Today CNN reported on a young grade school student who was "disenrolled" (I.e. kicked out) of a Catholic Parochial School. Why? Because the parents were partnered lesbians!
Now a child will suffer for the "sins" of the parents. The pastor took the action, and was supported in a public statement by the Chancery (I.e the bishop) because the same-sex couple were violating the teaching of the Church forbidding same-sex sexual behavior.
How did the pastor or bishop know that the couple were having sex?
Regardless of their private behavior, was it appropriate to punish the child? And you better believe the child will be negatively affected.
Where is the compassion of Christ in this situation? I am distant from the actual incident, but at least as reported, I see no reaching out with care, love and compassion to the child.There seems to be no compassion offered to the couple either. Again as reported, for church leaders to say, adults should know the teaching and obey it or suffer the consequences, seems hardly Christlike [I will certainly will correct distortion of facts, if they are brought to my attention].
One has only to recall the Mexican Cardinal who uttered such hateful words about homosexuals. The Vatican had to remind the Cardinal that even the Catholic Catechism requires respect for homosexuals. What about the often (usual?) formal, impersonal treatment or total neglect of sex abuse victims here in the U.S?
The argument about the hurtful outcome for the child and other children in the school and the "scandal" caused to the laity" are those commonly dragged out. Some churchmen must begin to realize that the laity are hard to scandalize. The most recent case I can remember of the laity being scandalized is at the cover-up behavior of bishops who hid the crimes of pedophilia.
Just think of what a Catholic/Christian response of love and compassion might look like. The clergy would plainly state there was a pastoral concern for the child and the couple. They could, personally and through others show deep understanding, support and love for the child. They could speak with (not to) the couple and at least appreciate their lives and love for each other.
Thirteen years ago when Cardinal Laveda was archbishop of San Francisco, he was able to work with others to discover a way for same-sex couples to share health benefits and remain employed by Catholic agencies without violating Catholic teaching or principles. Can't at least this kind of solution be arrived at?
We need to act with the love and compassion of Christ FIRST and then deal with the words we use to express the beliefs Catholics hold.
Earlier in the day I had been commenting on a friend D's joy and happiness over being a godparent; the hope he has to support, nurture and love DA, and the big celebration the family had. I shared with him my joy in becoming Confirmation sponsor for my nephew who is 14.
After hearing about the above "incident," I began to ponder what kind of Church these youngsters will grow up into: one showing greater compassion or one so bound to statements of "teachings" and "correctness" that love and compassion will wither. I do agree here with the Holy Father that what we need is to maintain hope.