You probably caught this story last week.
Now, Archishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, has responded, through a column in his diocesan newspaper:
The decision not to admit the child of a non-Catholic same-sex couple to St. Ann Catholic School in Prairie Village has unfortunately garnered quite a bit of local and some national media attention. Not surprisingly, the secular media has been very negative in their portrayal of the decision.
Some St. Ann parishioners, as well as many more non-parishioners from both Missouri and Kansas, have signed a petition urging me to reconsider the decision. I believe most petitioners and many other critics of the decision are well-intentioned. They have a genuine concern for the child and the same-sex couple. I share their concern for the welfare of both the child and the parents, but we disagree about the best way to treat them with both respect and compassion.
I know this issue is troubling for many because it hits close to home. Most of us know someone in our family or among our friends who struggles with same-sex attraction. We love them and desire what is best for them. It is very important to note that experiencing same-sex attraction is not sinful. In fact, some of the most virtuous people I know are individuals with same-sex attraction who choose to live a chaste life.
One of the positive developments of contemporary culture has been to make it unacceptable to ridicule homosexuals. It is offensive to God to make cruel, demeaning remarks about those made in his image, about those for whom Jesus gave his life on Calvary.
At the heart of our Catholic faith is respect for the dignity of every human person who is created in the divine image and is of such worth in the eyes of God that Jesus gave his life on Calvary. In the very first chapter of the Bible, we read: “God created man in his image, in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” Human beings are the masterpiece of God’s creation. Amongst all creation, God gave human beings the freedom to choose to do his will or not.The primary purpose of our parochial schools is to help Catholic parents form their children in the faith. We assist parents to help their children to discover their God-given dignity. Our schools attempt to help students not just know about God, but actually to encounter God and experience his unique, personal love for them.
We try to assist parents in their efforts to help their children become disciples and friends of Jesus. If we do this part of the mission well, then our students will be motivated to do their very best — not for human honor and praise, but to glorify God who has given them life and entrusted them with their talents and gifts.
He also notes:
Some have posed the question: Why not admit a child of a same-sex couple, when there are other school parents not living in a manner consistent with Catholic moral teaching? I am not sure how those posing the question know the intimate details of other parents’ lives or how they propose the church should acquire such knowledge.
However, let us consider the case of a heterosexual couple where one of the spouses has a previous marriage that has not received a decree of nullity. In such a case, the pastor would normally request that they seek an annulment. It is possible that their situation can be brought into conformity with church teaching.
However, even if it cannot, it does not engender a similar confusion occasioned by the same-sex couple, because their invalid marriage does not contradict a fundamental component of the nature of marriage.