Skip to comments.Denver Stands Its Ground (Church Called on to Defend Stance Against Homosexual Parenting)
Posted on 03/10/2010 3:57:34 PM PST by NYer
WASHINGTON After administrators of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School in Boulder, Colo., discovered that a preschoolers parents were lesbians, they declared that the child would not be able to continue in the school.
The lesbian couple was informed that their child would only be permitted to complete kindergarten, but not advance to first grade at the school. Both the Archdiocese of Denver and the pastor with direct responsibility for the parish school issued statements defending the Churchs position.
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, said a statement issued by the Archdiocese of Denver.
To allow children in these circumstances to continue in our school would be a cause of confusion for the student in that what they are being taught in school conflicts with what they experience in the home, the statement continued.
Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput addressed the issue in his column in the March 10 edition of the Denver Catholic Register.
As same-sex marriage slowly gains legal and social approval, opponents increasingly must address efforts to establish the moral and practical equivalence of same-sex couples with traditional unions that provide children with a mother and father.
In February, the Archdiocese of Washington failed to block the legalization of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia, and elected to close its child-placement agencies that could not accommodate city contracts that incorporated a re-definition of marriage.
The Denver Archdioceses stance prompted a protest outside of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church March 7, and drew generally negative media attention. But the story confirms that the challenge posed by same-sex unions goes well beyond the issue of marriage equality to cover a host of related concerns that will require a more sustained, in-depth response from Catholic leaders.
Further, child development experts, who contend that children could suffer if society downplays the unique roles played by mothers and fathers, are eager to move beyond debates over religious freedom to address the basic needs of children an issue various polls confirm to be a central concern of voters.
Same-sex marriage isnt even legal in Colorado, yet Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver felt compelled to publicly clarify his policy for parochial school admissions. Subsequently, in a March 8 column posted on his diocesan website, Archbishop Chaput noted that Church teaching on marriage and sexual morality are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society.
For the most part, the statements issued by the archdiocese and the pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Boulder focused on the religious freedom of Catholic schools and challenged efforts to make the cultural interpretation of what tolerance has become as more important than the teachings of Jesus.
Our response has focused largely on religious liberty and tolerance because that is the way we are most being criticized, acknowledged Jeanette DeMelo, director of communications for the Denver Archdiocese. It is difficult to articulate the Churchs teaching on marriage, family and the meaning of sexuality in a sound bite. The teaching makes sense on a natural level but often it isnt heard because the debate surrounding these issues is so hot.
Media Sound Bites
The Denver Archdioceses response echoes similar themes raised by the Archdiocese of Washington during the public debate over same-sex marriage. The Maine same-sex marriage fight also stirred parental concerns about how a redefinition of marriage might influence public school curricula dealing with family life.
Scholars suggest that the growing divide between mainstream culture and Catholic teaching on the deeper purpose and value of sexual complementarity within marriage and family life have hamstrung the Churchs articulation of Christian anthropology.
David Schindler, the provost/dean of the Washington, D.C.-based John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, observed that public ignorance of natural law precepts, combined with lay Catholics ignorance of ground-breaking developments like John Paul IIs theology of the body, have complicated the U.S. bishops task.
Saying more than the culture understands turns the Church into a lightning rod, said Schindler. Still, he argues that Catholics cant allow media sound bites to govern the Churchs public response, unnecessarily restricting the full expression of Catholic teaching.
Its important for the Church to defend its position in a way that goes beyond claims of religious freedom, the right to conscience, and protecting the integrity of Catholic institutions. All of that is granted, said Schindler, the Edouard Cardinal Gagnon Professor of Fundamental Theology at the institute.
The dominant culture looks at this restriction of marriage as a millennial-old bias that has no roots in the nature of things. It seems very important that the Church take the occasion to show how the Churchs position is anchored in the roots of the human being, he said. Gender differences rooted in the body are embraced in the marriage between a woman and a man. This unity in difference between spouses in marriage is basic for the childs gender identity and capacity to love in an integrated fashion.
The narrow focus of the public debate has worried experts on child development who argue that the traditional family structure, for all its limitations, generally provides the most stable environment for raising well-adjusted, productive individuals.
