Catholic School Won’t Enroll Child of Gay Parents

Catholic School Won’t Enroll Child of Gay Parents

Catholic School Won’t Enroll Child of Gay Parents

St. Ann Catholic School stands in a quiet suburb of Kansas City. However, it’s become a lightning rod for not only media, but some Catholics as well, when it refused to enroll a kindergartner. Why? Because the child’s parents are a gay couple.

Now over 1000 people have signed a petition asking the school to “prayerfully consider” its decision. Of those 1000, about half are members of the St. Ann parish.

The petition reads, in part:

“Respectfully, we believe 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 union is not in accordance with the Church’s teaching in Sacramental marriage, lacks the compassion and mercy of Christ’s marriage. . .”

It ends with this:

“We recognize the complexities of morality, politics and theology in modern times. We hope that you can recognize what may seem to be the shifting of values as actually the welcoming of tolerance, love, understanding and mercy.”

However, the Rev. Craig Maxim, St. Ann’s pastor, answers this way:

“We do not feel it is respectful of such individuals, 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 conflict.”

Moreover, Dignity USA, a Catholic LGBTQ advocacy organization, adds that St. Ann’s position is not unusual for a Catholic school to take. Even though, as the petition notes, parents who have been divorced, remarried, or use birth control methods are allowed to enroll their children in the Catholic school.

And that is true. I’ve provided speech therapy services to various Catholic schools for many years, and I’ve seen plenty of children from single parent or divorced homes.

But that’s not a valid argument, either. That is what we now call “whataboutism,” and it’s a logical fallacy. You don’t excuse problematic actions by pointing to other actions.

The question is this: why would a gay couple want to send their child to a Catholic school when they know about the Church’s teachings on homosexuality? Especially when two of the top private schools in the Kansas City area are secular?

Now I’m not a conspiracy buff, but I think there’s a bit more to this story. And it has to do with Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City.

Catholic school

Credit: Scott Maentz @ flickr. CC by2.0.

Two years ago, Naumann became head of the U.S. Bishop’s Committee on pro-life activities. Not only is he staunchly pro-life, he also would deny Holy Communion for Catholic politicians who support abortion:

“Recent efforts to perpetuate and expand abortion in state laws have illuminated the deplorable actions of some Catholic public officials and advocates. Their efforts to support and even celebrate such legislation will result in killing many more unborn children, as well as the spiritual and emotional wounding of their mothers and fathers.”

In fact, in 2008, Naumann prevented former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius from taking Communion in her home state of Kansas.

Naumann upholds traditional Catholic teachings on homosexuality. He also supports pursuing claims of sexual misconduct in the priesthood. Naumann even named names of 22 priests in the diocese who had been credibly accused of abuse.

On top of all that, he doesn’t like the Girl Scouts much because they embrace radical feminist beliefs. In fact, he dissociated Kansas City Catholic schools from the group:

Now I’m not a Catholic, but it seems to me that Archbishop Naumann is a prelate who upholds the traditional teachings of his church. So it causes me to wonder the motivation here. Do these parents truly want a Catholic education for their child? Or are they more about putting the screws to Naumann?

Moreover, when it comes to parochial schools, the Catholic system is the big dog on the block. Activists wouldn’t get as big a bang for their buck at a small evangelical school, or even a Lutheran school. A Catholic school controversy would make the biggest impact. And it’d be a bonus to take the scalp of a conservative Archbishop, to boot. Of course the media would lap this all up.

So yeah, I’m kind of smelling a rat here. This is not the tale of gay bashing the media would have you believe.


Featured image: cropped from pixabay/pixabay license.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Scott says:

    I’m thinking these “parents” know or at least admire the two clowns in Colorado who have made life miserable for the owner of Masterpiece Cakes… In other words, I agree 100% Kim

  • Nicki says:

    This one is tough for me, because a) I’m not Catholic, and b) I do understand their position. That said, I feel like the school is punishing the child. It’s entirely possible that the parents wanted the best school available for their children, and that was the one. It’s entirely possible that aside from the whole gay thing, these parents felt that this particular school best represented their Catholic values. I get why you’re suspicious, but I just think the child is the one who ultimately loses out.

    • Kim Hirsch says:

      On the surface, I would agree. However, since I live in the area, I know there are plenty of great private schools this child could attend that wouldn’t compromise religious beliefs.

      Then there’s the “shifting of values,” as the petition put it. It’s something Christians have been pushing against lately. It’s time to take a stand.

