Loading
Catholic schools have 'right' to protect best interests of children, asserts author
Catholic schools have 'right' to protect best interests of children, asserts author
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- As controversy swirls around the Archdiocese of Boston's decision to undermine a pastor who denied enrollment in a Catholic elementary school to a lesbian couple's child, Dale O'Leary, a noted Catholic author and international lecturer, is defending the Catholic Church's right to protect what she calls “the best interests of all the children.”

In an article provided to CNA, O'Leary argues that the Catholic Church cannot and will not compromise on Church teachings or “hide the truth.” Because of this, she notes, an awkward and potentially harmful situation for same-sex couples seeking admission for their children in Catholic schools may emerge.

“What is in the best interest of the children of same-sex couples and the other children?” O'Leary asks. “If they accept the children in the school, the children will either be alienated from their parents on whom they rely or alienated from God who would be seen as condemning their parents’ choices.”

“While older children might be able to understand and even appreciate the Church’s teaching, younger children certainly will not,” she added. “To them it will just seem mean. It will put the teachers in an untenable position and confuse the children’s classmates.”

“Therefore,” she argues, “it is reasonable for Catholic elementary schools to explain to same-sex couples that this is not the place for their children.”    

Ms. Dale O'Leary's article “Catholic Schools” is published below.

Catholic Schools

by Dale O’Leary

Today Catholic schools, and Catholic elementary schools in particular, face a difficult problem. What should they do when parents, who are openly living contrary to the Church’s specific teachings on marriage and sexuality, want their children admitted? The teachers cannot -- must not -- compromise Catholic moral teachings, that is the very reason for their school’s existence, but in doing so they realize that they will be teaching the children that some of their parents’ choices are wrong. The teachers cannot water down the Church’s teachings because there are children in the class that come from broken homes or live in homes with two ‘mommies” or two “daddies.”.

The concept of father and mother is central to Catholic theology. God is our Father in Heaven, not a generic parent. Jesus is our brother, and therefore the Blessed Mother is our mother. Every biological father has from the moment his child is conceived the awesome responsibility of being an image of God the father. Failure to do this carries terrible consequence for the child’s faith and sense of security and for society. Two mommies or no mommy is not God’s plan.

Every child has a biological father and mother. Separation from one or both parents is always perceived by the child as a loss. A fatherless family is not equal to a father/mother family. Tragedies happen – death, divorce, desertion, single parenthood. When they do, the adults involved must cope as best they can, but no one should purposefully make a tragedy.

When two women decide to conceive a child by artificial insemination donor, they are purposefully creating a tragedy. Given the limited number of children available for adoption, children should not be placed in homes with two parents of the same sex.

Teachers in a Catholic school cannot promote “diversity” in family styles. They cannot pretend that Heather has two Mommies or that it is good for Gloria to go to Gay Pride rallies.

Parents who send their children to Catholic schools need to understand this. If, in spite of this, same-sex couples insist on applying,  they need to be told in no uncertain terms that were their children admitted they would be taught what the Church teaches and if their child’s classmates ask why Suzie has two mommies, they will be told that Suzie has one mommy and another woman lives in their house, but God’s plan is for every child to have a mommy and a daddy.

What about children whose parents divorce and one or both remarries?

If the parents choose a Catholic school or even CCD for their children, the teachers cannot compromise the truth.    

I was given the responsibility of presenting the Church’s teaching on marriage and divorce to a seventh grade class. In the front row was a boy whose family I knew. His father had recently divorced the boy’s mother to marry a younger woman. I presented the teaching clearly and unambiguously. The boy looked me in the eye and said, “Are you saying that God doesn’t like divorce?”

“Yes,” I responded, “in the book of the prophet Malachi it says God hates divorce.”

He replied, “Good.”

I knew that this boy had borne the pain of divorce and he was glad that God was on his side. We must be on the side of the children. We cannot assume that the children want to be protected from the truth.

Persons in same-sex relationships who have children naturally want to protect their children’s feelings. They aren’t going to want their children to be exposed to the truth. A Catholic school cannot agree to hide the truth.

Once people go down the wrong path, there are no good answers. Either the children will be denied the benefits of a Catholic education and feel rejected because they can’t go to Catholic school or they will be admitted and then find out that God doesn’t approve of their parents’ choices or they will be admitted and the school will compromise its principles. If this happens, the other students will be confused about the Church’s teaching and not understand why God doesn’t approve of Suzie’s mommies who so nice and bring cookies and help out in the cafeteria.

So what is the school to do? What is in the best interest of the children of same-sex couples and the other children? If they accept the children in the school, the children will either be alienated from their parents on whom they rely or alienated from God who would be seen as condemning their parents’ choices. While older children might be able to understand and even appreciate the Church’s teaching, younger children certainly will not. To them it will just seem mean. It will put the teachers in an untenable position and confuse the children’s classmates. Therefore, it is reasonable for Catholic elementary schools to explain to same-sex couples that this is not the place for their children.    

The real question is: Why would a same-sex couple want their children in a Catholic school? Surely, they know the Catholic Church’s teaching. If they think that teaching will change, they are gravely mistaken. One can only assume that they hope that their presence at school events and their acceptance into the community will undermine that teaching and they are using their children as pawns.

The Catholic Church has every right not to allow its schools to be used in this way and in doing so, they are protecting the best interests of all the children.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
21

Liturgical Calendar

December 21, 2014

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


Gospel:: Lk 1: 26-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14