The latest revelations in recent days from the
Archdiocese of Boston and their Catholic schools suggest they are actively ignoring Vatican teachings and directives, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Canon law, and even the USCCB. Read on for these 3 examples, as we will let you be the judge.
Pilot columnist Michael Pakaluk described in his column a few days ago how his 6-year-old son had a classmate in a Boston Catholic school whose “parents” were gay. He expressed the concern—with specific examples from his son’s experience—where the school dealt with the two men such that the school implicitly taught his child and other children there was nothing wrong with same-sex relationships. His piece has created what the Boston Globe labeled today a “firestorm” of controversy. Predictably, gay activists like Jarrett Barrios and DignityUSA complained. (Note to Globe reporter, if you’re looking for a firestorm, read the next paragraph)
As reported by ThrowtheBumsOutin2010, the school newspaper at Sacred Heart High School in Kingston just published a center-spread story about gay students at the school coming out to their friends. Teens struggle with academics, broken families, dating, their appearance, self-confidence, what to wear, lack of solid role models in society, hormonal changes in puberty, their identity as a person, peer pressure to smoke, drink, and have sex, and more. In the midst of all this, how exactly is it that a 15 or 17-year-old just going through puberty determines conclusively they are gay? What is the school doing to help these teens discover a path to Christian perfection? Apparently nothing. The article normalizes a decision by a teen that they are gay or bisexual. If this article is OK, then why not interview a boyfriend/girlfriend to write about their first experience with sex? Why not an article about boys first experiences with masturbation? Why not a centerfold piece interviewing teens who are wrestling with what to do after bing-drinking or getting high on pot or cocaine? Even if someone went so far as to argue for the teens’ freedom of speech (which is a bogus argument in a private Catholic school), then why is there a complete absence of Church teaching in this same article or newspaper to promote the truth of Catholic moral teachings in this area? Furthermore, the piece cites statistics and writings of people like Alfred Kinsey, without mentioning details about his work such as his claim that sexual activity in even very young children is natural, healthy and to be encouraged. Concerned Women for America reported that in his research,
Kinsey recorded children having orgasms during manipulation by adult “partners” and insisted that the children’s “definite pleasure from the situation” was evidenced in their “screams,” “convulsions,” “hysterical weeping,” “fighting,” and “striking the partner (adult)” (Male volume p. 161).
Fr. Bryan Hehir, who Cardinal O’Malley recently described as highly trusted “strategic advisor” who brings “fidelity to the work of the Church” and “clarity to our message and mission” said in a May 20 WBUR interview that Catholic schools in this archdiocese have been and will remain wide open to children of gay couples. He said, “Are we doing it already? Yes. And we intend to do it as the Cardinal indicated, with formal policies.” That means the Archdiocese fully intends to institutionalize what’s described above.
Can someone explain why you should do that when a wide range of Church teachings and directives say that’s wrong? Here’s what the Vatican says which the Archdiocese of Boston and their Catholic schools are basically ignoring:
Vatican’s Pontifical Council on the Family’s 1995 document, Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality.
Sex education, which is a basic right and duty of parents, must always be carried out under their attentive guidance, whether at home or in educational centers chosen and controlled by them. In this regard, the Church reaffirms the law of subsidiarity, which the school is bound to observe when it cooperates in sex education, by entering into the same spirit that animates the parents. [No. 43]
In some societies today, there are planned and determined attempts to impose premature sex information on children… They cannot understand and control sexual imagery within the proper context of moral principles and, for this reason, they cannot integrate premature sexual information with moral responsibility. Such information tends to shatter their emotional and educational development and to disturb the natural serenity of this period of life. Parents should politely but firmly exclude any attempts to violate children’s innocence because such attempts compromise their spiritual, moral and emotional development. [No. 83]
“Parents must protect their children, first by teaching them a form of modesty and reserve with regard to strangers as well as giving suitable sexual information but without going into details and particulars that might upset or frighten them [No. 85]
Catechism of the Catholic Church; “the right and duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable” (2221).
The Church is firmly opposed to an often widespread form of imparting sex information disassociated from moral principles.”
With actions like the above, the Boston Archdiocese appears be overruling the primacy of parents as the first educators of their children. In addition, by condoning the exposure of young children to homosexual parents of other children, they are ensuring that all children will be put in a situation of confusion that will require explanation by parents. How does the Archdiocese explain their rationale behind keeping parents out of the loop and breaking the innocence of a 6-year-old mind to explain why Johnny has two daddies?
Pope John Paul II’s Letter to the Bishops on Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons:
The Church is also aware that the view that homosexual activity is equivalent to, or as acceptable as, the sexual expression of conjugal love has a direct impact on society’s understanding of the nature and rights of the family and puts them in jeopardy.”
Code of Canon Law: Canon 22: prohibits the canonization of civil laws that are “contrary to divine law.” Because same-sex “marriages” or civil unions and mutatis mutandis adoptions are contrary to divine law; it is arguable that the civil law allowing them cannot be regarded by the Church as valid. Admission of the children to Catholic schools would certainly give the impression that the status of the parents is comparable to parents united in the bonds of Holy Matrimony.
Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith cautioned about recognizing homosexual unions and making them a model in society.
11. The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.
The U.S.C.C.B’s Guidelines for Ministry to Persons with Homosexual Inclination say the following:
Special care must be taken to ensure that those carrying out the ministry of the Church not use their position of leadership to advocate positions or behaviors not in keeping with the teachings of the Church. They must not belong to groups that oppose Church teaching. It is not sufficient for those involved in this ministry to adopt a position of distant neutrality with regard to Church teaching.
The Church does not support so-called same-sex “marriages” or any semblance thereof, including civil unions that give the appearance of a marriage. Church ministers may not bless such unions or promote them in any way, directly or indirectly.
(Then again, as we documented in The Big Picture, Fr. Hehir seems to pick and choose which USCCB guidelines he wishes to follow based on whether he agrees with the guideline or not).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church also says the following:
#2357: Basing itself on Sacred Scripture…tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
What about all of this do officials at the Archdiocese of Boston and the Catholic schools find unclear or difficult to follow? Despite all this, the Catholic Schools in Boston are marching on with full endorsement of people like Fr. Bryan Hehir, $325,000/year superintendent of schools Mary Grassa O’Neill, and apparently the Cardinal, who first said this issue was being carefully studied, but then said nothing about the contradictory message from Fr. Hehir a day later saying the arcdiocese is driving full-speed ahead with institutionalizing the admittance of children of gay parents and just is documenting the policies.
Beyond all of the concerns documented in The Big Picture, it clear that the implicit or explicit approval and endorsement of homosexual relationships, activity, and “marriages” is happening in Catholic schools today. Does that violate the teachings, guidelines, and directives above? It sure seems that way.
Cardinal Sean, before you hop on a plane to Dublin this fall to teach Ireland everything you’ve learned and implemented in Boston, would you please clean up this mess by stating Church teachings with courage like you’ve said we should do, requiring that your team abide by those teachings, and getting rid of the people presiding over this situation who cannot commit to those teachings?
We welcome a response from the Archdiocese, and will publish whatever they say to us.