As various places have reported, a Catholic school in Denver has told a preschooler that she can’t return next year–not because of anything the child has done, but because the child calls a lesbian couple parents. Said the archdiocese:
To preserve the mission of our schools, and to respect the faith of wider Catholic community, we expect all families who enroll students to live in accord with Catholic teaching. 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.
And yet Catholic schools accept children from other “parents living in open discord with Catholic teaching in areas of faith and morals.” They accept non-Catholic students. They accept non-Christian students. They accept students who are practicing Buddhists and Muslims and Hindus. Indeed, they rely financially on being able to attract well-heeled non-Catholics (and charge them more). So that proves the second statement to be false.
Catholic schools claim to be part of the evangelizing mission of the church. They claim to be a place for teaching and imparting the Catholic faith. Yet they are saying to this child, “We will not teach you the faith, we will not teach you to practice the faith, because your parents are not practicing the faith.” But isn’t that exactly the kind of student who should be evangelized, and taught, and formed?
The parents know the Catholic school will teach Catholic morality. They know the Catholic school will teach their child that their practice is immoral. One might wonder why these parents would choose, nonetheless, to send their children there. Does their conscience, perhaps, realize their life is not ideal, and they want their child to be taught something different?
This is the pastor’s response:
Why would good parents want their children to learn something they don’t believe in? It doesn’t make sense. There are so many schools in Boulder that see the meaning of sexuality in an entirely different way than the Catholic Church does. Why not send their child there?
“Go away. Send your children to where they teach damnable error.” Is that evangelism? Is that the heart of the one who said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not”?
Update: Archbishop Charles Chaput defended the decision, “speaking … at the archdiocese’s John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization.” His webpage says the mission of the schools is “to evangelize and serve the wider community in the name of the Gospel.”