Wednesday, May 15, 2013

“Heather Has Two Mommies” And Goes To Catholic School



By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

Change agents are turning up the temperature of the societal pressure-cooker on the family and on marriage as its source. News reports that a father “isn’t very happy” about the fact that his wife is carrying twins after a $10,000 invest­ment in IVF treatment is the latest in the annals of the manipulation of life and the context for new life within the family.

Other signs of the rejection of God and His plan for marriage and family life are the appearance within our Catholic schools and parishes of the enrollment of children who have two legal guardian mothers or two fathers by choice.

Observers are quick to comment that any action or conduct on the part of the school, the staff, or the pastor is inappropriate if, as a result of it, a child may feel hurt. This must be quickly corrected to recognize that the two mothers or the two fathers of the child involved must be charged with the consequences of what was their decision only.

No Catholics in this scenario should ever tolerate being made to feel respon­sible for any negative feelings or experiences suffered by the child as a result of faithfulness to Catholic mission and teaching. As well, the parental decision to enroll the child in a Catholic school must be brought to the attention of anyone who places pressure on the school or the teacher in the classroom to modify their words or behavior in order to “tiptoe” around the child and his or her feel­ings.

The common good comes first and the common good within a Catholic school demands the full, free, and transparent handing on the Catholic faith for the salvation of souls.

We see here again the sad results of the manipulation of the family and the children involved in order to advance the agenda that a family is not what God has made, but what human beings decide it will be. The human dignity of the children is violated when they are relegated to the status of mere property or trophies in an effort to redefine the family.

Teachers in the classroom are on the front lines of the culture wars as children with two mothers or two fathers are pushed into Catholic schools and parishes. Whether or not these phenomena are signs of a concerted attempt to undermine God’s plan from within His Church or not, Catholic schools are faced with the task of figuring out how in the meantime to preserve Catholic identity.

Catholic schools exist first and foremost to aid in the Church’s mission of saving souls. Thus, their purpose includes handing on the Catholic faith, which includes Church teaching on faith and morals. This vision typically starts with the bishop and is carried forward by the pastor of the parish and school.

Teachers have a right to clear guidance in view of the current context of con­fusion caused by legal redefinition and moral manipulation of marriage and family life.

With that in mind, we come to the recent case of a Catholic school teacher tasked with instruction on the sacraments — to include marriage, of course. Among the best and brightest students in her classroom is the daughter of two female legal guardians. It is pretty safe to assume they are so by choice; howev­er, an assumption that anything other than the publicly evident legal relation­ship of the two same-sex adults exists must be strictly avoided on the part of the school staff, thus their designated status as legal guardians only is appropriate. Procedures must include firm discouragement of any inappropriate questioning or conversation on the part of other students or parents that involves conjec­tures about morals.

At the same time, there must be within the school consistent evidence that its Catholic identity is not up for grabs or subject to compromise. Truth in adver­tising is a matter of fairness to all who decide to become a part of the Catholic school community.

The Catholic teacher is charged by Christ with being a witness, stating clear­ly and objectively the truth about holy matrimony as a lifelong, exclusive union between one man and one woman open to new life. Any questions as a result of this can be answered charitably, including, “Well, what about my family?” on the part of a child with two guardians of the same sex. The teacher should sim­ply and firmly refuse to comment about individual cases and repeat what God teaches about the family. Individual conclusions or personal applications which may result from such teaching do not fall within the purview or responsibility of the teacher who is simply informing consciences.

As well, it is good to also remind students or other questioners that every individual is responsible for informing and following his or her own conscience and that the task of the Church, and those who hand on the teaching of the Church, is only to aid in that process.

What happens when the teacher is treated as expendable after clearly and charitably enunciating Catholic teaching on marriage within the classroom be­cause of resulting pressure on the pastor and the administrators? We call this martyrdom.


This article appeared in a recent issue of The Wanderer Catholic Newspaper.

(Subscribe to public updates by Fr. Cusick on Facebook at Reverendo Padre-Kevin Michael Cusick or follow on Twitter at MCITL. Visit Meeting Christ in the Liturgy at mcitl.blogspot.com for teachings from the Catechism of the Catholic Church paired with the Scriptures of Holy Mass for every day of the week. Fr. Cusick blogs at APriestLife. blogspot. com and you can e- mail him at .)

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