Newspaper ads protest Bounder Catholic school
Associated Press Writer
DENVER – Gay rights groups said they have purchased full-page advertisements opposing a Boulder Catholic school’s decision to eject two children because their parents are a lesbian couple.
DignityUSA, a gay rights group of Roman Catholics, and other groups are advertising in Sunday’s Camera newspaper in Boulder and The Denver Post, saying the school’s decision is hurtful and damages the fabric of the community.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus school in Boulder told the parents that one of the children could complete kindergarten and the other could finish preschool, but neither could stay at the school after that.
“As Catholics, it is deeply hurtful to see the Archdiocese of Denver forcibly remove children from their educational programs to send a message of rejection and exclusion to those children’s parents,” the advertisement reads.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput supports the school’s decision. In a column posted on a church Web site Wednesday, Chaput said it’s a “painful situation” but the decision is in line with church beliefs. A March 5 statement from the diocese said that by living in discord with Catholic teaching, the parents choose by their actions to disqualify their children from enrollment.
The policy is not limited to or directed at homosexuals, said Denver archdiocese spokeswoman Jeanette DeMelo. There have been other issues with parents and individuals in “discord with Catholic teaching” that did not involve homosexuality, she said.
The Rev. William Breslin, pastor at Sacred Heart of Jesus School, wrote in a blog that the church teachings are more important than the cultural interpretation of tolerance. Allowing the students to attend the school would put them in a tough position, he wrote.
“If a child of gay parents comes to our school, and we teach that gay marriage is against the will of God, then the child will think that we are saying their parents are bad,” Breslin wrote.
The Sacred Heart school policy states it expects students and their parents to agree with church beliefs, including those forbidding sex between anyone other than married, heterosexual couples.
“As a private school, that is their right under the law. But that doesn’t make it the right thing to do,” the advertisement reads.
Jeff Stone, spokesman for DignityUSA, said he wants to know if children are being taught about same-sex relationships at that age. The Sacred Heart school teaches students from pre-Kindergarten to eighth grade.
“Is that what he’s saying? Is that what’s going to go on after they leave? I think that’s something that many Catholics would disagree with,” he said.
Other organizations sponsoring the advertisements include Call To Action, New Ways Ministry and Fortunate Families.
Neither the parents nor the children have been identified.
On the Net:
Catholics Concerned: http://coloradocatholicsconcerned.com/
Archdiocese statement: http://www.archden.org/index.cfm/ID/3513
Father William Breslin’s blog: http://www.fatherbillsblog.com