They did it. Today the Archdiocese of Boston released the policy to officially admit children of gay and lesbian parents to Catholic schools. We just received this message from a local Catholic reader of the blog and we’re publishing it just as we received it.
To: Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Pietro Sambi
cc: Cardinal Sean O’Malley and members of the Boston Presbyteral Council
I would like to ask for the immediate intervention by the Apostolic Nuncio and Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [to] prevent a crisis in the Boston archdiocese from spreading across the country. As you can see below, a policy has just been promulgated for the purpose of forcing pastors to admit children of homosexual parents.
1) The policy is rooted in deception from the first line! Selected words of the Holy Father originally used in one context are repurposed to justify the policy. Cardinal O’Malley, and anyone who approved this policy with these words knowing they were used out of context should be asked to resign. That the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston would knowingly misuse the words of the Holy Father and deceive his entire archdiocese destroys any trust between the ordinary and priests and laity and creates a climate where his governance and words can no longer be believed.
2) The policy tramples the principle of subsidiarity by taking decision-making away from the pastor and making him beholden to the archdiocesan policy. See this blog post for details.
3) Input by many of the people consulted, including members of the Presbyteral and Archdiocesan Pastoral Council was completely ignored.
4) These two blog posts explain everything else that is wrong with the policy, from the lack of mention about the need to partner with parents in Catholic school education, to the consequence that the policy will force the Catholic church into giving explicit recognition to gay unions and marriages, in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
I urge you to take whatever actions are necessary to stop this policy effort immediately before other dioceses follow suit.
Sincerely in Christ,
To: Pastors, Principals and Heads of Schools
From: Catholic Schools Office
Date: January 12, 2011
Over the past many months, at the direction of Cardinal Seán, the Catholic Schools Office has worked to develop an admission policy for our schools. Our goal has been to provide clarity and guidance for pastors, school principals, administrators and the wider school community.
During an extensive review process we consulted with the Presbyteral Council, Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, Pastors, Principals and a number of lay and academic leaders. We sought a process that would allow us to reach consensus on a policy that would be appropriate in a Catholic school environment while understanding the diverse population of students we are entrusted with educating.
I want to thank everyone who participated in the review for their thoughtful and caring input. The future of Catholic education is bright in the Archdiocese because of many good and talented people such as our pastors, principals, teachers, staff and students. By working together we are creating an environment for our students that offers them opportunity and a future filled with promise.
Catholic education is one of the most important ministries in the Church. Parents choose to send their children to a Catholic School because of our commitment to strong moral values inspired by Gospel teachings, a track record of academic excellence, and safe learning environments, among other reasons. They also choose Catholic education with the knowledge that the child always comes first. With the adoption of this admission policy we hope to clarify our overall commitment to serve families who are accepting of our approach to the academic and moral development of our students.
If you have any questions about the admission policy, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Following is the policy approved by the Cardinal.
Archdiocese of Boston ~ Catholic Schools Admission Policy
In creating the Catholic Schools Admission Policy, we are guided by the words of the Holy Father, by Canon Law and by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“No child should be denied his or her right to an education in faith, which in turn nurtures the soul of a nation.” (Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Catholic Educators in Washington DC, April 17, 2008.)
“As important as a sound Catholic school education is for the new immigrant and the poor, it continues to be of prime importance to those children and grandchildren of the generations who earlier came to our shores. Our Catholic schools have produced countless numbers of well-educated and moral citizens who are leaders in our civic and ecclesial communities. We must work with all parents so they have the choice of an education that no other school can supply—excellent academics imparted in the context of Catholic teaching and practice.” (“Introduction,” Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., 2005.)
“The Church has in a special way the duty and the right of educating, for it has a divine mission of helping all to arrive at the fullness of Christian life. Pastors of souls have the duty of making all possible arrangements so that all the faithful may avail themselves of a Catholic education. Education must pay regard to the formation of the whole person, so that all may attain their eternal destiny and at the same time promote the common good of society. Children and young persons are therefore to be cared for in such a way that their physical, moral and intellectual talents may develop in a harmonious manner, so that they may attain a greater sense of responsibility and a right use of freedom, and be formed to take an active part in social life.” (Code of Canon Law, Title III, Catholic Education, Canon 794-795.)
“Young people of the third millennium must be a source of energy and leadership in our Church and our nation. Therefore, we must provide young people with an academically rigorous and doctrinally sound program of education and faith formation designed to strengthen their union with Christ and his Church.” (“Why We Value Our Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools,” Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., 2005.)
“While we look with pride to the many successes and achievements of our Catholic elementary and secondary schools, the entire Catholic community must now focus on the future and the many challenges we face…We must then move forward with faith, courage, and enthusiasm because Catholic schools are so important to our future…In addition, Catholic schools should be available to students who are not Catholic and who wish to attend them. This has been a proud part of the history of Catholic schools in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We must continue this outreach in the new millennium.” (“The Challenges of the Future”, Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., 2005.)
The goal of our Catholic Schools is to present Catholic faith and Catholic teaching to our students in a rigorous academic, spiritual and moral education program. Catholic school students strive for high academic achievement, are taught to love and worship God, and live the Gospel teachings. Catholic school students work together, build community and give service to others.
Our schools welcome and do not discriminate against or exclude any categories of students. Admission is dependent both on academic qualifications and the desire to promote what is in the best interest of the student. Students are considered “academically qualified” if they meet a school’s written academic criteria for admission. Academically qualified Catholic students may be given priority for admission to Catholic Schools.
Parent(s)/guardian(s) of students in Catholic schools must accept and understand that the teachings of the Catholic Church are an essential and required part of the curriculum.
Guidelines for Policy Implementation
Pastors and principals should consult the Catholic Schools Office with any questions pertaining to admissions or the policy.
School admission policies must be written, included in the school handbook, consider the welfare and best interests of the child and be disseminated to prospective students and their parents prior to registration.
In accord with the principle of subsidiarity, pastors, principals, advisory and/or governing boards may develop specific admission policies for their school provided they are in conformity with the Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Admission Policy.
Each school should implement a recruitment and marketing program to maximize its enrollment consistent with its capacity and location.
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The Cardinal and his leadership team ignored all of our messages about the problems with the policy and are thumbing their noses at faithful Catholics. He goes to Ireland supposedly to help prevent future sexual abuse of minors, yet he’s allowing moral corruption of young minds in his own Catholic schools. Gay activists who have no interest in partnering with the Catholic school and just want to disrupt the Catholic school education by putting their child in the school? No problem, Cardinal Sean and Bryan Hehir said, “C’mon on in, everyone’s welcome here!” That takes priority over other Catholic parents ensuring their children get a solid Catholic education, and pastors have to abide by the policy.
Does anyone trust Cardinal O’Malley’s leadership of Boston any more? Bringing in and keeping Fr. Bryan Hehir was already inexplicable. At this point, it can’t just be about Cardinal O’Malley happlessly surrounding himself by bad advisors. A regular reader of the blog keeps reminding us that a fish rots from the head. We’ve been hoping they were wrong, but think the handwriting is probably on the wall.
If anyone reading this thinks the policy is a good idea, do us a favor and read this post before you write comments so you’ll save us the trouble of moderating out your comments.
More next time on what Catholics can do to try and address this atrocity before it spreads to the rest of the country.