From Jimmy Akin’s website
Protecting Children From A Different Threat
Yesterday Ed Peters, Mark Brumley, I, and another had an e-mail conversation about the situation of a Catholic school in Orange County, California that has admitted the children of two homosexual “fathers” to its kindergarten. This prompted outrage parents to demand that the situation be recitifed. The school has refused, and the parents are appealing to the Vatican. School officials, as well as William Donohue of the Catholic League have defended the school’s position, arguing that taking a different one would lead to not allowing children into the school whose parents are divorced or contracepting.
GET THE STORY.
ED HAS NOW BLOGGED HIS EXCELLENT THOUGHTS ON THE SITUATION.
UPDATE: MARK BRUMLEY HAS ALSO PUT UP HIS EXCELLENT THOUGHTS.
Here are my thoughts (edited from our e-mail conversation):
*]Though I have been unable to verify this online, part of my memory is telling me that the school has allowed one of the “fathers” to have a role caring for the kindergarten class. I don’t know if that’s the case, but it’s a situation that may arise in some school, so let’s consider it for theoretical purposes.
*]As Ed points out, there seems to be a spectrum of progressively more disordered situations here. I would construct the spectrum along the following lines:
*]Children of normal parents living in accord with Church teaching.
*]Children of parents who formerly did not live according to Church teaching but who presently are.
*]Children of parents who are divorced and not remarried.
*]Children of parents who are secretly contracepting.
*]Children of parents who make no secret of the fact that they are contracepting or that they hold other opinions at variance with Church teaching.
*]Children of parents who are divorced and invalidly remarried.
*]Children of parents who are not married.
*]Children of parents who are divorced and now cohabiting with another.
*]Children of homosexual “parents.”
*]Children of homosexual “parents” whose “parents” take a public role in the life of the class.
*]The primary purpose of a Catholic school is to provide a quality Catholic education for all of its students collectively. This means that there would be rational grounds, even in the absence of a mandate from the Vatican, for the school to establish policies against anything that would substantially interfere with the ability of the school to fulfill its primary purpose.
*]A quality Catholic education will involve not only imparting information to students but also shielding them from certain realities of life until they are cognitively and morally prepared to come to terms with them. This includes preserving the sexual innocence of young children and shielding them from knowledge of same-sex unions.
*]Though in no case is the disordered situation of his parents the fault of the child, some of the situations on the spectrum above would clearly seem to pose a challenge to the school’s ability to provide a quality Catholic education for all its students. Somewhere between item #1 and item #10 on the spectrum, a line must be drawn.
*]Where this line is to be drawn, in the absence of a mandate from the Vatican, would seem to be a prudential decision best made by those in charge of the school (including the bishop, especially if it is a diocesan school) in consultation with the parents whose children will be affected by the impact of the decision.
*]It would seem that there are several places where the line could rationally be drawn:
a) Since items #1-#3 do not involve situations in which parents are violating Church teaching, they seem to all be permissible situations in which to admit the children to the school.
b) With item #4, an occult sin is introduced but, since it is occult, it would not seem to pose any impediment to the school being able to fulfill its mission.