Catholic high school faces backlash for not admitting ‘transgender’ girl as a boy
CHERRY HILL, N.J., September 15, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Fourteen-year-old female student Madelyn Catrambone wants two things: to go to a Christian (Catholic) school and to be a boy.
Camden Catholic High School told her she can't have it both ways.
After talking at length with Madelyn’s parents, Principal Heather Crisci concluded that fidelity to the school's Catholic beliefs include not treating a girl as if she were a boy.
Catholic diocesan spokesman Michael Walsh clarified that Camden Catholic High has not refused to admit Madelyn, but it cannot admit Madelyn as a boy because that would "contradict Catholic teaching on gender identity."
"As a Catholic school, our principal mission is to form students in the faith and we must always be true to the teachings of that Faith, even — indeed especially — when those teachings are challenged by the secular world," Walsh stated, explaining that Catholicism and the Pope hold that biological sex and gender may be "distinguished but not separated."
A student started an online petition to pressure the Catholic school into affirming Madelyn as "Mason."
"The school refused to accept him for who he is," the student concluded. "I ask that students, faculty, alumni, and anyone else who doesn't support Camden Catholic's decision, sign this and show that you stand with Mason."
The online petition has received 1,400 signatures in support of Madelyn.
Since word got out, others have joined the protest, writing letters accusing the Catholic school of not being "Jesus-like."
Father Joseph Capella, a spiritual director at Camden, said the school is "shaped by religious beliefs." "We understand that not everyone will accept or agree with our beliefs," he told Church Militant, "and some will choose another learning environment."
"This poor, gender-confused female student has it all wrong," Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth (AFT) told LifeSiteNews. "It's not that the Catholic school does not see her as a human being. It's that they do not recognize her self-created fiction that she is a 'he.'"
"The scandal of 'transgender' advocates is that they so often view their 'right' to be affirmed as the opposite sex as superior to our cherished First Amendment and religious freedoms," LaBarbera commented.
"This school is to be commended for not caving in to political correctness," the AFT president said. "School authorities may have earned the scorn of the liberal media and radical false Catholics like Dignity USA — but they won the respect of faithful Catholics and people of faith everywhere."
"Most importantly, by not caving in to transgender ideology, they actually did the most compassionate thing they could for this young girl," LaBarbera pointed out. "Hopefully now she will abandon her mythical crusade and accept God's gift of creating her, beautifully, as a female. She needs our fervent prayers."
Madelyn says she is disappointed but not surprised. "There is a stance against transgender people in the Bible," she admitted. "You are as God created you, and you shouldn't tamper with that."
Madelyn says she will stay Catholic and attend an online high school.