In their continuing series on the Boulder school which accepted then turned away the children of lesbian parents, NCR now has the second in a series of four interviews with other parents. In the previous interview, the parents highlighted how the decision in this case contradicted the practice of the school in dealing with other children whose parents were not living in full compliance with Church teaching. In today’s interview, the couple interviewed talk about the contradiction between this rejection, and the church’s own teaching, and its boasts about diversity. They also point out that the school’s reputation in the community will likely suffer, as will its enrolment – and that ironically, a decision which was supposedly taken to avoid having to teach the children about same sex relationships, has instead led to a situation where the children now talk of it constantly.
Here are some extracts. Read the full interview at NCR online:
NCR: Are you members of the parish?
Chris: No, we’ve been going to St. Thomas Aquinas, [a neighboring parish]. We now have two young children, 13 and under, and they’re talking about this and upset with it. The first day our sixth-grade son, Aidan, said, “Dad, they told us in church that we’re to love everyone, even gay people. So what’s going on?” That was his expression.
Fr. Bill and the archbishop are in this together. They are monolithic and they are calling all the shots. It is my impression that their priority is to enforce their policy, and that it’s more important for them to have not only the last word, but the only word. That’s more important than children, teachers, parents or anything else.
Cathy: A lot of people want to talk to Archbishop Chaput or send letters. We’ve been through other situations at the school. You don’t get a response. It’s pretty much closed. We can’t talk about it. It’s very secret. Everything is very secret and if you don’t like it, they don’t really care if you leave.
NCR: Are you implying that you think that this incident is going to cause a change in enrollment?
Cathy: I think it will hurt enrollment. They run ads showing kids of different ethnic backgrounds to show how diverse we are, implying that it’s a welcome place for everyone. Yes, I think it is. But now my kids didn’t even want to go into Target without putting a jacket over their Sacred Heart uniforms because they are so embarrassed. They are afraid to be seen wearing their uniforms.
NCR: Presumably the second grader has very little understanding of this.
Cathy: They know something. Some at the fourth grade level are aware, particularly if they have older siblings. The excuse the parish used to get rid of the children [of the lesbian couple] is that they would be taught that homosexual or gay marriage is bad. I asked my daughter yesterday who went through the entire nine years there, “Did they ever talk to you about gay marriage at all?” They barely do sex ed. They do girls in a room and boys in a room, and just go over bodily stuff in fifth grade. That’s it. They never talked about homosexuality, but now they are all talking about it because of Fr. Bill.
- Kate Childs Graham on Making American Catholicism a Welcoming and Safe Space for Gay Persons (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)
- Ongoing Catholic Conversation about Sexual Morality: Two Recent National Catholic Reporter Pieces (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)
- It’s a Scandal (thewildreed.blogspot.com)
- Pastor Mike Tegeder Challenges Archbishop Nienstedt’s “Bullying Behavior” (thewildreed.blogspot.com)
- Discussing sexuality with parents – ViewPoint (shuckandjive.org)
- Gay Catholics: the Real Issues (queeringthechurch.wordpress.com)