The Sisters Resist Evil
Five nuns who teach at Marin Catholic High School walked away from their classes last week to demonstrate their disdain for a national Day of Silence aimed at raising awareness about anti-lesbian and anti-gay language and bullying.

The Day of Silence, which was held Friday, has been sponsored by the New York-based Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network since 2000.

The walkout comes on the heels of another controversy involving Marin Catholic and the Catholic Church’s edicts concerning homosexuality. Last month, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone proposed requiring teachers and staff members at Marin Catholic and three other parochial high schools to accept contract and handbook language condemning homosexuality, same-sex marriage, abortion and birth control.

The sisters, members of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist order, could not be reached for comment this week, but they issued a letter to students explaining their actions, said Chris Valdez, principal of Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield.

The sisters wrote: “We went home on Friday because what happened was inappropriate. We went home because we were made to feel uncomfortable and used for another’s agenda. We went home because the Catholic school and faith that we love was being compromised.”

The sisters said they were surprised when a Facebook site supervised by the school for student use announced last Thursday that Marin Catholic would be observing the Day of Silence. Valdez said the announcement, which was inaccurate, was not approved by school administrators.

Jenny Betz, director of education and youth programs for the national Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, said students who participate in the Day of Silence forgo speaking for the day and instead hand out stickers and flyers explaining the reason for their silence.

“We’re working on ensuring that all students have safe and affirming schools and learning environments, and that everyone gets to be who they are regardless of sexual orientation or sexual identity,” Betz said.

Jennifer Malone, director of the Marin AIDS Project, said, “We know the suicide rate among LGBT teens is higher than for the general straight population, and it’s because of the negative experiences and stress that comes along with being a member of that group.”

The sisters, however, said that some students pressured other students to take the flyers and stickers on Friday. “Some students told us that when they declined the stickers, they were yelled at and openly criticized,” they wrote.

The nuns said they were not anti-gay, writing that: “Like the Church, the Sisters do not support any sexual activity — heterosexual or homosexual — outside of a marriage between a man and woman. However, we accept, respect, and treat with dignity all those who believe and/or act differently. We do not support bullying, bigotry, or any kind of prejudice.”

But the sisters said the New York-based education network “has both spoken out against the Church and is contrary to the Church’s mission.”

Betz said, “We don’t speak to any specific church teachings.”

Valdez said, “We have been talking about how we can support gay and lesbian students here on campus, and students wanted to create a safe space club.”

He said students wanted the club to be created by last Friday to coincide with the Day of Silence; but because more time was needed to complete the club, instead a prayer was read over the school’s public address system on Friday acknowledging students everywhere who have been ostracized, marginalized or silenced by bullying.

Regarding the issue of the proposed “morality clauses” for the school handbook, Valdez said Archbishop Cordileone has agreed to convene a committee to rewrite the handbook language, and that committee is at work now. Three members of the committee are Marin Catholic teachers.

“What I understand is there are going to be some changes to his original handbook language,” Valdez said.
God bless them!

I live literally across the street from a different archdiocesan high school, and a friend of mine who coaches there says most of the teachers are pretty openly against our dear archbishop Cordileone.

It's so easy to get discouraged, but what can we do besides pray? I still have to attend to my own spiritual life and those of my wife and children. There's only so many letters to the editor one can write, and only so many letters of support one can write to the faithful priests and archbishop. Following every little uproar is such a distraction and nuisance, and if I get upset isn't that what the enemy wants?
The reason most of your so called "Catholic" schools are like this is because they are Catholic in name only.  They have become nothing more than gloried private schools, where true Catholic doctrine is not taught lest the offend those students, (usually the majority), that are not Catholic.  >:(

I hope the Archbishop cleans house in his diocese.  He desperately needs our prayers to remain strong against the evil he is facing.

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