    • carol bernicke says:

      I think homosexuality is a sin just like alcoholism, porn, adultry, birth control gambling and other transgressions. We need to pray for these people. Unfortunately there are a lot of sinners in the church will you kick all those congregants out? The decline of the Catholic Church relates to this fire and brimstone approach to humanness. The Catholic Church is the last who should base inclusion on lack of sin. The fact they have allowed homosexuality pediphelia to go unchecked for yrs. they might want to get their own house in order before they judge others.

      • GWB says:

        will you kick all those congregants out
        If they are in blatant denial of their sin, or continue in it despite clear Scriptural and doctrinal commands, YES. See Matthew 18:15-17

        base inclusion on lack of sin
        They are NOT. They are saying that these people are blatantly in defiance of church doctrine and Scripture, and their kid will be put in the middle if s/he/it is enrolled.

        Oh yes, the Roman church needs to clean their own house. But they aren’t wrong in this.

        (Oh, and you might want a better understanding of Christian, and specifically Roman, doctrine before you misquote Scripture to condemn them. Also, this couple are apparently NOT parishioners, so no one is being “kicked out”.)

  • Bill Cook says:

    Next, the couple will be wanting a gay birthday cake. One guess what kind of baker they want.

    • Overgrown Hobbit says:

      I have sent my child to two Christian schools. In both cases I was required to sign statements averting my allegiance to the school’s principles. Parents were expected to be part of a community of shared Faith. The second school was quite worldly, and I pulled my kid from it because we did not as it turns out, share the values of the school’s leadership and community. It is one of the best schools in the area.

      So no. I call foul. And I am not Catholic, either.

      Besides, considering the current issues the Catholic leadership has with its gay priests abusing their vows, not to mention kids and tweens, no Catholic institution has any business going “tolerant” on gays until they’ve cleaned house.

      Not to mention that letting any SJW into your organizations, gay or straight is a recipe for having it gutted and destroyed. Which screws over all the other Catholic kids who benefit from a church school in their Faith. The gay adoptive parents chose to put a child into this invidious position. They are the ones holding him, and the other children hostage to their choices.

  • CaptDMO says:

    Using children as human shields?
    How quaint.
    How curious in that I would think that the local “free” public school would be more tolerant… in the teaching of
    GBLT-QWERTY lifestyle .

  • GWB says:

    it’s become a lightning rod
    Thank you for getting that word right.

    We hope that you can recognize what may seem to be the shifting of values as actually the welcoming of tolerance, love, understanding and mercy.
    No, it actually IS the shifting of values. BTW, tolerance (in its current usage) is not something Christ ever advocated.

    the Rev. Craig Maxim, St. Ann’s pastor, answers this way
    Good answer. We’re going to be daily telling this child that his parents are blatantly living in sin and will go to hell because they defy Christ, and that’s unfair to do to the kid and to his parents.

    That is what we now call “whataboutism,” and it’s a logical fallacy.
    Yes, and no. It’s a valid argument to point out internal inconsistencies in someone’s position. I would ask the priest to explain the difference between those sins. (They are present, but difficult to explain – at least without a good understanding of grace and of actual defiance.)

    Or are they more about putting the screws to Naumann?
    Is there a cake baked anywhere in this? I’m betting there is.
    And, if there is, then these people are truly evil for using their child in this fashion. I predict lots of therapy required for this child in the future.

    • Kate says:

      It’s time for another guest post I think.

    • GWB says:

      Something that occurred to me….
      Was there at any point a quiet sit-down with these parents to explain things? Was there at any point a quiet discussion between the priest and those objecting to the decision, attempting to work out a “better” response or a middle ground?

      If not, then this is definitely simply the Enemy trying to fan the flames again. If so, then it would be good to make that apparent, so we can see Christian love in action.

  • MarkInKansas says:

    I would guess that the gay parents are not in communion with the Catholic Church nor are they members of any of the parishes in Kansas City. This scenario has resemblances to a recent event in Colorado wherein the State tried to force a baker and cake artist to use his artistic skills to decorate some cakes with messages that were in violation of his religion.

    You mentioned the top two secular schools in Kansas City, and I had school-age acquaintances who attended Pem Day. Pem Day is an excellent school.

    This is another attack against the doctrines of the Catholic Church, and it’s disappointing to see that so many members of St. Ann’s do not stand with the Reverend Craig Maxim.

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