Friday, May 21, 2010

Cardinal Sean's rationale

In a previous post which may be found here, I noted how the Archdiocese of Boston has decided to help find a Catholic school for the ward of the lesbian parents who was denied admission on the basis of their illicit relationship. Cardinal Sean O'Malley, at his Blog, has justified this decision writing that, "Catholic schools exist for the good of the children and our admission standards must reflect that. We have never had categories of people who were excluded."

But His Eminence is mistaken, As my parents can testify, I was denied admission into Catholic schools because my father was career military. My parents were told that five years of residency was required before I could be enrolled. But because my father would receive new orders every three or four years, I was denied admission. Many other children of military families were similarly denied admission into Catholic schools for this reason. Perhaps we would have been treated differently if our parents had been homosexual or lesbian.

In a similar case which took place earlier this year in Denver, Colorado, Archbishop Charles Chaput explained that, "The policies of our Catholic school system exist to protect all parties involved, including the children of homosexual couples and the couples themselves,” he writes. “Our schools are meant to be ‘partners in faith’ with parents. If parents don’t respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible. It also places unfair stress on the children, who find themselves caught in the middle, and on their teachers, who have an obligation to teach the authentic faith of the Church."

Apparently Cardinal O'Malley isn't concerned about "all parties involved" in this matter. And His Eminence has forgotten the teaching of the Congregation for Catholic Education: "The implementation of a real educational community, built on the foundation of shared projected values, represents a serious task that must be carried out by the Catholic school. In this setting, the presence both of students and of teachers from different cultural and religious backgrounds requires an increased commitment of discernment and accompaniment. The preparation of a shared project acts as a stimulus that should force the Catholic school to be a place of ecclesial experience. Its binding force and potential for relationships derive from a set of values and a communion of life that is rooted in our common belonging to Christ. Derived from the recognition of evangelical values are educational norms, motivational drives and also the final goals of the school. Certainly the degree of participation can differ in relation to one's personal history, but this requires that educators be willing to offer a permanent commitment to formation and self-formation regarding a choice of cultural and life values to be made present in the educational community." (Congregation for Catholic Education, Educating Together in Catholic Schools: A Shared Mission Between Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful, No. 5).

5 comments:

Jarrett B. said...

Let me get this straight: the Church will accommodate those who are actively engaged in grave sin and who embrace the homosexual lifestyle in defiance of Church teaching while disregarding the rights of students, their parents and educators who do accept Church teaching. She will admit children whose parents are homosexual or lesbian into a Catholic school but not those whose parents are devout Catholics bravely serving their country.

Perverse. Small wonder that the Church in the United States has been mired in sexul abuse scandals and widespread dissent.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Cardinal Sean wrote, "We need to present the Church's teachings courageously and yet in a way that is compassionate and persuasive." This sounds attractive on the surface. Until you dig a little deeper.

As I said in a previous post dealing with the Rainbow Sash Movement, "..while it is true that everything must be done to help sinners, this cannot include helping them to sin or to remain in sin. Because of human frailty, every sinner deserves both pity and compassion. However, vice and sin must be excluded from this compassion. This because sin can never be the proper object of compassion. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 1).

It is a false compassion which supplies the sinner with the means to remain attached to sin. Such 'compassion' provides an assistance (whether material or moral) which actually enables the sinner to remain firmly attached to his evil ways. By contrast, true compassion leads the sinner away from vice and back to virtue. As Thomas Aquinas explains:

"We love sinners out of charity, not so as to will what they will, or to rejoice in what gives them joy, but so as to make them will what we will, and rejoice in what rejoices us. Hence it is written: 'They shall be turned to thee, and thou shalt not be turned to them.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.6, ad 4, citing Jeremiah 15:19).

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that the sentiment of compassion only becomes a virtue when it is guided by reason, since "it is essential to human virtue that the movements of the soul should be regulated by reason." (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, c.3). Without such regulation, compassion is merely a passion. A false compassion is a compassion not regulated and tempered by reason and is, therefore, a potentially dangerous inclination. This because it is subject to favoring not only that which is good but also that which is evil (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 3).

An authentic compassion always stems from charity. True compassion is an effect of charity (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.3, ad 3). But it must be remembered that the object of this virtue is God, whose love extends to His creatures. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.3). Therefore, the virtue of compassion seeks to bring God to the one who suffers so that he may thereby participate in the infinite love of God. As St. Augustine explains:

"'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' Now, you love yourself suitably when you love God better than yourself. What, then, you aim at in yourself you must aim at in your neighbor, namely, that he may love God with a perfect affection." (St. Augustine, Of the Morals of the Catholic Church, No. 49,

And by the way, His Eminence is implying that Archbishop Chaput failed to be "compassionate" in his response to a similar situation.

Stewart said...

It would also seem to suggest that a culture of effeminacy is more comfortable around homosexual and lesbian parents than normal heterosexual parents.

What does this suggest about the Boston Archdiocese?

Colleen said...

Mr. Melanson,

May I ask how old you are? The reason I ask is that the Church USED to, MANY years ago have a policy that families needed to be residents of the Parish associated with the Catholic school where they chose to send their children...simply because the parishioners in those days funded the majority of the happenings in the school.

This ruling has been changed for YEARS now and any/all students are welcome to attend. Please get your facts straight before you falsely leading people astray. There is already enough of that going on without your help.

Thank you,
Colleen

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Colleen, I submit that it is you who are engaging in dishonesty. Either that or your English comprehension skills are sorely deficient.

Cardinal O'Malley, in his feeble attempt to justify his decision to find a Catholic school for the ward of lesbian parents who are engaged in an illicit relationship, wrote, "Catholic schools exist for the good of the children and our admission standards must reflect that. We have never had categories of people who were excluded."

The key word in this passage is "never." The Cardinal's statement constitutes [by your own admission in the comment you left] a falsehood.

Which is why I responded, "But His Eminence is mistaken, As my parents can testify, I was denied admission into Catholic schools because my father was career military. My parents were told that five years of residency was required before I could be enrolled. But because my father would receive new orders every three or four years, I was denied admission. Many other children of military families were similarly denied admission into Catholic schools for this reason."

Military dependents were in fact denied admission. You admit this writing that, "..the Church USED to, MANY years ago have a policy that families needed to be residents of the Parish associated with the Catholic school where they chose to send their children...simply because the parishioners in those days funded the majority of the happenings in the school. This ruling has been changed for YEARS now.."

Children of military parents who were serving this great nation were excluded. This is all the more outrageous since their parents were making great sacrifices to serve this great nation.

As for the child of lesbian parents, as Archbishop Chaput so eloquently put it, "Our schools are meant to be 'partners in faith' with parents. If parents don't respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible. It also places unfair stress on the children, who find themselves caught in the middle, and on their teachers, who have an obligation to teach the authentic faith of the Church."

If anyone needs to get their facts straight to avoid "falsely leading people astray," it is yourself.

At any rate, I stand by my statement. The Cardinal's statement was incorrect.

Site Meter