Monday March 8, 2010

Boulder School Refuses Entry to Child in Care of Lesbian ‘Couple’

By James Tillman

BOULDER, Colorado, March 8, 2010 ( — A preschool student at the Catholic Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Boulder will not be permitted to re-enroll in kindergarten next year because the student’s guardians are two lesbian women.

“The issue is not about our not accepting ‘sinners,'” said Father William Breslin of Sacred Heart Church. “It is not about punishing the child for the sins of his or her parents. It is simply that the lesbian couple is saying that their relationship is a good one that should be accepted by everyone; and the Church cannot agree to that.”

The Archdiocese of Denver’s admission policy states that “no person shall be admitted as a student in any Catholic school unless that person and his/her parent(s) subscribe to the school’s philosophy and agree to abide by the educational policies and regulations of the school and Archdiocese.”

The lesbian “couple,” who have remained anonymous, had already enrolled the child beneath their care in the Sacred Heart of Jesus School for the current school year when their relationship came to light. The child will be permitted to complete the current school year.

Father Breslin said that the decision not to allow the child to re-enroll was “the most difficult decision of my life.”

“The choice could have been made to do nothing and allow a lesbian couple to enroll their child in our Kindergarten,” he said. “But that choice would have been against Archdiocesan policy; and when a priest is ordained he promises obedience to his bishop; and I cannot violate that vow; and I will not.”

The Diocese released a statement pointing out that allowing children whose parents live in open discord with Catholic teaching would “be a cause of confusion for the student in that what they are being taught in school conflicts with what they experience in the home.”

“A principal reason parents place their children in Archdiocese of Denver Schools is to reinforce the Catholic beliefs and values that the family seeks to live at home,” it says. “To preserve the mission of our schools, and to respect the faith of wider Catholic community, we expect all families who enroll students to live in accord with Catholic teaching.”

Protestors gathered outside Sacred Heart of Jesus church last Sunday, accusing the diocese of acting uncharitably.

“It’s not the teachings of Jesus. We are all created equal,” said Joellen Raderstorf, according to the Denver Post.

Other protestors held signs asking “What would Jesus do?” and proclaiming that “the true heart of Jesus has love for all!”

On his blog, Father Breslin defended his position by pointing out that what appears to be loving does not always accord with the truth.

“My brothers and sisters, our school is a Catholic school and our teaching on the sanctity of marriage is as clear as a bell,” he stated. “I chose to protect the faith over doing what would have looked like the loving thing to do.”

“We need to fight for our Catholic values because here in Boulder it seems, no one else is,” he continued.

“If you want to blame, blame me, your Catholic priest, for being – Catholic!”

He concluded: “By this decision, we really want to protect the child and his or her parents from the necessary conflict that their relationship would bring to a clear-seeing and committed Catholic community. According to our Archbishop this policy is good for the lesbian parents, for their child and also for our teachers and our school.

“If people are living other conflicts with our faith and publicly defend that conflict (for example someone publicly encouraging divorce) we would have the same problem.”