All the sociological and psychological science demonstrates that the gold standard for raising children is a home in which the mother and father are married and have low conflict, said Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, who teaches Psychological and Neurological Sciences: Gender, Marriage and Family at the John Paul II Institute.
However, as homosexual rights activists press their case for marriage rights, a number of well-publicized studies suggest there are no substantive differences in outcomes for children reared by same-sex couples as opposed to those raised in traditional families.
In the February 2010 issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family, sociologist Timothy Biblarz of the University of Southern Californias College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and Judith Stacey of New York University concluded there were no gender-specific parenting abilities, with the partial exception of lactation.
But many experts in the field express skepticism regarding studies that seemingly contradict decades of social science research on the impact of family structure and the existence of innate sex differences.
Asked to comment on the contradictory positions issued by various scholars in the field, Dr. Michelle Cretella, a member of the board of directors of the American College of Pediatricians, pointed to an article posted on the ACPs website.
Children navigate developmental stages more easily, are more solid in their gender identity, perform better academically, have fewer emotional disorders and become better functioning adults when reared within their natural family, states one ACP report, Homosexual Parenting Is It Time for a Change?
Studies that appear to indicate neutral to favorable child outcomes from homosexual parenting have critical design flaws, says the ACP report. Therefore, it is impossible for these studies to provide any support for the alleged safety or potential benefits to children from same-sex parenting.
The ACPs sober assessment is contested by scientists who dismiss the importance of gender differences within marriage and childrearing. Indeed, social research on these fraught matters has become a political football for activists on both sides, and ordinary laymen can find it difficult to navigate the thicket of contradictory conclusions.
Still, the ACPs cautionary remarks serve as a further reminder that the challenge posed by same-sex marriage, and public confusion over the true importance of mothers and fathers in the home, require a more assertive presentation of Catholic and natural law principles governing marriage and family life.
The U.S. bishops, following the lead of Pope Benedict, have spoken repeatedly against same-sex marriage, most recently in their 2009 pastoral letter Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan. As media pressure intensifies, however, the skills of individual bishops at communicating Church teaching in a clear and understandable way will be ever more pivotal.
Bishop Victor Galeone of St. Augustine, Fla., provided just such teaching in his 2003 pastoral letter Marriage: A Communion of Life and Love.
As they strengthen their articulation of moral and social components of Church teaching, the bishops might find some allies among the many experts in medicine and neuroscience who have confirmed the strong relationship between gender, family structure, and the future happiness and stability of children.
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The school acted properly.
Are the lesbians and this child is need of Christian outreach? Yes, you bet! But...They need adult missionaries.
It is inappropriate to have this child in school and expect that immature school children, (whose roots in the faith are still very tender), should somehow be missionaries to the child or to the lesbian couple. If Christ did not send out children to be missionaries, then neither should we.
No one better than Chaput to take this one on. He’s fearless and orthodox. He has to know exactly what he’s doing, to take this one on.
Excellent! Courage! Just what’s needed!
They have received military citations and decorations for valor in battle all out of proportion to their numbers.
But bravery is not only shown on the battlefield.
He doesn't seem to understand that there are no equivalent "rights" organizations actively trying to infiltrate Catholic schools on behalf of divorced or co-habiting Catholics as there are for GLBT's, nor how the classroom discussions would be disrupted by gay activism. Once the gate is opened, there would be further lawsuits over "hate speech" if little Turkey Baster felt offended by hearing about "mommies and daddies" in the other kids' homes.
Apparently Bill doesn't really believe in freedom of religion or the right of the Church to teach what she believes is true.
I heartily agree. O’Reilly has limited knowledge of Catholic teaching and he OBVIOUSLY had poor research on this topic.
The key issue that he is overlooking is that the religious standard for natural parenthood is one man and one woman. Even the divorced and single parent sinners agree on that -- they just failed at it. Their children are the unintended victims of their failure.
But the lesbian and gay parents have a fundamental disagreement with God's plan for families, and use artificial means to get children to legitimize their unrepentant sin. They intended to involve their children in their prideful behavior.
