by Hieronymus
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To: Hieronymus

Weird only if one expects to encounter rationality and justice in this world. Providentially, the whole thing is beautiful. The school sounds like it is an expensive way to loose the faith, so the expulsion should probably be seen as a reward, from the divine perspective.



Good point, thank you.


16 posted on 11/03/2005 9:27:55 AM PST by trubluolyguy (Is it more stupid believe in God, or to be offended by that which you don't believe exists?)
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To: trubluolyguy
If that is the case, it seems very wierd.

It is wierd ... Holy Mother Church is dealing with a serious wierdo infestation. The exterminators have been called in, but as anyone knows who has dealt with a more literal vermin infestation in his home, these things take time.

17 posted on 11/03/2005 9:33:48 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: LifeSite News
Rev. McDermott notes that when the Bishop raised the issue with Sr. Timothy and Principal Sr. Barbara Nelson, they "did not agree entirely with our position."

What a diplomat!

18 posted on 11/03/2005 10:14:27 AM PST by siunevada
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To: NYer
Her dream was to begin a new kind of community of women religious - an independent, self-governing congregation patterned after the model of the Society of Jesus, free of the confines of the cloisters, and responding to the urgent needs of her time."

Aaah, freedom, freedom from the 'confines' of the cloister, as though the cloister must be a negative.

Although Christians in India have been persecuted in recent years, Mother Teresa and her sisters responded to the urgent needs of their time without sacrificing Catholic beliefs or a rich and full prayer life that included Adoration and the Rosary. Perhaps Srs. Helen and Barbara could indeed take a lesson from the good example of Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity.

The cloister and a full prayer life and Adoration do not have to be negatives.

This nun, Mother Angelica, and her sisters have done remarkable work, worldwide, in a relatively short time, without divorcing themselves from the 'confines' of the cloister or a rich prayerlife.

19 posted on 11/03/2005 11:07:03 AM PST by fortunecookie
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To: Hieronymus; sittnick; ninenot

I would imagine that either Bishop Weigand or Pope Benedict XVI could require this vile coven of suspects to rename itself the Institute of Margaret Sanger, Feminazi. Until the technical legal aspects of restoring the salutory physical disciplines of yesteryear can be worked out, such lesser punishments will have to suffice.


20 posted on 11/03/2005 11:09:59 AM PST by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: fortunecookie; NYer; All
Oops. RE: My #19, let me try again:

The cloister and a full prayer life and Adoration do not have to be negatives.

This nun, Mother Angelica, and her sisters have done remarkable work, worldwide, in a relatively short time, without divorcing themselves from the 'confines' of the cloister or a rich prayerlife.

21 posted on 11/03/2005 11:17:46 AM PST by fortunecookie
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To: BlackElk
Until the technical legal aspects of restoring the salutory physical disciplines of yesteryear

IOW, the formal institution of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemens' Club as a canonical order of married laymen ...

22 posted on 11/03/2005 11:20:22 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: trubluolyguy
Some Catholic schools are owned and operated directly by the Diocese in which they are located, others by Religious Orders, a few directly by the Holy See. This includes both higher education (Universities and Colleges) as well as Prep schools and elementary.

In this instance the Bishop was capable of requiring the school to dismiss a teacher upon the discovery of her direct involvement with Planned Parenthood as per his authority over the school concerning the Faith and Morals of the Church that it is supposed to maintain.

However, the Bishop does not have authority over the internal affairs of the school, the Religious Order in question does. From a canonical perspective, the family's first recourse is to the superiors of the Religious Order in question, the Lorreto Sisters, and would move on up to the Holy See from there.

It seems clear that this school, not unlike many Catholic schools today, is run by heterodox Sisters who haven't been overly concerned about the orthodox position of the Church regarding this and many other manners. It is the hope of many Catholics on this forum that this general situation will be corrected, probably over time. It should be mentioned that this school is considered to give an excellent education as per general secular studies, also not uncommon among these private schools. It is no accident that many families - non-Catholics included - pay huge amounts of money to send their girls there and the competition to get in is great.

It is additionally apparent that the school has punished this student in retribution for her and her family's role in exposing the terminated teacher to the Bishop. Politics exist everywhere.

I'm sure that over time as this case runs it's course, the Lorreto Sisters will not come out looking too good. They are a dying Order as it is. Unfortunately, the student is realistically screwed since the process will take time and she essentially will not be attending that school in the future. For the school to expel her in midterm under these conditions is sickening and pathetic.

23 posted on 11/03/2005 1:53:51 PM PST by TotusTuus
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To: ArrogantBustard

And Canon Law enforcers by colorful and effective methods!


24 posted on 11/03/2005 2:06:42 PM PST by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: LifeSite News

On the bright side, at least the order of sisters has had the decency to remove the name of the Mother of God from their title.


25 posted on 11/03/2005 2:28:42 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: NYer

Catholic homeschool bump:

http://www.love2learn.net


26 posted on 11/03/2005 6:54:28 PM PST by Domestic Church (AMDG...)
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To: LifeSite News
The diocese says it is unable UNWILLING to act on the matter of Katelyn's expulsion

Please forgive my Protestant ignorance, but don't bishops have the authority to excommunicate? And to issue anathemas? Now would be a good time....

27 posted on 11/03/2005 9:35:16 PM PST by Rytwyng
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To: murphE

"Expulsion from that school sounds like a gift of grace from Our Lord."

I was gonna say the same thing.

What, fight to get your daughter back into a school run by two people who would hire and then protect an abortuary worker?

You'd do better fighting to get her out.


28 posted on 11/04/2005 12:32:29 AM PST by dsc
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