Is it right (or within the rights) of Catholic schools to expell unwed mothers?

slightly a double post, i posted this in the news section as well but i want to start a discussion from a different angle. so as the topc goes, what should be the case?

I am not sure. On the one hand, we are called to be charitable, but we also must avoid giving scandal to others. What kind of message will it send to other young women at the school? Perhaps, instead of expulsion, the Catholic school might order the unwed mother to sign some kind of letter expressing their sincere regret and admitting that they have committed a grave sin and wish that no other women make the mistake they did.

I don’t know. It is a touchy issue because there is always going to be a double standard because of ease of noticability–unavoidable because a man who fools around a lot will not be publicly known (what evidence is there of his actions?), whereas a woman who fools around and ends up pregnant and then gives birth…well, that is going to become public knowledge fairly quickly (i.e. people will notice the pregnancy and such).

Yes, I too agree that it would be a “touchy” situation. However, I will stand on the side that says yes, a Catholic school has the right to require their students to live a moral life and should those students choose to do otherwise, the school can ask them to leave. Why? Because 60-70 years ago, being unwed and pregnant was looked at as wrong and a source of embarrassment. Of course it happened, but not at the rate it does today. Now, it’s usually seen as not being a big deal. The government even pays you money if you are an unwed mother and don’t earn a high enough wage. I’m sorry (especially for the children of these mothers) but there needs to be consequences for inappropriate behavior. If that means that a girl (or boy if it becomes known) conceives a baby outside of marriage, at the very least they should be asked to leave the Catholic school and complete their education at the local public high school. When I went to Catholic school, you could be suspended or even expelled for fighting, stealing, lying, etc. How much more serious is this? If you would be in favor of expelling a student because he gets into several fights (he sins) why would engaging in sex outside of marriage be considered less of an offense? Besides, the money that was being used to fund the parochial education needs to be saved and applied toward the new baby that is expected. Just my :twocents:. God bless all.

I believe it is their right to impose their rules provided they are in full compliance to the teachings of the Church. According to Catholic teachings, unwed singles should not engage in pre-marital sex because it is a sacred act which involves life-giving graces reserved only for a man and a woman united by God through the sacrament of Holy Matrimony; doing so is a sin against purity and could lead to the worst sin of all, abortion or the killing of innocents.

I don’t think they mean to punish or judge (and not forgive the unwed pregnant student) for her mistake. It’s not like she is going to be ex-communicated by the Church. However, the presence of one in a community of Catholic youths may bring about the wrong message to others that it’s okay to engage in pre-marital sex. And this is counter-productive in a system that fosters discipline in Catholic values; especially among youngsters whose moral foundation is already being constantly attacked by the media on TV, the radio, on billboards, on the web, etc.

I also see how promotion of purity among young women can help influence their young male friends to practice purity themselves. It’s also something they can pass on to their children later on as mothers, making the next generation a more holy one.

Clearly, the Church in the Philippines is taking a more active approach in bringing morality back in our lives, and that of our children. Horay for that. If you do not agree with any of this and want your children to live a non-Catholic life, then just enrol your children in non-Catholic schools. Studying in a Catholic school is a privilege, not a right.

Any private school can set standards or rules for their students (and teachers) behavior. Certianly it is within their legal rights to expell this student. I think it al;so behooves them (as a Catholic institution) to work with this girl’s family to ensure that she receives medical care for her pregnancy and that she completes her education. They can certainly say that she shouldn’t finish her schooling within their walls, but I think as pro-life Catholics (what other kind is there?) the school and her parish need to assist her. Remember , the sin is in the extra-maritial sex, not in being pregnant or giving birth, and certainly not with the child.

So no Catholic girl can ever be the victim of rape? That’s interesting, I didn’t know that.

Or of coercion or incest?

What if she claims to be the victim but there’s no proof? Will she be excluded then?

Would the school rather a pregnant girl had an abortion, to save the reputation of the school?

I wouldn’t want any daughter of mine to go to a so-called Catholic school that had such a policy, to be honest.

I understand the problem of having an unmarried student who is pregnant.

The other side is that if the pregnant student had an abortion, no one would know and she would be allowed to stay in school. Would the threat of expulsion influence a girl to have an abortion rather than give birth?

It’s a bad situation no matter what.

