NewsWed Nov 2, 2005 - 12:15 pm EST
Sacramento Catholic School Expels 15-year-old Student who Alerted Bishop to Abortion Activist Teache
By John-Henry Westen
SACRAMENTO, November 2, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A 15-year-old girl at a Catholic school who was responsible for alerting her bishop to the presence of a pro-abortion activist teacher on staff at her school has been expelled from the school.ÂÂ Katelyn Sills, was expelled from Loretto High School in Sacramento last week, two weeks after the teacher, who was found to be an abortion clinic escort, was dismissed at the behest of the local Bishop William Weigand.Â (see LifeSiteNews.com coverage: https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/nov/05110110.html )
Katelyn informed her mother after she recognized Marie Bain, one of the teachers at Loretto, as an escort at a Planned Parenthood abortuary where Katelyn and her family had regularly taken part in pro-life rallies.Â After unsuccessful attempts to quietly have the school address the situation of Mrs. Bain, Katelyn’s mother Wynette Sills sent photos of Bain escorting women into the abortion center to Bishop Weigand.
KATELYN EXPELLED AFTER MOTHER BANNED FROM CAMPUS
LifeSiteNews.com contacted Edward Sills, Katelyn’s father who noted that although the family is not yet ready to speak to the media, a press release and comments have been issued on Katelyn’s website.Â On the website, http://standupandspeakout.blogspot.com/ , Katelyn reports that: “As of Saturday, October 29th, I was given official notice by express mail that I am expelled from Loretto High School. This was given completely without forewarning, without a meeting, and without a chance to say goodbye. My family is now seeking legal advice, and more details will follow.” Prior to her expulsion, she reported that “Loretto’s administration has banned my mother from campus since October 16th.”
SCHOOL ALLEGES “ATTACKS”
In a short interview with LifeSiteNews.com, Loretto President Sr. Helen Timothy said she could not comment on the matter but did say she would fax a press release from the school.Â That press release, dated, October 28 - a day before Katelyn said she received notice of her expulsion - says of the expulsion that it was a “last resort” and accused the Sills family of “an escalating series of public attacks made against Loretto”.Â The release says that “these attacks have included taunts, threats and verbal abuse directed against members of our school community, as well as a mass e-mail campaign slandering the school’s reputation as a Catholic institution.”
In the press release on her website, Katelyn’s family responds to the school release saying, “Coming in the middle of fall term, this dismissal is most unfair and undeserved.Â What is worse, however, is the administration’s outrageous charges that our family has engaged in ‘threats’, ‘abuse’, and other ‘malicious’ behavior toward members of the Loretto community. These charges are categorically false and defamatory. In actual fact, our family has at all times acted respectfully in attempting to resolve a difficult situation for the good of all members of the Loretto community, continuously seeking reconciliation.”
DIOCESE UNABLE TO INTERVENE UNDER CANON LAW
The diocese says it is unable to act on the matter of Katelyn’s expulsion.Â Rev. Charles S. McDermott, S.T.D. Chancellor and Vicar Episcopal for Theological Affairs for the Diocese of Sacramento, explained to LifeSiteNews.com that the school is run by an order of nuns popularly known as the Loretto Sisters.Â Rev. McDermott described the order as “A religious institute in the church which is of pontifical right,” explaining that “they are subject in their internal affairs directly to the Holy See and not to the local bishop.”
In the matter of the pro-abortion teacher the bishop exercised special powers reserved to him in canonÂ (church) law permitting him to intervene in cases of faith and morals, explained the diocesan Chancellor.
Rev. McDermott did however provide key information shedding light on the disagreement between the family and the school.Â He told LifeSiteNews.com that “The mother approached Loretto high school about it quite quietly, as far as I understand, and asked them to respond to the situation.”Â The school failed to act, and the matter was “eventually” brought to the attention of Bishop Weigand.Â
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION DISAGREED WITH BISHOP BUT DID FOLLOW DIRECTION
Rev. McDermott notes that when the Bishop raised the issue with Sr. Timothy and Principal Sr. Barbara Nelson, they “did not agree entirely with our position.”Â However, Rev. McDermott added that Sr. Timothy “quite correctly and honorably followed the bishop’s suggestion and removed Mrs. Bain, the person in question, from employment.”
The only means to address the grievance, says Rev. McDermott, is internally within the order of the Loretto Sisters, known formally as the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM).Â Recourse to the Provincial Superior of the Loretto Sisters, who is in charge of the IBVM in the United States may be undertaken and beyond that to the General Superior of the order in Rome.
To respectfully express your concerns:
Sr. Helen Timothy
President Loretto High School
(916) 482-7793 ext. 104
IBVM Provincial Superior