Catholic School & A Gay Family Member


#1

We are wanting to send our child to Catholic school to begin Kindergarten next year. However, we have a gay family member who adamantly opposes the idea because of the church's lack of acceptance of gays and because of the abuse by some Priest's.

We believe sending our child to the school will provide them with the very best education and environment and it is truly what is best for them. However, it is important to keep peace in the family and, as a loving and accepting family member, I understand the position of our gay family member.

I would like some advice on how to reconcile my views on this: 1) wanting to do what is best for my child, and 2) wanting to be loving, accepting, and understanding to a gay family member who will feel betrayed by our decision to send our child to Catholic school.

Any thoughts and prayers are appreciated!!


#2

[quote="InGodsCountry, post:1, topic:203972"]
We are wanting to send our child to Catholic school to begin Kindergarten next year. However, we have a gay family member who adamantly opposes the idea because of the church's lack of acceptance of gays and because of the abuse by some Priest's.

We believe sending our child to the school will provide them with the very best education and environment and it is truly what is best for them. However, it is important to keep peace in the family and, as a loving and accepting family member, I understand the position of our gay family member.

I would like some advice on how to reconcile my views on this: 1) wanting to do what is best for my child, and 2) wanting to be loving, accepting, and understanding to a gay family member who will feel betrayed by our decision to send our child to Catholic school.

Any thoughts and prayers are appreciated!!

[/quote]

Repeat to yourself over and over again and then to any and all family out loud "I AM THE PARENT!" Believe me, no matter what schooling choice someone will always criticize. You are the parent and your childrens' souls have been entrusted to you. Don't let family (no matter how well-intentioned) get in the way of that.

Peace,
homeschool mom who hears everyone's negative opinions about my choices in parenting.


#3

I agree, you are the parent, you are responsible for them not the gay family member. Frankly it's none of their business.

My son's go to a pretty devout parish school but they aren't being taught to hate homosexuals. I'm sure eventually they will be taught the Church's teachings on SSA but the Catholic Church isn't some fundie group that preaches "God hates fags" or anything like that. Your family member needs to better understand what the Church teaches in regards to homosexuality but more importantly needs to practice what they probably preach.

If they are preaching tolerance and acceptance of their lifestyle, then they need to accept and tolerate your lifestyle as well without telling you how to raise your children nor causing family difficulties.

Joe


#4

[quote="InGodsCountry, post:1, topic:203972"]
We are wanting to send our child to Catholic school to begin Kindergarten next year. However, we have a gay family member who adamantly opposes the idea because of the church's lack of acceptance of gays and because of the abuse by some Priest's.

We believe sending our child to the school will provide them with the very best education and environment and it is truly what is best for them. However, it is important to keep peace in the family and, as a loving and accepting family member, I understand the position of our gay family member.

I would like some advice on how to reconcile my views on this: 1) wanting to do what is best for my child, and 2) wanting to be loving, accepting, and understanding to a gay family member who will feel betrayed by our decision to send our child to Catholic school.

Any thoughts and prayers are appreciated!!

[/quote]

You are in my prayers. :)

My advice is that you keep your eyes on the prize - which is Heaven for you and all your family. After all, this life is short and eternity is not.

Because Jesus and His Church are the means for our salvation, it seems to me that everything else - including even family unity - must come second.

Now, that doesn't mean that you HAVE to send your child to Catholic school; you could home-school your child in the faith and teach him/her to be faitful to all the Church teaches - including the fact (when the child is old enough) that acts between people of the same gender are evil and can result in eternal death. Not sending your kids to Catholic school, but teaching them rightly anyway, might be a good choice especially if you think you can someday reach your family member who is struggling with same sex attraction. After all, this family member presumably is doing things which are - objectively speaking only - mortally sinful (and completely opposite the prize we all are aiming for), so you will naturally want to bring this person back to Jesus.

On the other hand, if you think that you will be a better witness to Christ by standing up to your family member and demonstrating in deed as well as in word that the Catholic Church is the true Church, then that is what you should do.

