If you have not yet read Dale O’Leary’s piece
about Catholic schools or the piece by Denver’s Archbishop Chaput, please check those out. Today, we continue the saga about the crisis and scandal by revisiting the letter that Michael Reardon, Executive Director of the Catholic Schools Foundation, sent to all schools in the Boston Archdiocese. Here’s the original letter. The National Catholic Register has a rewritten version, authored by Catholic Answers apologist and author, Jimmy Akin, that conveys what Rearon might have said had he chosen to be frank:
Dear School Administrators:
You may be aware from recent publicity that St. Paul School in Hingham has declined to enroll an eight-year old boy who has two lesbian “mothers.” St. Paul’s School does not receive support from the Catholic Schools Foundation, so we have no leverage over them, the way we do you. In light of the media reports, we thought it important to clarify the position of the Catholic Schools Foundation so that none of you get the idea of copying St. Paul’s example. Consider this letter a shot across your bow. Our policy is that no school will be considered for support if it either by policy or in practice declines enrollment for students with same-sex “parents.”
It does not matter how disruptive a situation such enrollments would create. It does not matter how difficult a position it would put the thus-enrolled children in. It does not matter how it would put pressure on teachers not to fully and vigorously proclaim Church’s teaching about marriage. It does not matter what other parents in the school might say about the way their children should be educated. None of these things count. What matters is that these children be admitted. This is the sine qua non.
We believe a policy or practice that denies admission to students with openly homosexual parents is at odds with our values as a Foundation, the intentions of our donors, and ultimately with Gospel teaching. Gospel teaching requires that we turn a blind eye to all the concerns named in the previous paragraph. The necessity of admitting children with openly homosexual parents trumps them all. There can be no rational disagreement on this point, and if you do disagree, you are opposing Gospel teaching.
Our concern is the education of young people. We will not fund any school that that treats students and families (note that I am classifying two homosexuals and a child as a family without qualification) in such a manner. You heard me right. We are so concerned with the education of young people that we will deny funding to all the other students in your school if even one child is not enrolled because he has openly homosexual parents. The need of the one outweighs the needs of the many. We care more about providing a Catholic education for this one student more than providing Catholic education for all the other students we would otherwise provide assistance to. This tells you what our values are. We will use financial scorched-earth tactics against any school that disagrees with us, even at the urging of the parents whose children attend the school. This policy has been unchanged since our founding in 1983. [Really? They would have yanked funds in 1983 over this issue?—ja]
We are proud that Catholic schools are known for being welcoming communities for all students except the ones who must be denied enrollment for various rational reasons that I am ignoring here. So although this incident is disturbing to politically correct sensibilities, we are thankful that it is isolated, not a policy of the Archdiocese, or indicative generally of the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese. Know that we appreciate all you do to make your schools places where all, including open and active homosexual partners but not including parents who would disagree with us, will feel welcome. And remember that if you fail in such efforts, we will withdraw all financial support from your school and the other students it has. Consider them financial hostages to this issue.
Please contact me at 617-778-5981 if you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance to you.
With hope for the students we serve and the future of Catholic education, I am
Michael B. Reardon
You’ll want to read the whole piece at the Register. If you want to take action on this, time is of the essence. Visit our newly updated Take Action page, and let officials in the Holy See know about this scandal immediately.