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JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri, May 29, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic priest took a strong stand against a new policy in the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri, that welcomes same-sex “families” into Catholic schools and allows students to identify as “transgender.”

An audio recording of the meeting where diocesan officials introduced the policy to priests includes a rather heated exchange between one priest and the presenters.

The priest accused the presenters of twisting Pope Francis’ words to force gender ideology on the schools.

“You are overturning Christian morality for situation ethics,” he said, “and you are taking way out of context ‘accompaniment.’”

“Pope Francis, the harshest critic of gender ideology, says it’s one thing to have compassion for human weakness and the complexities of life, it’s another thing to accept gender ideology,” he explained. “And you didn’t just open the door a crack. It’s wide open, and you’re accepting this.”

“You’re scandalizing every child in that school and you’re telling us we have to accept gender ideology. That’s what’s happening.”

The diocesan policy was crafted by a committee convened last fall. It included diocesan school and youth ministry officials, a mental health counselor, a former Catholic school teacher, and two priests. Neither of the priests run parishes attached to a school.

Catholics who are opposing the policy have set up a blog titled 30 Pieces of Silver to get it rescinded. The blog links to the recording of the diocese’s presentation to priests.

After the priest said that those on the committee were telling priests and others in the diocese they had to accept gender ideology, one of the presenters objected.

“I will never tell you, you have to do anything,” she said.   

But the priest countered: “You won’t be there to support any of these men [parish priests] when they have a problem of conscience,” he said. “I know it. You will not.”

The presenter repeated what her associate had said at the beginning of the presentation: “We’re not here to deal about the morality.”

The priest immediately emphasized, “It’s a moral issue.”

“She said that,” the presenter granted, “and then she said it is a moral issue. So what is it going to be?”

“You’re quoting – I’m saying – you’re quoting Pope Francis way out of context,” the priest continued. “He is the biggest critic of this kind of thing, and we’re letting it in.”

The presenter’s tone in responding conveyed displeasure.

“I would appreciate,” she began, then taking deliberate pause, before amending her tone. “I, I very much appreciate your conversation here, but I would appreciate it if we could go through this process, and then you could address the process after we’ve talked about it.”

Later in the discussion the presenter tells those in attendance about how a Covenant of Trust had replaced the handbook for parents to sign. “We wanted to get to a different place,” she said.

The priest spoke up again to make note of the contradiction in the covenant’s name. “Why are we having people sign a covenant of trust when we’re breaking it, by ignoring the situation of these children?” he asked.

The priest then argued that the policy is fostering abuse, showing how the Church opposes raising children in homes headed by active homosexuals.

“You know Cardinal O’Malley had to close an adoption agency because the Church would not put children in those homes,” he said. “It’s psychologically and emotionally abusive, and then we have a transgendered child, we are sitting back while children are being abused.”

“We’re going to grow the homeschooling movement, is what you’re going to do,” the priest predicted. “You’re going to destroy Catholic schools.”

“Let in a child,” he said, “but there are plenty of people with common sense who have to live with this day in and day out and they’re not going to accept it.”      

Listen to the recording of the exchange:

The 30 Pieces of Silver blog can be found here.

Contact information to respectfully express concern:

Bishop John Gaydos
Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City
2207 West Main Street
P.O. BOX 104900
Jefferson City, MO 65110-4900
(573) 635-9127