And what about the fathers?

But “God Love You” only when your good?

this situation is in the Philippines and abortion is not legal there. of course, the worst case here is an illegal abortion, which is not only immoral and illegal, but also a huge health risk.

yes, what about the fathers? usually school-age women find their boyfriends within the campus. so more often than not the unwed father is also in the same school. just because his tummy doesn’t get bigger in the next 9 months doesn’t mean he’s not as guilty

another thing, in the Philippines if you don’t get a college degree, you won’t get a decent job. you won’t even get a job at McDonald’s there if you don’t at least have two years of college in your pocket. so what help does this do to the unwed mother?

The extent of the fathers guilt and/or civil liability should be determined in the appropriate court of law.

Regardless of the findings of the court, the school should take whatever action it deems necessary to discourage this sort of behavior in the future.

Both parents may have a few challenges in the years to come. Having been ejected from school - on moral turpitude grounds - can indeed be a liability for those seeking employment in certain fields. All is not lost. Some professions actually value brave, bold, creative individuals who are not afraid to throw off the shackles of social convention. A whole new world of opportunity will be spread wide open, just waiting to be violated. Certainly, job of US Senator is not a bad gig if you can get it.

These would most likely be treated in a different manner.

What if she claims to be the victim but there’s no proof? Will she be excluded then?

With out proof then how is do we know that the “claim” is true?

Would the school rather a pregnant girl had an abortion, to save the reputation of the school?

No, if found out she should also be expelled.

I wouldn’t want any daughter of mine to go to a so-called Catholic school that had such a policy, to be honest.

That is your free choice but when you chose to go to a private institution you must live by the rules they set. If you do not want to then you do not go there.

There was a case a number of years ago where a Catholic High School would not allow a pregnant student to be the valedictorian at graduation because of her pregnancy. She was not expelled she just was limited in what honors and other activities she could take part in.

I think that is a much better solution than expelling them.

Indeed the father is just as guilty and deserves the same consequence as the unwed pregnant student. But expelling her is probably the most practical thing to implement because there’s no way to regularly and economically monitor sexual activity, abortion, who impregnated who, follow through a paternity test, court hearings, etc.

Also, if girls can say no to pre-marital sex by force of this consequence, then hopefully young men can also learn how to behave properly at least with these young Catholic women.

Re finishing a college degree, no worries. The unwed mother can continue her studies in another school.

I’ve met Monsignor Gerry. He conducted our Marriage Enrichment Weekend just this Feb2009 and I find that he makes a lot of sense especially in uniting his teachings with Christ’s teachings. Methinks the media was too quick to dismiss the Church’s logic behind it by not getting her side.

another problem here is that this case is in the Philippines where public schools are just not as good as private schools. i mean, the gap is huge given the poor funding that public schools gets there. so if you’re expelled from a Catholic highschool and can’t enroll in another Catholic highschool, then you’re mostly out of luck as 90% of private schools are Catholic schools. i’ve had classmates in highschool who were non-Christians but go to Catholic schools because of the quality of education

as for college/university, there are more state colleges and universities or secular schools that offer good education

i agree that they should find a way to encourage good and moral behaviour. but expelling students is not one of them. you don’t correct a mistake with another mistake.

Do they have the right? A private school has the right to set their own rules and enforce them. I would think it could be challenged if the only expelled unwed mothers not unwed fathers. Is it right? I don’t think so - I think its a very poor example of being pro-life.

Agreed. The message given is …we feel for you, but we just can’t quite reach…talk about being ostracized & abandoned! Just when caring & support is needed the most. This old prevailing attitude-ostracizing unwed mothers is one of the reasons abortion has been propelled in our society…because those who provide abortions come across as caring & compassionate.

Yes, the father is just as guilty but how do you know that the father actually attends the school? How do you know with any accuracy who the father is with out a paternity test?

so its okay if a private school doesn’t accept students based on race?

Would you please post a link to a site that names or explains this program? I work with the needy, and would find this type of program to be of help to some very needy moms.

How can Christians even think of rejecting an unwed mother? She should be loved and accepted. She is carrying a child, which is a gift of God. And if she has made a mistake, God’s love is merciful. It is not up to anyone to judge.

The example of love and acceptance can be the best example to the children in that school, and much better in the long run than any worry about causing scandal.


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