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The ruling of the Denver Diocese is inconsistent with that of the Diocese of Wichita, the Diocese of Jacksonville, and likely many others.

Catholic School Bars Child of Homosexual Couple: Discrimination or Right?

The child of a Boulder, Colorado, couple has not been allowed to re-enroll in the Catholic school, which the child has been attending, because the child’s parents are a lesbian couple.

The Denver Archdiocese defended the decision, stating,

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. 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. We communicated the policy to the couple at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School as soon as we realized the situation. We discussed the reasons with them and have sought to respond in a way that does not abruptly displace the student but at the same time respects the integrity of the Catholic school's philosophy.

But they did abruptly displace the student, and having enrolled the child in the first place did, if what they now say is true, disrespect the integrity of the school’s philosophy. Yes, the diocese says they didn’t know the ladies were a couple, but then it can also be said they don’t know the specifics of other couples. The odds are in favor of someone’s parent or parents gambling away their tithe or being heterosexual swingers, substance abusers, porn addicts, or Methodists, all in conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church. The ruling of the diocese, because it chose to rule only in this one case, is not different from testing a single child’s math skills, finding that child lacking or gifted, and thus declaring all the other children “dumb” or “smart.”

Ordinarily I would be in favor of, although not in agreement with, the Catholic Church because it is a private organization. (A vegetarian club should not be forced to allow meat eaters as members.) Yes, the action taken by the Church is discriminatory, but was it not also consistent with the Church’s teachings, something of which the parents were surely aware when they first enrolled the child? No, it wasn’t consistent.

In 1971 in Wichita, Kansas, I was re-enrolled into Catholic school alongside my cousins, whose parents were and are not Catholic. My husband and his brother, coincidentally, were enrolled in a Catholic school in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1968, even though their parents were not Catholic. What are the odds that our experiences, some three years and 1,300 miles apart, were isolated events? Has the Church since adjusted the criteria with regard to the faith and/or lifestyles of the parents? If so, where is proof of it?

Since my in-laws and my aunt and uncle were willing to pay the tuition, it didn’t matter to either diocese that the parents of the children they enrolled were not Catholic. Specifically it didn’t matter to either diocese that the parents were “living in open discord with Catholic teaching in areas of faith and morals,” or that allowing the children of non-Catholics to attend “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.”

If the statements of the diocese are to be taken seriously and seen in a light of consistency, they must offer something other than the parents’ homosexuality.

About Diana Hartman

Diana is a USMC (ret.) spouse, mother of three and a Wichita, Kansas native. She is back in the United States after 10 years in Germany. She is a contributing author to Holiday Writes. She hates liver & motivational speakers. She loves science & naps.

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