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Church to Help Son of Lesbian Couple Find New Catholic School

By carolyncastiglia |

Chalk it up to turning the other cheek, or perhaps a blind eye, but the superintendent of parochial schools in Hingham, MA says she’ll help the 3rd grader who who was banned from attending St. Paul Elementary School because of having lesbian parents find another Catholic school to attend.

The Associated Press reports that superintendent Mary Grassa O’Neill said in a statement discordant with the school’s actions, “We believe that every parent who wishes to send their child to a Catholic school should have the opportunity to pursue that dream.”  That dream?  Of sending their child to Catholic school?  People dream about sending their kids to Harvard, sure.  But sending your kid to Catholic school shouldn’t be something you have to dream about.  It should be an easily achieved reality.  The Church finally accepting homosexuality as natural and not a disease or sin – now that’s a dream.

The family at the heart of the controversy has remained anonymous, but the parent O’Neill spoke with said “she was uncertain she would enroll her son in another Catholic school because she needed to learn more about their educational programs.”  It seems odd to me that a parent wouldn’t understand religious education is a major component of attending Catholic school, a point O’Neill drove home.  She said, “The schools expect parents to understand that the teachings of the Church are an important component of the curriculum and are part of the students’ educational experience,” but also stressed that the Boston Archdiocese “doesn’t bar children of same-sex parents from attending Catholic schools, and that it will develop a policy in the coming weeks to make that clear.”

The Boston Globe reports that “the Family Equality Council, a rights group for gay and lesbian families, called the exclusion of the student indefensible.”  Executive director Jennifer Chrisler said Thursday, “If the parents of the child want their son’s admission reinstated, the school should welcome him back immediately.”  Right.  It doesn’t make sense that the Boston Archdiocese has the autonomy to suggest they wouldn’t deny the child of gay people access to education, yet the individual schools have the same freedom to reject a student with gay parents.  If the Archdiocese is willing to allow the boy to attend a Catholic school, why not St. Paul’s?

In her Faith & Reason column today, USA Today’s Cathy Lynn Grossman brings to light an important distinction between the plight of the Boston family and a similar fight that took place earlier this year in Boulder, CO.  In that case, the ”Denver Archdiocese backed Rev. Bill Breslin in booting” a student with lesbian moms from his school.  Breslin said:

If a child of gay parents comes to our school, and we teach that gay marriage is against the will of God, then the child will think that we are saying their parents are bad. We don’t want to put any child in that tough position – nor do we want to put the parents, or the teachers, at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Why would good parents want their children to learn something they don’t believe in?

I have to say, I agree.  I was raised Catholic and left the Church, not because I don’t believe in God, but because I disagree with its stance on so many social issues.  And yes, I have attended mass with my mother a handful of times across the years, because that’s my right as a Baptised and Confirmed member of the flock.  A flock… of sheep, who are not supposed to question the directives of the Pope.  And I understand that – an organized religion should have an organized opinion on social issues.  After all, morality is a huge part of religion.  So pick a stance and stick with it, guys.  (I say guys, because the Church doesn’t listen to women.)  But as Father Breslin said in response to the Denver incident, the church-as-corporate-entity doesn’t work if ”everyone can have their own interpretation of what is goodness and truth.”  And while I would love for the Church to truly live the Gospel and love all people, including homosexuals, I’m not holding my breath.  Or sending my child to Catholic school.

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About carolyncastiglia

carolyncastiglia

carolyncastiglia

Carolyn Castiglia is a New York-based comedian/writer wowing audiences with her stand-up and freestyle rap. She’s appeared in TONY, The NY Post, The Idiot’s Guide to Jokes and Life & Style. You can find Carolyn’s writing elsewhere online at MarieClaire.com and The Huffington Post. Read bio and latest posts → Read Carolyn's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Church to Help Son of Lesbian Couple Find New Catholic School

  1. Jules says:

    Comments
    Hear hear!

  2. GtothemfckinP says:

    “It should be an easily achieved reality.” Sure for THOUSANDS of dollars. Those schools are EXPENSIVE. And, while I am pro-gay, I do recognize it is a PRIVATE school that can allow whoever it wants to. For the life of me I don’t know why anyone who is not Catholic would want to expose their children to that horrible church…oh, yeah, because maybe they provide better education than their local public school? Well, you can’t have everything. The church frowns on homosexuality (I disagree with this) so why would gays want to support this institution? Have some backbone!

  3. [...] not suggesting the Catholic Church start advocating abortion – as I’ve said before, I understand their need to take a moral stance on social issues.  But I think that excommunicating a nun for saving a life is [...]

  4. AngelaM says:

    Well, I agree. The church has a strong stance on homosexuality. If you are teaching that their parents are living in sin, then the child will frown upon the parent. Any church will teach you to serve one another in love, and treat others as you wish to be treated, but when it boils down to what is written in the Bible, it states that it is a sin, therefore wrong. Yes, be kind and treat them as brothers and sisters of humanity but expecting the church to go against everything it teaches and believes in just because it offends a few others is asking a little too much. And being Gay and wanting to believe in the teachings of the church do not go hand in hand very well.

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