KANSAS, March 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A parish school in Kansas is now under fire after declining to enroll a child being raised by a same-sex couple in its kindergarten program.
A petition asking St. Ann Catholic School in Prairie Village, Kansas to reconsider its decision garnered about 1,000 signatures — half of whom are reported to be parish members — was circulated after Pastor Craig Maxim sent a letter to parents, faculty, and staff.
Addressed to Kansas City’s Archbishop Joseph Naumann, the petition asserts that “the decision to deny a child of God access to such a wonderful community and education, based on the notion that his or her parent’s [sic] union is not in accordance with the Church’s teaching in Sacramental marriage, lacks the compassion and mercy of Christ’s message.”
When the controversy first erupted, Fr. Maxim turned to the Archdiocese of Kansas City for advice, “since as a parochial school we are subject to the guidance of the Archdiocese on the application of Church doctrine.”
“The Archdiocese states that since same-sex unions are not in conformance with the Church’s teaching on sacramental marriage and these unions have no current ability to bring their relationship into conformity,” wrote Maxim in his February 27 letter, “the parents cannot model behaviors and attitudes consistent with the Church’s teachings.”
“This creates a conflict for those children and what is experienced at home,” he continued. “It also could become a source of confusion for other school children.”
“For this reason, the Archdiocese advised against admission,” Maxim explained.
In a statement to the Kansas City Star, the Archdiocese — headed by Naumann — expressed its support for the St. Ann pastor’s decision while doubling down on the importance of remaining faithful to Church teaching, even as other dioceses fail to do so.
“Our schools exist to pass on the Catholic faith,” declares the statement. “Incorporated into our academic instruction and spiritual formation, at every grade level, are the teachings of the Catholic Church. It is important for children to experience consistency between what they are taught in school and what they see lived at home. Therefore we ask that parents understand and be willing to support those teachings in their homes.”
“Matrimony is held up by the Catholic Church as a sacrament entered into between a man and a woman. Marriage is considered the building block of the family, of society, and the heart of the Church,” continues the statement, which then makes two important declarations:
The Church’s teaching on marriage is clear and is not altered by the laws of civil society. The decision of the Supreme Court to grant marital status to same-sex couples does not change Church teaching on marriage. …
We do not feel it is respectful of [individuals who disagree with Church teaching], nor is it fair, loving or compassionate to place their children in an educational environment where the values of the parents and the core principles of the school are in conflict.
The petition to the archdiocese raises valid points as it seeks to provide justification for admitting the children of gay unions into parochial schools, noting that there are “many ways that other modern marriages may be inconsistent with the Church’s teaching on Sacramental marriage.”
“Vasectomy, IVF, [and] divorce and remarriage without annulment” also go against Church teaching and, if practiced by parents of parochial school children, equally undermine the Church’s mission to pass on the Faith.
The one thing that all parties involved in the controversy agree upon is that the U.S. Supreme Court’s institution of same-sex “marriage” in 2015 has created a new breed of pastoral challenges for the Catholic Church in the United States.
“As your pastor, I am distressed over the division this sensitive and complex issue has caused within our school and church,” wrote Fr. Maxim. “I pray that through constructive dialog and the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we can come together as a community to do God’s will in all things.”
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, who was elected by his brother bishops to serve as the pro-life committee chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has been a consistent, outspoken voice for adherence to Catholic teaching.
Naumann has made unequivocal statements about Church teaching, declaring that contraception usage is an “intrinsic evil” in all circumstances because it “cuts off one of the goals of marriage which is an openness to life,” the Church cannot accept gender fluidity or same-sex “marriage,” and politicians who “flaunt” being Catholic while asserting that they are also pro-abortion must be admonished.
During his homily at the National Prayer Vigil for Life Mass in Washington, D.C., in January, Naumann said it is “absurd” for the Supreme Court to claim that the Constitution contains a right to abortion.
When Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò issued his stunning testimony regarding clergy sexual abuse last August, Archbishop Naumann was among the first prelates to support the Vatican whistleblower, stating that Viganò is a “man of integrity.”
In 2008, Archbishop Naumann famously publicly prohibited the pro-abortion U.S. Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, from receiving Communion.