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Catholic Schools and Homosexuality

Catholic Schools and Homosexuality

On September 6th, 2001, the Wanderer reported Zogby International in a survey of 1,003 high school students found that 80% of Catholic seniors believe homosexuals should have the right to marry while only two-thirds of the total of all demographic high school senior groups in the survey claimed gay marriages should be legal. In recent polls only "about one-third of adults" said gay marriages should be legal.

Dennis Gilbert of Hamilton College, in Clinton, N.Y., who did the survey, said that “large majorities of seniors take pro-gay positions on relevant gay issues. And virtually every definable demographic group took these positions,“ apart from evangelical or “born-again” Christians, said the Wanderer.

Father X, a priest in the San Jose Diocese who must remain anonymous, the diocese document "Pastoral Guidelines for Ministry to Homosexuals in the Diocese of San Jose "contributes to the ethical confusion on homosexuality among Catholic high school students because it has no "moral component." This diocese document claims the "premise that individuals do not choose and cannot change their sexual orientation but must understand it and integrate it into their life of faith and conscience."

"There is a presumption in the diocese that homosexuality has a biological basis. This, in part, originally came from the Kinsey report, which lead to gay safe zones in the public schools and were eventually followed by the Catholic schools." Father X said, "The problem is that a lot of Catholic teachers and theologians feel that they need to filter the churches teachings according to their philosophical agenda or they won't teach it."

James Likoudis, a nationally known writer on Catechetic and Sex Education, the reason Catholic high school students are pro-homosexual is that the church documents are filtered out. He said

"The Vatican documents "The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality" intended to remove corrupting sex education programs in Catholic schools is a dead letter in this country- as can be seen in the continued proliferation of Catholic sex education programs in practically every diocese."

In the Diocese of San Jose, there are some problems with the sex education programs. Frank A. Scanlon, a student at Bellermine Catholic high school said, "There's no gay slant at Bellermine, even though at a retreat, one kid came out that he was gay. But, they taught us about condoms, and if you have sex use them."

" A lot of the kids consider their religion class a joke." Frank D. Scanlon, the father of Frank A., said," They had one priest who didn't want to impose the Catholic faith because of the non-Catholics in the class. He didn’t want to make them feel uptight."

Father X said," A parent came to me, in 1994, saying that one book of a seventh grade class was pornographic in a Santa Clara Catholic school. The book had stuff on how to put on condoms, and if you urinate on a partner make sure you don't do it on the eyes or ears."

Father organized a group of parents who meet with the principal and pastor. The principal and pastor defended the teacher's right to use the book. But, when they went to the diocese superintendent of schools it was found to be against the diocese's policy. The book was taken out despite the teacher's complaints.

Parents in the Oakland Diocese had a different experience with a sex ed program called New Creation. Catholics United for the Faith, a Catholic information apostolate in Steubenville, Ohio, has faulted New Creation for its "graphic illustrations that offend against modesty and chastity;" for "emphasizing information over formation;" and for "violating the latency period."

In 1998, the principal of St. Bede's of the Oakland Diocese told parents that their children either had to attend the New Creation classes or they would have to quit the school. When the SF Faith asked the superintendent of schools for the Oakland Diocese, Anne Manchester if mandatory attendance at these classes contradicted the guidelines in Educational Guidance in Human Love, she responded the site (St. Bede's) could make the decision.

The state of affairs in San Jose public schools is a few steps more developed with homosexuality being considered just another ethnic group or normal human condition. A heterosexual recent graduate of Gunderson high school, Robert Davila said," The school is diverse- they have Hispanic clubs and Gay clubs. They demonstrate how to use condoms so you won't get aids."

The troubles in Catholic schools,as shown above, are only part of the problem since the vast majority of Catholic high school students go to public schools. In public schools parents have no chance of getting offensive sex ed books removed. Since in the fall of 2000, Governor Davis signed legislation that went into effect on January 1,that mandated California public schools expose homosexuality, bisexuality, transvestitism, transexuality, and other lifestyles to all grade levels, including kindergarten.

The only place the Catholic public school students are going to get the sexual moral teachings of the church on a continuous basis is at the pulpit said Father.

Father X remembers former San Jose Diocese Bishop Pierre DuMaine saying, "For the vast majority of Catholics the only religious talk they will hear is the homily and the only literature they are going to read is the bulletin. So, what does that tell you about their importance?"

Before Vatican II, it was the practice in the United States for Bishops to have a syllibi or schedules for the year's parish homilies where the specific moral and faith teachings were to be systematically presented. Father X said that in the Homiletic and Pastoral Review many priests have made a case that the church in America needs to return to the syllibi. Likoudis, on the other hand, believes the problem is in the "silence from the pulpits on Catholic sexual ethics by cowardly priests and bishops- or who are sympathetic to the dissenters.

A decadent media morality has replaced Christian and Catholic morality in our culture. The Sex Educators active in public and parochial schools represent that media morality "

Most Catholics get their morality from the media. Father X said, for example, that the U.S. Bishops statement on stem cell research was good, but he knew practicing Catholics who never heard of it. All they heard was what the media presented. Until the church has an organized effort to educate the mass of Catholics, there is only one way to educate. The orthodox Catholic priest must give homilies on the specific moral issues. Also, they need to do a write up in the bulletin that is mentioned during the homily.

According to Father X, the Catholic clergy from the Vatican to the local parish priest need to be more "users friendly" in writing and speech. Because of the media culture, the high school students find it hard to listen when language is too philosophical or technical. Another problem in the teaching of sexual morality is homosexuals who have got into the priesthood. Likoudis said," There has been a strong homosexual network operating in the Church by those who have infiltrated our seminaries to find refuge there."

"There are some homosexuals in the priesthood, but it's not an official network. It's not in the open, but you can pick it up." Father X said, "They don't contradict the moral teachings of the church instead their method is to question the foundations of the moral teachings-scriptures and tradition. Then they bring in psychology and biology to support their agenda."

Fr. X was asked if he knew of any priest or teacher pedophile cases in the San Jose Diocese. He said, "No, not that I know of." The Diocese of San Jose has a policy that if someone is reported then a committee is set up to review the complaint. The committee makes a judgment, which can lead, to getting the police involved and the ending of pastoral duties."

This diocesan policy is in line with the Catechism of the Catholic Church which in section 2357 states that " "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered"...under no circumstances can they be approved." In the next section, the Catechism says "they do not choose their homosexual condition", but no where is there the diocesan "philosophical agenda" that presumes an "unchangeable" natural biological or genetic basis for acts it calls "intrinsically disordered."

"The argument over genetics is a curious one. If homosexuality is genetically inherited, then homosexuality must be chosen by some who do not have a genetic trait. Identical twins must be either both heterosexual or both homosexual and we know this is not the case. It has been documented in cases of identical twins where only one was homosexual. "Director of Family Life for the Diocese of Duluth, MN, Dick Frost said, "Biologically two men do not fit together to procreate, nor do two women. Biologically it is impossible."


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