March 16th, 2010
02:23 AM ET

Lesbian parents of expelled kids defend their Catholic faith

A lesbian couple whose children were expelled from a Catholic school in Boulder, Colorado, expressed their dismay Monday, but held steadfast to their faith.

In a written statement, the women, who chose not to reveal their identities, described themselves as normal, hard-working people with a nice house and a dog - and as Catholics.

"When we were allowed to have our children baptized ... we made a promise
to raise our children in the Catholic faith," they said. "We now feel like our attempts at fulfilling this promise are being undermined by the Church itself.

"Perhaps our biggest objection to the school's decision is that we think that it is wrong to punish a child for who the child's parents are. We do not think that this reflects what Jesus would have done."

The Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado, recently defended its decision not to re-enroll the couple's two children in the Sacred Heart of Jesus School next year because their parents are lesbians.

"The Church does not claim that people with a homosexual orientation are 'bad,' or that their children are less loved by God," Archbishop Charles J. Chaput wrote in an article published in the Denver Catholic Register.

"Quite the opposite. But what the Church does teach is that sexual intimacy by anyone outside marriage is wrong; that marriage is a sacramental covenant; and that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman. These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society. The Church cannot change these teachings because, in the faith of Catholics, they are the teachings of Jesus Christ."

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Filed under: Education • Gay and lesbian • U.S.
soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. Disgusted

    Why would anyone want to belong to something that does not accept them? I understand the need for faith and spiritualism but there are so many other avenues. Why adhere to a religion that clearly does not accept you or your family? Where is God in that? Would love to hear the explanation on that one from the Catholics. So nice that they get to pick and choose their beliefs. Nothing more than a centuries' old bully. Pretty sad situation all around.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. Susan

    "...the Church does teach that sexual intimacy by anyone outside of marriage is wrong"..
    does that not apply to Catholic priests, especially those who victimize young boys? The hypocritical judgment so easily passed by the church is just one of the reasons I have
    abandoned my Catholic upbringing. Actions speak louder than words, and the actions
    taken by the church in moving/protecting sexually abusive priests is unforgiveable.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Brandon

    Finally someone is is standing up to the Gay & Lesbian community by sticking to the morales set forth by the catholic church. How can two women who charade as a married couple claim to be Catholics when there very relationship is a sin in the eyes of the lord. I respect Archbishop Charles J. Chaput for keeping the values and the teachings of Jesus in the fore front and not giving in to the gay community for fear of bad publicity.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. John Thompson

    re: "marriage can only occur between a man and a woman"

    What has any of this to do with the children? Does their presence in the school blur the position of the church on marriage? If the children were born out-of-wedlock to a heterosexual couple would they be denied enrollment? This is weird.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    The Archbishop is right. The same goes for Pelosi and Kennedy, can't have it both ways, Catholic and pro choice.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. Meg C

    As a Catholic, I am appalled at the hypocrisy displayed by this Archdiocese – to allow these childern to be baptized is to accept them into the church – to NOT allow them to also be educated is positively Midieval! How many children enrolled are the children of divorce? Not Catholic? Haven't been to Reconciliation in the last year? If you are going to apply the most conservative of standards to the children in the school they should be applied equally across the board. This is discrimination, plain and simple.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. Megan

    So does this mean that all other single parents' children will also be expelled? Based on Chaput's logic, this should be the case.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Paul Wallace

    "And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God"; These are the words of Jesus. I would encourage Archbishop Charles J. Chaput to center more on what good can come to these children by going to Catholic School, than on punishing their parents. Throughout the New Testament, we see an emphasis on inclusion, not separatism. (the Apostle Paul with the women of Borea and the time he visited "Mars Hill") Perhaps the Archbishop think about this as well.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. Megan

    What a strong couple and what a testament to their fatih – not in the church as a human institution but in the Church as founded by Jesus! The Archdiocese should be ashamed of itself – Jesus never denied anyone who wanted to follow him, sinners, Samaritans, taxpayers, even the men who would betray him.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kim H

    So what about all the parents that are having extramarital affairs, or who are not married, etc etc? Are their kids going to be expelled as well?

    March 16, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. pg

    The Catholic Church believes that intimacy by anyone outside of marriage is wrong, but people who do it aren't blocked from school or Mass. It believes that use of birth control is the same as abortion, which it believes is murder, which is wrong, but many Catholics undergo tubal ligation and take birth control with the Priest's knowledge, and aren't denied communion or their children's admission to Catholic school. There isn't a single Catholic who is living up to all the "priority" beliefs of the Catholic Church, and those who are trying the hardest are usually guilty of self-righteousness and judgement, which Jesus condemned over and over (where are the multiple references to abstinence of sex outside of marriage?).

    I think the Church has is't patriarchal priorities mixed up, which is why I cannot find it in my heart to go back. I think it's teaching is more hateful than I can tolerate and call myself a follower of Christ...

    March 16, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. D Mac

    I believe that it was wrong to expel this little girl as she is not breaking any rules of the church herself. I find it interesting, though, that the couple chooses to self-define as Catholics, yet lives outside the rules of the church. I have been struggling with that myself these last few years. I have defined myself as Catholic yet I support same-sex marriage, lived with my husband before we were married, and have used birth control (as most Catholics do). I am also deeply troubled by the ongoing scandal regarding pedophiles in the priesthood, and feel that I can no longer self-define as a Catholic. What I want is what is central to Catholicism, and that is the eucharist. I want to continue to receive the body of Christ at mass as a reaffirmation of my commitment to Jesus. Surely that is not at odds with showing compassion and acceptance to my brothers and sisters who are oriented differently than I. Jesus never taught that homosexuality was wrong. He would have shown the utmost understanding and tenderness towards this family. I think this couple should really examine why they feel the need to define themselves as Catholic when they clearly don't support the church's doctrine. In fact, I firmly believe that many priests and the hierarchy at the Vatican shouldn't define themselves as Catholic either, as they are engaging in activities in direct opposition to the doctrine of the institution they profess to uphold.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. Evangelist

    The child has nothing to do with the presumed parents's sinful act but I must say to these women that they must repent from their sinful way of living and get married by people from the opposite sex.At least the prophecy has been fulfilled that things like these are a reflection of the second coming of the righteous ruler the Christ himself.The wicked shall continue to be wicked and will never understand a thing.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. edward

    I am Catholic and gay and I offer all the hatred, anger and disgust that is thrown in our faces daily to God the Father through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and ask Him to turn it into His love and mercy.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  15. Holly

    I'm torn here between feeling just a little sorry for this couple and wanting to shake them to their senses. The absurdity of people clinging to a religion that rejects and debases them is stunning and frankly pathetic. I was raised Catholic, but I left when I was old enough to realize that the Church institutionalizes and glorifies the second-class citizenship of women. Why would I attempt to change the Church? To be Catholic means to accept the Church's teachings. Those teachings that are themselves in contradiction with my experience of truth in the world. I'll take the results of my own reasoning processes over anyone else's any day, and this couple should, too. The "ownership" of the Church that they seem to feel they have is misplaced. A Church owns you, not the other way around. Any institution with another ownership arrangement isn't a church, no matter what it calls itself–and that's probably where this couple belongs, NOT in a church.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
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