Catholic School Admissions: Sanity in Boston

Last year, two US dioceses came under fire for decisions to exclude children of lesbian parents. In Boulder, Colorado the decision was widely condemned, but stayed in place. In Boston, the specific decision was rapidly revoked, with accompanying promises to formulate a new formal policy on admissions that would apply to Catholic schools in the diocese. That policy has just been unveiled – and is eminently sensible.  No school will be permitted to discriminate against any child – but prospective parents must understand that “Catholic teaching” is an essential part of the curriculum.

Well, great. “Catholic teaching” includes the well-known and disordered teaching on same sex relationships, but that really is a very small part of the totality of Church teaching. Far more prominent is a consistent emphasis on justice, inclusion of all, and standing up for the oppressed, as Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols pointed out last year.  Michael B. Reardon, executive director of the Catholic Schools Foundation, which gives millions in scholarships to low-income students, says much the same thing:

“From the perspective of the foundation, the key part of this is that it does not exclude any group of students, and it promotes what is essential to Catholic education, which is inclusivity,’’ he said.

In Boston Catholic Schools, All Now Welcome

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Lesbian Family’s School Exclusion: Jeannine Gramick in Boulder

Two Catholic schools have been in the news for excluding the children of lesbian parents. In Massachusetts, the situation was defused when the Church made clear that exclusion was not diocesan policy, and promised to accommodate the child in another Catholic school. In Boulder, there was no satisfactory resolution, and there remain a great many disgruntled parents.

Sr Jeannine Grammick one of the co-founders of New Ways Ministry, has been to Boulder, speaking at an event organised by Boulder Pride and PFLAG, about the importance of conscience, and her continued work of ministry in defiance f the Vatican.

From “Daily Camera

Sister Jeannine Gramick was ordered by the Vatican to stop ministering to gay and lesbian Catholics, but the outspoken nun didn’t listen.

Despite threats of excommunication, she continued to support gays and lesbians who felt ostracized, and to advocate for change, Gramick said during a talk Sunday at the Boulder Public Library. Read the rest of this entry »

Boulder School Exclusion: Other Parents’ Reaction.

Following the exclusion from a Boulder Catholic school of the children of a lesbian couple, National Catholic Reporter carried a useful post which gave the two women an opportunity to present their point of view.  Following this post, in which I thought the women came across as courteous, reasonable and thoughtful, NCR carried a follow-up in which they interviewed the local priest concerned. ( I shall bite my tongue here, and withhold comment on what I thought of him.) On publication of this interview, NCR promised us some follow-ups with other parents from the same school.  The first of these has appeared today – an interview with Andy Bush and his wife, Anna,who  have three children at Sacred Heart School,  and make it clear that they disagree with the decision.

 

Sacred Heart of Jesus School, Boulder

The first point here is that this has become for them a matter of conscience against faith –  they have found their own belief and value system in conflict with the public stance of the church.

Well, I think it’s been hard because for the first time our faith has run head-on with our consciences. We don’t support the decision and at the same time we’ve been part of this wonderful community for our kids for the last six years. It’s given us pause and a lot of concern, a lot of sorrow, like everybody else.

But also important, is the observation that technically, at least, they are also living in clear contravention of church teaching – but have not been sanctioned themselves. Read the rest of this entry »