A mother with kids at a nearby middle school has been following the controversy at Charlotte Catholic High School, and sent me this email below. It offers another perspective on the story, from a parent very close to it and from someone who lives in the community. She asked that her name not be used.
I happen to be a Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools (MACS) parent…As a MACS parent for seven years now, I am very familiar with our (Charlotte Catholic) high school, and know plenty of parents there. We are a fairly small, thriving Catholic community here, and all this media attention is a bit disconcerting.
One aspect that is very challenging — seeing so many comment and seemingly judge our community over this issue. I’d guess that 80% of people commenting/arguing online on Facebook, Catholic blogs, the diocesan and/or local paper either don’t have kids in MACS, or don’t even live in this area. We are blessed with some very holy priests in this immediate area. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I hear homilies on abortion, birth control, homosexuality, the 7 deadly sins… solid, faithful Catholic teaching. I can’t say that every parish is like this, but the three within 5 miles of my home are. We also have an enormous, very active homeschooling community.
Charlotte Catholic (CC), to my knowledge, is a fairly conservative high school. I believe that the school itself is solid. We are absolutely blessed to have Fr Kauth as the school chaplain at CC. He is a devout, holy priest.
That being said, Fr Kauth and/or the school made an error in judgment. If you read that article carefully, you’ll understand. Parents were NOT notified of this talk, which contained a sensitive subject. Given the things we have to sign off on as a parent (for example, PG 13 movies), this is a shock. MACS in general is very strict about this, up to and including the high school level. As a parent, I would have liked an outline or transcript (again, fairly standard) so I could either prep my kids at home, or opt out entirely.
The talk was a mixed audience, i.e. boys and girls. Also, many kids were young teens. Again, parents know their kids best. Seniors might be fine… my son as a 14 year old freshman, maybe not. I like to be informed, and usually MACS does a great job with this.
This talk, given by Sr Laurel, deviated from her standard talks. I *expect* a Catholic high school to teach our faith correctly… especially the difficult aspects. But the social science Sr Laurel delved into? Not OK for this younger audience. Especially when the parents were in the dark. At the very least, allow parents to attend with their sons or daughters. From what I understand, Fr Kauth was not aware Sr Laurel was going in this direction, either. He apologized, and that’s good enough for me.
Deacon Kandra, I can sincerely tell you that, despite the petitions and online commentary, the above is what
most parents are upset about. And had my children been at that talk, I would have been upset as well. As you probably know, there was an open forum meeting several days ago to discuss this issue. Only current parents of CC students were allowed in (my husband wanted to attend and was not allowed). Oh, and pastors as well. I see so much being assumed in the various blogs elsewhere.
In my opinion, MOST of the online animosity you are seeing is from a small group of extreme “left, liberal” Catholics in our area, who want major reform (women priests, etc) — pitted against another small group of extreme “right, traditional” Catholics who homeschool and wouldn’t allow their children to attend our MACS schools even if they were free. The first group openly dislikes priests such as Fr Kauth, and in their eyes he can do no right. The second group openly reveres priests such as Fr Kauth, and in their eyes he can do no wrong. Each group is using this issue for their own agenda, in my personal opinion.
I just wanted to lend some perspective to this issue, as I feel as if I am on the middle of a battle field right now. After reading so many scathing comments launched at our community and high school in particular, I just wanted to set the record straight.