Whatever you decide, just make sure it is after prayer and discernment that what you are doing is putting Jesus first and your family member second.

God Bless,


#5

As has already been posted, you are the parent. As a parent your first responsibility is to your child. Naturally, you want the best possible education. If that's in a Catholic school then that's where you should send him. Your family member will get used to the idea. As long as your child loves your family member, his lifestyle shouldn't come in the way of that love. Hope the rest of your family stands by you and supports you in your decision. Your child won't be taught to hate gay people so you don't have to worry about that.


#6

I too believe you are the parent and this gay family member never had the right to mention he was against your choices.

If this gay family member is going to cause a break in the family over your choices let him. For all you know, people will take your side and he will be left all alone.

I would tell him 'the only way we can have a relationship is if we both respect each other's free will. I never tell you to stop your homosexual behaviour and I expect you to not tell me to stop my Catholic behaviour'

Jesus asks us to respect and pray for sinners. Jesus never said 'Let sinners run your life'

CM


#7

**Sharp Language Alert**

[quote="InGodsCountry, post:1, topic:203972"]
we have a gay family member who adamantly opposes the idea because of the church's lack of acceptance of gays and because of the abuse by some Priest's.

[/quote]

Yeah. **By gay priests. **Checkmate.

it is important to keep peace in the family and,

Stop right there. **Seriously? **Your gay family member doesn't give a hoot about peace in the family. Quit being a coward when he slanders the Church of the living God (1 Timothy 3:15) and dictates how other people should live their lives while the gay community hypocritically complains that we do just that. Stand your ground or else he will hold all of you as prisoners of your own shame.

I would like some advice on how to reconcile my views on this: 1) wanting to do what is best for my child, and 2) wanting to be loving, accepting, and understanding to a gay family member who will feel betrayed by our decision to send our child to Catholic school.

No reconciliation is necessary. The only reason there's a conflict is because you have bought into your gay family member's agenda of shaming you into silence. Do you seriously think, InGodsCountry, that "loving, accepting, and understanding" this person means tolerating his hatred of your religion and his attack on your parental authority?

Look at it this way: if **you *told *him *that *his *community lacks acceptance of heterosexuals and that *his **community has some abusers then wouldn't you expect him to go ballistic? And you are afraid of making this person feel betrayed? Give me a break.


#8

[quote="Apollos, post:7, topic:203972"]
**Sharp Language Alert**

Yeah. **By gay priests. **Checkmate.

Stop right there. **Seriously? **Your gay family member doesn't give a hoot about peace in the family. Quit being a coward when he slanders the Church of the living God (1 Timothy 3:15) and dictates how other people should live their lives while the gay community hypocritically complains that we do just that. Stand your ground or else he will hold all of you as prisoners of your own shame.

No reconciliation is necessary. The only reason there's a conflict is because you have bought into your gay family member's agenda of shaming you into silence. Do you seriously think, InGodsCountry, that "loving, accepting, and understanding" this person means tolerating his hatred of your religion and his attack on your parental authority?

Look at it this way: if **you *told *him *that *his *community lacks acceptance of heterosexuals and that *his **community has some abusers then wouldn't you expect him to go ballistic? And you are afraid of making this person feel betrayed? Give me a break.

[/quote]

True (but for gay priests; not all the pedophile errant priests had same sex attraction), and well articulated. It is true that this person is willing to put family unity on the chopping block for his/her objectively evil agenda - and that is unfair, manipulative, and evil.

However, we should also consider that this family member is a lost sheep who is deeply in need of repentance, God's love, and God's mercy. Of course, he/she may refuse all three regardless of what the OP does.

Nevertheless, it may be prudent to take actions which place Jesus and his Church first but that also allow the OP to continue to try to evangalize this lost sheep. For example, Catholic school might be delayed a year while the OP continues to try to evangalize this person and continues to educate the children properly. I'm not saying which path is best, as it may very well be better to stand up and fight - but since we lack many details it's hard to counsel which path is more prudent.


