UPDATE: Gay Iowa grad reaches compromise with diocese over scholarship presentation


The gay advocacy organization that provided Prince of Peace Catholic School senior Keaton Fuller with a $40,000 scholarship has prepared a script to be read at a May 20 graduation ceremony with the blessing of Bishop Martin Amos. The diocesan superintendent of schools will read the script but a representative of the Eychaner Foundation’s scholarship committee will be there to physically present a statue to Fuller.

Amos in an earlier statement said “long-standing” policy would not allow an appearance by Eychaner officials because “we cannot allow anyone or any organization which promotes a position that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church to present at a diocesan institution.”

But open further review, diocesan spokesperson David Montgomery said there has been no alteration of policy and that the issue became what did “presenting” an award really means.

“We meant to say ‘speaking’,” Montgomery said.

Bishop Amos went on to say in a statement that “principles of mutual respect and careful listening exhibited by all parties allowed a solution to emerge. We have many things we agree upon, and have also agreed to accept the fact that we also have some things we disagree about. But that shouldn’t prevent all of us from celebrating Keaton Fuller’s success.”

Fuller and the Eychaner Foundation’s founder, Rich Eychaner, both thanked Bishop Amos for finding an acceptable resolution. The script to be read on graduation day will say the scholarship “is granted to distinguished Iowa high school seniors who are openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender” and that Fuller “gradually shared his story with friends and classmates … and was embraced by the Prince of Peace community.”

“As I leave Prince of Peace, it’s comforting to know that this experience may make it easier for the next gay student who attends this school,” Fuller said in a statement issued Friday. “Please know that this week has not been about me. Rather, it has been about recognizing that everybody deserves to be treated equally, regardless of any differences we may have.”

Read more at the link, including the full script of what will be read at the graduation.


  1. Keith Strohm says:

    I’m sure this will be seen by some as the diocese caving in to the homosexual agenda. My take is that it is a wonderful example of the Church in conversation with the culture–keeping to its teaching and principles while reaching out in a spirit of good will. It is little things like this which will, ultimately, help the Church propose the Gospel of Jesus to a world that desparately needs it.

    We don’t need to be raging idealogues to stand firm for the Faith which Christ gave us!

  2. “will be seen” = the truth, the school folded like a gas station road map

  3. Or the school folded like holding 7-2 off-suit against a pair of aces.

  4. Agreed!

  5. That would be a bluff on your part, Todd.

  6. In these comboxes, I like to think of it as a gambit.

  7. naturgesetz says:

    I’m glad all parties concerned were able to come to a resolution that they all find satisfactory. They all deserve credit for not letting this become a standoff.

  8. I’m disappointed that the bishop has evidently greenlighted a statement that legitimizes bogus categories like bisexual and transgender, and presents homosexuality as not disordered.

  9. Actually, transgender is a legitimate biological reality. You do know that less than 100% of human beings, despite what you might have been taught in grade school biology are not either XX or XY, right?

  10. pagansister says:

    Glad that the Bishop and the other parties concerned were able to come to a mutual agreement.

  11. Todd, what you’re describing is a disorder. Disorders need to be seen as such, for those living in the truth.

  12. I think you’re on difficult ground here.

    If we ascribe to a strict Darwinism, applying the codes of the competitive natural world to human beings, you may be right. XXY, XXX, and XYY individuals have particular challenges that might not be favored in a by-your-bootstraps adaptation in their environment. Of course, that opens the floodgates to other sexualities and genetics in the natural world.

    My own sense is that human beings were created to be more than instinct-driven and survival-of-the-fittest animals. What you see as a biological disorder, others see as an opportunity for enriching the human aspect of life and culture.

    Of course, nature presents other “disorders” to us as biological creatures: large heads of infants trying to fit through narrow borth canals, to consider one notable challenge that “ordered” human beings face. Or one might say that figures such as Leonardo, or Einstein, or Emily Dickinson are also well beyond the human mean in what they offer to society and culture. Are we looking for a human race that consists more of clones than individuals?

