McQuaid Juniors Allowed to Go To Ball Together

“Two gay students who attend an all-boys Catholic school will be allowed to attend a school dance as a couple. That’s the word from the President of McQuaid Jesuit High School in Brighton.”

I am so confused by this and was wondering what others thought.

On one hand Father Salmon says that his decision was born of compassion. He references our Holy Father, Pope Francis, the USCCB, The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. He says he is not contradicting the Church teaching by the decision. But he uses wording like “horizon of hope” and “misunderstanding of Church teaching”. I can’t shake feeling like this decision is promoting the lifestyle and sending the message that the Church (with all of his references and word choices) agrees,

So where is the line between compassion for the persons and condoning the lifestyle? Did this decision cross that line or was is an appropriate response in compassion?

I think confusion is a logical reaction. :rolleyes:

My first thought is to think how a non-Catholic who doesn’t attend this high school might see the situation. Considering that two openly gay students are attending their school dance at an all boys Catholic high school, I can surely see how this might cause a great deal of scandal, even if there is no sexual activity occurring. People reading the article might wrongly infer that Fr. Salmon’s quoting of the USCCB suggests that the Catholic Church as a whole no longer views homosexual activity as sinful.

I can only assume sarcasm based on the emoticon you used.

With all due respect…I AM confused. Was this an appropriate compassionate decision or does it cross the line to condoning? This is something I struggle with…being compassionate but not condoning, so I wanted to see what others thought.

Care to comment on the actual article?

That was my feeling also. Especially since some very liberal acquantainces in the area were celebrating the decision. Thanks for responding.

I don’t know… I just read the article, and the letter, and it doesn’t sound to me like he is saying homosexual behavior is acceptable. It came across more as people with a homosexual orientation are not bad people. And he also specifically said he was not condoning homosexual activity.
I think he may be erring on the side of compassion by allowing this only because children being children, their immature understandings of life may cause them to see this response as condoning homosexual behavior. Perhaps Fr. Salmon should sit down with the two boys and explain carefully the difference.
And I also did not infer from what he wrote that the Church is ok with homosexual behavior. Maybe the misunderstanding here for some readers is recognizing the difference between having a homosexual orientation and homosexual behavior / activities?

But he’s being somewhat disingenuous (though probably not realizing it) because heterosexual dating and dance partners are ordered toward potential marriages. Homosexual couples can never marry, so that is the main problem with allowing this at his school’s dance.

I agree with the rest of your post, IrishRush, but I wanted to jump on this point because so many people will be swayed by the call to tolerance – which is a worthy idea – but the real error of the decision is then overlooked.

This is probably a stupid question that maybe I should already know the answer to, but from the Church’s perspective what constitutes homosexual behavior/activities? Is it only sexual in nature or would it be dating, living together (but being chaste), etc. also?

If it is only sexual in nature then allowing them to go would be the compassionate thing to do as then they would have a date and wouldn’t be singled out.

If it includes lifestyle (i.e. dating, living together) then letting them go would be condoning it.

Aside from the causing scandal issue anyway.

Good points. Thanks for posting.

I think this is where I struggle. It seems like with the culture’s serious lack of understanding of human sexuality and of Church teaching denying them from going to the dance based on the reason you mentioned above and also for the scandal side of it would come across as being discriminatory and uncompassionate.

Right – and that’s the message that we as Christians have to get out there: that a homosexual orientation itself is, objectively speaking, disordered (natural law), but this does not have to mean that the person himself is bad or sinful. It’s too bad that the Jesuit in the OP’s article paints a picture that keeping dance/date partners of only opposite sexes would somehow be “hateful” or “intolerant.” It’s not, because such dancing/dating is still related in a remote way to the natural law of heterosexual marriages.

I like the way a local priest here once said it: We must always be tolerant of all people, but we don’t have to be tolerant of all ideas.

I think what makes this story interesting is that you have a Priest condoning this action. The School is located in Rochester New York. The See of Rochester is vacant however it does fall under the jurisdiction of New York City and Cardinal Dolan. I would sure like to hear what Cardinal Dolan has to say about this matter.

This story is very similar to what happened here in Canada about 10 years ago:

I do not think this is right

“Earlier this month, a McQuaid student called into “The Wease Show” on 95.1. The Brew, saying he had asked permission to attend the Junior Ball with another young man.”

Why would he contact a radio show? Is this some kind of stunt to test the school?

And a person called Rush Henritetta started a peitition to allow the two to go to the prom?

Here are contacts that I urge people to charitably request a look into this:

Bishop Robert Cunningham
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse
240 East Onondaga St.
Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315)422-7203
Fax: (315)478-4619

Very Reverend David S. Ciancimino, S.J.
Provincial, NY Province of the Society of Jesus
39 East 83rd Street, N.Y., N.Y. 10028
Office Telephone Number: 212.774.5500
FAX: 212.794.1036

It is only the sex that is isinful.

That is so wrong. I am sick to death of priests like that. He is in my prayers.

Wow! Thanks for posting this!

How do we get the message out there. Anytime I have brought up the “disordered” part or “natural law” I get slammed with it is not a disorder in the mental health book for medical professionals (can’t remember what it is called) and that it is natural because “God made me that way” response or that it is natural in nature (i.e. animals).

It seems really difficult to decide on cases like these because just by going to the dance they are not doing anything wrong exactly…especially if just the sexual aspect is sinful. So how to you convey that they can’t go because “dancing is ordered towards eventual marriage” without getting the “ignorant bigot” thrown back in your face? I have tried to explain my position so many times and have gotten slammed with that more times than I’d like to remember for saying that I believe that Marriage is between a man and a woman. I guess that is why this particular article perplexed me so much is because on the surface it seems like it would be ok, but really it sounds like it shouldn’t be. What should the priest have done instead that would still have been loving and compassionate but not cause scandal and the dating part to occur?

The way to do it is to avoid the religion angle altogether – not because it’s wrong but because it deafens those whose hearts are not open to it. It might also be best to avoid the word “disorder” since that conjures up notions of medical diagnosis, and the medical so-called professionals no longer consider it a disorder since the DSM of 1973.

But if someone is open to honest discussion, the use natural law and biology will easily show that homosexuality is an objective disorder in terms of the natural realm.

Perhaps those who slam you are willing to embrace things like evolution. Ask them where in the evolutionary cycle a non-procreative sexual faculty might fit. Answer: nowhere.

The people you speak of likely refuse to admit the natural-law link between sex and procreation because they wish to justify a sexual deviancy that has no link to babies. So out goes the logic which biology points to, and in comes the deviancy – now embraced by our society as a new normal.

Finally, an analogy that I often use is that of bulimia, which even the staunchest opponent of natural law will admit is a disorder. Why? Because we all realize that a bulimic engages in the pleasure of food, but then divorces it from the biological aspect of food (nutrition). This is wrong because of natural law: nature mandates a relationship between food and nutrition, and to intentionally separate the two leads to a disordered obsession with one at the expense of the other.

The same with the sexual act: By divorcing the pleasure of sex from the biological end (the possibility of new life), we have become a society of “bedroom bulimics,” so to speak.

It is not a hard case at all. There is nothing morally acceptable about two boys acting as male and female.

How is going to a dance together “two boys acting as male and female”? In WW2 many soldiers overseas danced together and that wasn’t immoral, many women in the US danced together and that wasn’t immoral.

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