Sorry for the double post— I asked mods to delete one.
I think that OReilly’s sentimental Irish side overcame his logical, long-term thinking on this one as well. His concern was the children....but he failed to consider how those children would fare upon learning that their “parents” were living in a state of mortal sin? Or how this could impact the relationships among all children there? ...or how this could become an impediment to the teaching mission of that Catholic school....etc...etc...
The favorite refuge of liberals: "It's for the children!!! By the way, when I traveled to Ireland maybe a decade ago I was shocked at their hatred of Bush and typical Euroweenie nonsense. Only one cousin who ran a business was even a little sarcastic about the intrusive government regulations. And that was before Ireland had a large influx of Poles seeking work -- and muslims. The latter are everywhere, and they sue for sharia wherever they can. Can you imagine this last Catholic country of Europe going burka?
I have no wish to offend Catholics, but in my experience, the long history of depending on priests to teach Biblical precepts has left too many Catholics in the dark when it comes to seeing these teachings of the Living God in light of our current situations. A large part of the Protestant Reformation (started in 1517) was about putting the Bible into the vernacular and expecting individuals to read it and know it as adults. Yet Catholicism is still criticized for abandoning Latin masses just 46 years ago. The emphasis was on dependency on priests and collectivism -- hence the word "mass."
I do not believe Protestantism has fared well, either, due to not having a magisterium like the Catholic church -- there are too many wild theories and preachings due to the spread of Protestantism and evangelicalism on American soil. The actual teachings of Jesus have become corrupted by Protestantism's seamlessness with political "success" in the first 300 years of American life, when the vast majority of our political leaders were Protestants.
Actually the word Mass...comes from the Latin dismissal at the end of the Eucharistic celebration... “missa.”
The dismissal, “Ite missa est,” was an actual “sending” out after the Eucharistic celebration to proclaim the Good News.
I agree with you that the cultural influence has been an eroding one for Catholics and non-Catholic Christians alike. It is interesting that you mention the Teaching Magisterium. It was a strong influence in bringing me back to the Catholic Church after a lengthy journey in search of Truth.
I believe that we are being called to pray for our “mushy-minded” Nation as never before. I also believe that God will answer that prayer and bring many of our *mushy minds* back to a firm foundation. ;-)
Ooops! Betrayed my Prottie origins, not having learned Latin! Thank you for the clarification!
I believe that we are being called to pray for our mushy-minded Nation as never before. I also believe that God will answer that prayer and bring many of our *mushy minds* back to a firm foundation. ;-)
Joining my prayers with yours! Amen!
AMEN indeed, my brother in Christ! ;-)
And again, Amen, from an ambiguously-screen-named sister in Christ! :-)
Ohhhhhhhh...ok my SISTER in Christ!
(from your sister in Christ)
sorry to disagree....I am a practicing Catholic but I think that when you pass judgement on the parents, and punish the children, it is not biblical. We are not (fortunately) responsible foe the sins of mom and dad, or in this case, mom and mom. How about the hetrosexual couple that are shacking up, having babies, and sending them to the Catholic school, or the divorced and remarried gal that has two kids in the school.....be careful of the judgements that you hand out....you could lose a LOT of the kids from your school, and people from your parish.
"And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received of us." 2 Thessalonians 3:6
Revisonist history. Most people were illiterate in the 16th century but copies of the Bible written in Spanish, Italian, Danish, French, Norwegian, Polish, Bohemian and English existed prior to the 1382 version penned by Wycliff.
Your knowledge of history runs neck and neck with your knowledge of Latin.
WOW mr. all knowledge your nresponse to me regarding the inane school decisio9n was totally irrelevant. A judgement was handed down affecting the children.....the 2 “moms” are totally out of line, but no more so than the remarried divorced Catholic, or the young couple living together without being married, or the kid whose parent is in the slammer for whatever.....the fault, in each case is with the “parents” and NEVER with the children.
As far as the bible is concerned, before Gutenberg and the printing press...bibles were HAND WRITTEN, and all, prior to the l500’s were written by Catholic monks....that’s why we have a bible today, thanks Catholics.