  13. pagansister says:

    Disorder Romulus? This world would be worse off if some of those “disordered” men and women had never been born. Many “disordered” people have given us much pleasure with their music and stories, paintings and sculptures—-in fact a “disordered” man just died the other day, Sendak, who gave children many books to enjoy. So I find it really, really hard to say just because a person happens to be attracted to another person of the same gender, that they are “disorderd”. An artist friend of mine has a wonderful talent and I’m proud to have many of her woodcuts in my house. She and her partner are most certainly NOT disordered.

  14. Same sex attraction is not disordered because you can’t control who you are attracted to, nor can you really know what sex someone is. Think of the cartoons where a man dresses as a woman and the other men start chasing after him.

  15. Disordered is when non Catholics possess the irresistible urge to spend inordinate amounts of time commenting on a religion that they neither understand or respect.

  16. Chris Sullivan says:

    “we cannot allow anyone or any organization which promotes a position that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church to present at a diocesan institution.”

    That sounds unnecessarily hard line.

    It would exclude Jewish, Muslim, Protestant or even Orthodox Christian speakers.

    Do we really need to exclude everyone who doesn’t agree with us on everything ?

    God Bless

  17. pagansister says:

    Good one Joanc57 ! If commenting on things I care about is considered a disorder, I gladly will accept being “disordered’. Hope your day went well. :o)

  18. naturgesetz says:

    The word “disordered” does not imply voluntariness. Neuroses and psychoses are not voluntary, but they are disorders. Eating disorders are not voluntary. Attentention deficit hyperactivity disorder is not voluntary. None of the behaviors which arise from these disorders are truly voluntary. The fact that one cannot control who one is attracted to has absolutely nothing to do with whether same-sex attraction is a disorder.

  19. The word “disorder” in moral theology does not have the same meaning that disorder has in medicine or psychology. Using natural law theory, disorder means that something deviates from its created purpose–the purpose ordained by God. The purpose of food is to provide nourishment and pleasure: but if someone undereats or overeats it can The rightly ordered purpose of sex is for union between two people and is open to procreation. Both elements must be present for a relationship to be well ordered. If I remember correctly there are other elements that must be present in a well ordered sexual relationship: it must be permanant, entered into freely

  20. “Do we really need to exclude everyone who doesn’t agree with us on everything?”

    Usually just the political disagreements, Chris. That’s the ineffectiveness of the whole strategy. It makes bishops and the Temple Police look like buffoons.

  21. Ok Todd, I have you down as one vote for polysomy as a feature, not a bug. Have you notified the medical community?

    Extra credit for brazen chutzpah.

  22. If you care about the Catholic Church, pagan sister, then I would think you respect it, so you wouldn’t fit into that category. I still hold out hope that you will seek out an RCIA program. Why not join us?? :)

  23. pagansister says:

    Joanc57, if I didn’t respect the Catholic Church, I most certainly wouldn’t have spent 10 years teaching in a Catholic school. (believe me, it wasn’t for the money!). I can respect it, but not agree with parts of it. There is a difference. Thanks for the invitation but I respectfully decline.

  24. No worries. You’ve graduated from disorder to polysomy. Not great, but it’s a start.

  25. pagansister says:

    Oh, Joanc57, happy to hear that I’m currently not “disordered”. However there are probably times when some would disagree. :o)

  26. Things would be even better if there were an equivalent scholarship for the best heterosexual student.

  27. Joanne K McPortland says:

    “Mutual respect and careful listening by all parties.” Deo gratias. That’s the real award here.

  28. ChicagoRefugee says:

    Intersex !=! transgender. Some intersex people are rather unhappy about the efforts of the transgender community to conflate the two. And the condescending tone is particularly uncalled for when coming from someone who appears rather misinformed themselves.

  29. Fair enough Pagan sister about not wanting to join RCIA. Your posts invite lively discussion without being obnoxious. You are an interesting lady!

  30. pagansister says:

    joanc57: “You are an interesting lady!” Thank you? :o)

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