#9

Thank you all for your responses. I don't want to start a debate over homosexuality and Catholicism but I should have added that I support him as a gay person and I am personally at odds with the Church and their veiws on homosexuality. So I support him in his belief and embrace him as a loved family member. That aside, I agree that I am the parent and should do what is best for my children first and foremost.

Thanks for your replies, prayers, and advice.


#10

[quote="ContegoFides, post:8, topic:203972"]
For example, Catholic school might be delayed a year while the OP continues to try to evangalize this person and continues to educate the children properly.

[/quote]

I understand, but I disagree on this point.

Absolutely no concessions must be made to this hate-filled gay family member. One just doesn't trash somebody's religion and make hypocritical complaints and then enjoy a grace period during which scared people do as one says.

See, this same game has been played over and over again in many other situations, and InGodsCountry needs to learn from other people's mistakes. Time and time again insolent protestors get their way, sometimes more and sometimes less, but every time they get their way it is because of the cowardice of people who were in the right all along but who think that hurting evil people's feelings is somehow an unforgivable sin.

I am unpleasantly surprised that you think delaying Catholic school for a year is somehow evangelization. It's a concession to an evil agenda.

Can you imagine the child's side of this story? "I would have come to this school last year, but a gay family member intimidated my parents into not sending me because he said the Catholic Church doesn't accept gays and some priests are abusers, and if I came last year it would have made him feel betrayed."

Does that child sound educated properly? Does that even strike you as sane?


#11

I originally was going to ask that if you didn't send your child to the Catholic school, then would you feel obligated to teach your child that homosexual behavior is okay to pacify your family member, and go against what you believe.

Since you then stated that you are at odds with the Church's teaching on that issue, your bigger problem is going to be the inconsistency that arises when you do your teaching of the faith and the school does theirs.


#12

[quote="InGodsCountry, post:9, topic:203972"]
Thank you all for your responses. I don't want to start a debate over homosexuality and Catholicism but I should have added that I support him as a gay person and I am personally at odds with the Church and their veiws on homosexuality. So I support him in his belief and embrace him as a loved family member. That aside, I agree that I am the parent and should do what is best for my children first and foremost.

Thanks for your replies, prayers, and advice.

[/quote]

Then I humbly suggest that you might also have to repent. Both Scripture and Tradition clearly, directly, and unambiguously state that homosexual activity can lead to eternal death - it's similarly clear, direct, and unambiguous that supporting such activity can have the same same result. Romans 1:27; Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-10 - and that's just the New Testament (It's also in Leviticus). See also CCC 2357.

This isn't about being mean or hateful by using threats, or about playing games, or playing politics. It's about what is real and what is not real. I cannot judge you or your family member, but I can say for certain what the Church says about this stuff, and that the Church has the authority to say it.

I will continue to pray that all concerned will return to the love of Jesus.


#13

[quote="Apollos, post:10, topic:203972"]
I understand, but I disagree on this point.

Absolutely no concessions must be made to this hate-filled gay family member. One just doesn't trash somebody's religion and make hypocritical complaints and then enjoy a grace period during which scared people do as one says.

See, this same game has been played over and over again in many other situations, and InGodsCountry needs to learn from other people's mistakes. Time and time again insolent protestors get their way, sometimes more and sometimes less, but every time they get their way it is because of the cowardice of people who were in the right all along but who think that hurting evil people's feelings is somehow an unforgivable sin.

I am unpleasantly surprised that you think delaying Catholic school for a year is somehow evangelization. It's a concession to an evil agenda.

Can you imagine the child's side of this story? "I would have come to this school last year, but a gay family member intimidated my parents into not sending me because he said the Catholic Church doesn't accept gays and some priests are abusers, and if I came last year it would have made him feel betrayed."

Does that child sound educated properly? Does that even strike you as sane?

[/quote]

I understand your anger; especially in today's society. I share your feelings, believe it or not. However, if you respond in anger then you are likely to cause people to harden their hearts and fight you, or simply ignore you as crazy.

That is not our goal; our goal is to preach the Good News fearlessly and to win souls for God. Thus, I humbly suggest that you consider how best to win souls by professing the unmitigated Truth, but without coming across as being so angry and aggressive. Instead, we should imitate Christ, who never shirked from telling people about eternal death - but who was always loving to the sinner and primarily came to give us the Good News of eternal life. Only once did we see Jesus get angry and hard when he threw out the moneychangers, but even then he was stopping what were ongoing and immediate evil acts. Considering that anger can be a sin, I'd say that we're better off controlling it and letting God take care of that business.

Regarding your comments about what I said, I respectfully submit that the issues are miscast. A particular school does not dictate a good and proper education might not be obtained elsewhere. I did not say that delaying school a year is evangalization (I said if it would give me an opportunity to evangalize I'd consider it), and characterizing what I said as being a concession to an evil agenda is unfairly characterizing my suggestion.

I also submit that perhaps you have lost sight that the offending person here (the family member with same sex attraction) is also one of God's beloved children so long as he/she lives - even if he/she is being obnoxious, twisting the Truth, and living an objectively evil life.

So, if I could 1) not give one inch in terms of the Truth, 2) provide my children with a good Catholic education, and 3) get someone who desperately needs to come to Christ to keep talking to me by avoiding sending my kids to a particular school for one year (especially when I might be the ONLY person left to bring this person back) - then yes, I would do so and I believe that doing so is more than sane, it's loving. What if in engaging this family member I convinced him/her to come back to Christ? My children have lost nothing important, and I have won a soul - a precious life of infinite value.

God Bless


#14

I don't intend to sound contentious in this response, but I do sincerely want to continue this discussion.

[quote="ContegoFides, post:13, topic:203972"]
I understand your anger; especially in today's society. I share your feelings, believe it or not. However, if you respond in anger then you are likely to cause people to harden their hearts and fight you, or simply ignore you as crazy.

[/quote]

This isn't about emotions; it's about standing up for what is right.

That is not our goal; our goal is to preach the Good News fearlessly and to win souls for God. Thus, I humbly suggest that you consider how best to win souls by professing the unmitigated Truth, but without coming across as being so angry and aggressive.

Saul's soul was not won by some Christian professing unmitigated Truth.

Instead, we should imitate Christ, who never shirked from telling people about eternal death - but who was always loving to the sinner and primarily came to give us the Good News of eternal life.

The gay family member is not exactly washing his feet with his tears and wiping them with his hair.

Only once did we see Jesus get angry and hard when he threw out the moneychangers, but even then he was stopping what were ongoing and immediate evil acts. Considering that anger can be a sin, I'd say that we're better off controlling it and letting God take care of that business.

Anger is the impulse to correct an injustice. It ceases once the injustice is corrected. Suppressing the impulse to correct an injustice is precisely what the gay family member is hoping the parents will do.

Regarding your comments about what I said, I respectfully submit that the issues are miscast. A particular school does not dictate a good and proper education might not be obtained elsewhere. I did not say that delaying school a year is evangalization (I said if it would give me an opportunity to evangalize I'd consider it), and characterizing what I said as being a concession to an evil agenda is unfairly characterizing my suggestion.

Ok.

I also submit that perhaps you have lost sight that the offending person here (the family member with same sex attraction) is also one of God's beloved children so long as he/she lives - even if he/she is being obnoxious, twisting the Truth, and living an objectively evil life.

No, I never lost sight of that. If you break into my house at night to kill me, I will kill you first no matter whose beloved child you are. Granted, I don't think blowing the gay family member's head off is the most prudent way to handle this, but one would not be doing anyone a favor by playing along with him even for a minute. It would send the message that his objections are valid, and to do so would be a sin against charity, justice, truth, and natural law, not to mention a total failure to perform the first and third Spiritual Works of Mercy.

So, if I could 1) not give one inch in terms of the Truth, 2) provide my children with a good Catholic education, and 3) get someone who desperately needs to come to Christ to keep talking to me by avoiding sending my kids to a particular school for one year (especially when I might be the ONLY person left to bring this person back) - then yes, I would do so and I believe that doing so is more than sane, it's loving. What if in engaging this family member I convinced him/her to come back to Christ? My children have lost nothing important, and I have won a soul - a precious life of infinite value.

That strikes me as contrived to the point of being comical. Send the child to the Catholic school AND continue the dialog - if you think it's worth it.


#15

[quote="Apollos, post:14, topic:203972"]
I don't intend to sound contentious in this response, but I do sincerely want to continue this discussion.

This isn't about emotions; it's about standing up for what is right.

Saul's soul was not won by some Christian professing unmitigated Truth.

The gay family member is not exactly washing his feet with his tears and wiping them with his hair.

Anger is the impulse to correct an injustice. It ceases once the injustice is corrected. Suppressing the impulse to correct an injustice is precisely what the gay family member is hoping the parents will do.

Ok.

No, I never lost sight of that. If you break into my house at night to kill me, I will [attempt to] kill you first no matter whose beloved child you are. Granted, I don't think blowing the gay family member's head off is the most prudent way to handle this, but one would not be doing anyone a favor by playing along with him even for a minute. It would send the message that his objections are valid, and to do so would be a sin against charity, justice, truth, and natural law, not to mention a total failure to perform the first and third Spiritual Works of Mercy.

That strikes me as contrived to the point of being comical. Send the child to the Catholic school AND continue the dialog - if you think it's worth it.

[/quote]

You betcha! :thumbsup:

Remember who is the parent, and who is simply a relative of the child.

And, remember who's paying the bills for your child, and WHO IS PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHILD'S EDUCATION!


#16

[quote="Apollos, post:14, topic:203972"]
I don't intend to sound contentious in this response, but I do sincerely want to continue this discussion.

This isn't about emotions; it's about standing up for what is right.

[/quote]

Indeed; however, doing what is right requires discernment and prudence. Emotions are part of that. My point is that we do not always have to go to war to do what is right.

Saul's soul was not won by some Christian professing unmitigated Truth.

No, his soul was won by a flash of light from Heaven and Jesus asking Saul why Saul was persecuting Jesus - the direct intervention of God. I'm not sure how God's direct intervention is relevant by analogy to how we should approach people under any given set of circumstances.

Also, you were responding to my assertion about not coming across as angry. We're not actually sure whether Jesus expressed anger or sorrow or somethng else when He spoke His words to Saul. There is a note in the USCCB citation to Acts 26:14 that Jesus was communicating senselessness and ineffectiveness of any opposition to the divine influence in his life.

So, in the case of Saul, I'd speculate that Jesus simply confronted him with the unshielded Truth, and that was sufficient for Saul. However, I don't see any basis to believe that Jesus treated him in anger, and as a result Saul converted.

Therefore, if you wish to take this example as the model for converting others, I'd say it's the simple presentation of the Truth. Call a rose a rose, but not necessarily with getting upset.

The gay family member is not exactly washing his feet with his tears and wiping them with his hair.

Agreed. However, the sinner's egregious behavior should not influence a Christian's inner peace, nor his or her concern for the sinner's soul in excercising prudential judgement.

Anger is the impulse to correct an injustice. It ceases once the injustice is corrected. Suppressing the impulse to correct an injustice is precisely what the gay family member is hoping the parents will do.

Again, agreed. However, how we respond is what is at issue. I believe that one might and should try correct the injustice without going to direct head-to-head confrontation right away. Sometimes you must fight; sometimes you do not have to. NEVER do you give up the Truth or give in to the manipulative behavior. I guess I'm saying that it is entirely possible to do what a manipulator wants, not because you were manipulated, but because you came to an independent conclusion. The key difference is that the conclusion was independent and based on True principle, such that under a different set of circumstances a conclusion of confrontation would have been warranted.

No, I never lost sight of that. If you break into my house at night to kill me, I will kill you first no matter whose beloved child you are. Granted, I don't think blowing the gay family member's head off is the most prudent way to handle this, but one would not be doing anyone a favor by playing along with him even for a minute. It would send the message that his objections are valid, and to do so would be a sin against charity, justice, truth, and natural law, not to mention a total failure to perform the first and third Spiritual Works of Mercy.

I agree that sending this person the wrong message is wrong. However, there's a difference between sending the wrong message and allowing someone to assume somthing - though I agree that allowing in this case is a factor in making the judgment of how to respond in Truth. I disagree that it's automatically a sin, or against the first and third works of mercy.

As an aside, I might actually allow a murderer to kill me. For if I kill him, then I may be removing his ability to repent and he may very well go to Hell for having murderous intent, though I have hope for eternal life. Depends, though. Things are different if I'm defending my family, or myself for my family.

That strikes me as contrived to the point of being comical. Send the child to the Catholic school AND continue the dialog - if you think it's worth it.

There is nothing objectively contrived or comical about my analysis. While I might not be correct, I have based my opinions upon reason and I believe authoritative teachings of the Church. I respectfully submit that construing my conclusions in this way is therefore unjust, and little more than name calling. In fact, I would assert that you are attempting to shut me down by stating that my arguments are "contrived" and "comical," which are not really counter arguments based on reason but rather a statement of your opinion regarding your lack of esteem for my position.

Unfortunately, that kind of language tends to be insulting and thus detracts from your ability to actually convince me - or anyone reading your argument - that you are actually right.

Now, I'm not actually insulted. I have a pretty thick skin. However, I am questioning your goals.

Are you trying to convince someone to change their way of acting or thinking? If so, then I respectfully submit that you will be more successful if you are more reasoned and more considerate.

Are you simply trying to stand for what is right without regard to whether you convince will someone? If so, then I respectfully submit that this goal is not in full accord with our calling to bring the Good News to everyone, or with 1 Peter 3:15 - "Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame."

Perhaps something else. I won't assume what you are actually trying to accomplish.


#17

[quote="ContegoFides, post:16, topic:203972"]
I'm not sure how God's direct intervention is relevant by analogy to how we should approach people under any given set of circumstances.

[/quote]

The reference to Saul's conversion was meant as a reminder that dialog is sometimes irrelevant.

A Jewish legend says that Lot preached to the Sodomites against their alternative lifestyles. One day someone asked him why he kept it up when nobody heeded him. Lot replied, "I'm not preaching so that you will convert; I'm preaching so that I don't succumb".

Are you trying to convince someone to change their way of acting or thinking? If so, then I respectfully submit that you will be more successful if you are more reasoned and more considerate. Are you simply trying to stand for what is right without regard to whether you convince will someone? If so, then I respectfully submit that this goal is not in full accord with our calling to bring the Good News to everyone, or with 1 Peter 3:15 - "Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame."

Not even Joseph politely allowed Mrs Potiphar to play her little game with him, but he put an end to the situation immediately and stood his ground without scrupling over whether he was showing her enough respect as a child of God, was hurting her feelings, or was extending an invitation to dialog about adulterous manipulation, in the hopes of winning her soul.

In the same way we cannot let people with an evil agenda trick us into doing or not doing anything, even if the concession seems harmless at first.


#18

[quote="InGodsCountry, post:1, topic:203972"]
However, it is important to keep peace in the family

[/quote]

That right there is where they have you over a barrel and will continue to manipulate you. Sometimes "peace in the family" is not worth it, because it is no "peace" at all, since you are in turmoil yourself. Sure, you may avoid one argument, but what will that person try to control you over next? Will that person object to you going to Mass? Are you going to cave in, thus committing a mortal sin?

Sometimes you need to "push back" with people like that. Remember, Jesus said something about that He did not come to bring peace, but division, and that He would set family member against family member.

I just prayed that things work out for you and that you receive the strength and wisdom to not let yourself be pushed around by this person and his/her enablers.


#19

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