This Catholic High School Is Standing Up To The Church

From the Huffington Post. Note the headline -- this Catholic school is "standing up to" the Church. If they considered the Church good, they wouldn't have used that phrase; they'd have used "confront," "go against," "fight against," "punks on," "derails," etc., but not "standing up to," as if the Church is a big schoolyard bully or the Nazi Party.

[Image: rainbowsaint.jpeg]

A statue of Mother Marie Rose Durocher, founder of Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, is adorned with rainbow-colored symbols in front of St. Mary's Academy in Portland, Oregon, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. The Roman Catholic school has changed its policy on hiring gay employees following the uproar over its decision to withdraw a job offer to a lesbian.

This Catholic High School Is Standing Up To The Church
St. Mary's Academy in Portland has instituted a policy forbidding hiring discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Senior Staff Reporter, The Huffington Post
Posted: 08/28/2015 02:47 PM EDT | Edited: 08/28/2015 02:49 PM EDT

A Catholic high school in Portland, Oregon, made history this week by instituting a policy that forbids employment discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Vox Wrote:.. as it should be -- assuming the gays and lesbians in question accept Church teaching and try to live their lives in accordance with Her teachings. Of course, that's undoubtedly not the case here...

St. Mary’s Academy adopted the policy after its earlier decision to rescind a job offer to Lauren Brown, an academic counselor, triggered a backlash. Brown was offered the job in April, and over the summer, she told a top school official that she was gay.

That's when things changed. According to documents obtained by a local news source, the school offered Brown a year of pay in exchange for her agreeing not to sue and to stay quiet about the matter. Brown turned down the offer. When current students, alumni and donors learned about the story, they were outraged.

It’s hardly unusual for a Catholic school to fire a teacher for being openly gay: Despite Pope Francis famously asking “Who am I to Judge” in response to a question about gay priests, gay marriage is still considered a sin and a violation of Catholic teachings. But St. Mary’s has never been a typical Catholic school, which perhaps explains the heated reactions from current and former students after learning of the rescinded job offer.

Vox Wrote:"Openly gay" -- i.e., suffering from SSA and being honest about it -- is one thing; rejecting Church teaching is another.

And for how long will we have to hear about Pope Francis's "Who am I to judge?" as if that statement condones homosexual behavior rather than simply asserts that he is not Jesus, the only Judge of souls?

More than a dozen current and former students told The Huffington Post that the news sharply conflicted with their understanding of St. Mary’s, a well-loved institution that prioritizes social justice and once recruited students with the slogan “free to be me.”

As Jade Osilla, a 2005 graduate of the academy still living in Portland, put it, “St. Mary’s Academy was or is an incredibly progressive place for being a Catholic school.”

Vox Wrote:
"Progressive place for being a Catholic school" = "barely a Catholic school at all"

“People always seem to think that Catholic schools are about nuns and uniforms and rigidity,” she continued. “But social justice and equality were part of the soul of the high school, and I think I can say that every girl who has left that high school has kept that in mind. So when we saw this happen it sent up a lot of red flags for all of us. We were sad, angry, hurt, and betrayed.”

Vox Wrote:Uh-huh. Because "social justice" entails considering the parterning up of homosexuals as akin to marriage. These are kids who have not been properly catechized at all. And, of course, the idea of equality, aside from equality before the law, and equality in terms of human dignity, is a crap concept to begin with, but one that's apparently the sine qua non of this "progressive 'Catholic' school."

Osilla, like many of her friends and former classmates, learned the news of the rescinded offer in an email from the school president on Wednesday morning. “We understand that others may hold different values, and we respect the right of individuals in society to do so,” the letter, obtained by HuffPost, read. “At the same time, as a Catholic high school we are obligated to follow current Catholic teachings regarding same-sex marriage in our employment practices.”

Vox Wrote:If Osilla had written those words in that letter, I'd respond with, "No, you don't, Osilla. You don't respect the right to hold 'different values' at all. You don't even respect the right of a few thousands-year old Divine institution --  rooted much further back a few thousand more years all the way back to Abraham -- to have its own rules for its own schools."

“We ask for your prayers during this difficult time,” the letter concluded. Facebook groups for St. Mary’s alumna promptly exploded with angry comments. The letter was particularly painful for current and former students who identify as queer.

“I was like please, ‘pray for you,’ are you kidding? This is so fucked,” said Mac Reid, a 2007 graduate who now identifies as gay. “I still communicate with the staff there because they’re so passionate about making sure that these girls know their worth as human beings and what they’re capable of as young people. They typically lead by example, and this was the opposite.”

In a letter to administrators that has been widely circulated on Facebook, Claire Willet, a class of 1999 graduate who is also gay, wrote about how damaging the school’s initial decision was to queer students at the school.

Vox Wrote:Damaging to their freedom to engage in homosexual sex maybe. But a properly-catechized Catholic shouldn't behave in a way that damages a homosexual person in any way, period, the end. But that's the deal nowadays:  you're either for homosexual sex, or you're a "homophobe," a "hater." Pure Catholic teaching, straight out of the Catechism, isn't good enough. Witness the pure and unadulterated hatred in these few paragraphs:


[size=12pt]Catechism of the Catholic Church
Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. [/size]

It's frightening, isn't it? The nastiness just oozes from those words!

Though it's sad to know that *some* Catholics are haters, in spite of what our Church teaches. The toxic types love to hate on homosexuals more than anything, I think.

“You are not supporting the young queer women of St. Mary's by denying them the chance to have a role model of their own on staff,” her letter read. “You are not supporting them by teaching them that they are welcome in the Catholic Church as long as they keep their heads down and don't make a scene.  You are not supporting them by saying, 'We're happy to take your tuition money but we would never hire you.'"

Vox Wrote:What hasn't been answered throughout all this, at least not that I'm aware of, is whether or not the teacher in question is simply "openly gay" -- or "openly gay AND justifying -- or trying to -- acting on homosexual desires." That is the question at hand, isn't it?

Although the queer alumna and current students interviewed this week spoke of the school in glowing terms and said they always felt supported by teachers and staff, they also pointed out that St. Mary’s has never been completely immune from the mainstream Catholic teachings on homosexuality.

Vox Wrote:Awwwww! Isn't it just sad as all Hell when a school named "St. Mary's" isn't "completely immune from the mainstream Catholic teachings"? How could such a thing happen? I mean, really!

Back in 2007, When Angie Goffredi was a junior, she and a few friends formed a queer students' alliance with a supportive guidance counselor, but they weren’t allowed to advertise or put up posters like the other school groups. They called it “Geography Club,” after a young adult novel about a similar secret school support group, and recruited by word of mouth. “I always felt like I had to tiptoe around [the administration] to be myself, but I wasn't ever outrightly punished or anything for being out,” Goffredi wrote in an email.

Vox Wrote:And you shouldn't be punished -- outrightly or otherwise -- for simply being honest about your struggles. One big problem with gay clubs in schools is that kids at those young ages are all the time questioning themselves, going through identity crises, "trying on new hats," and all that -- and all it takes is one zealous gay rights activist type to slap a label on such a kid and pigeonhole him for life.

I think there should be a place for students with similar interests or struggles to gather, including those with SSA. But such a delicate matter would require oversight from someone who knows and "gets" Catholic teaching, who wouldn't condone acting on homosexual desires, but who wouldn't truly discriminate or treat as "less than," those students who truly are homosexual. The problem, though, is that a Catholic school upholding Catholic teaching just isn't good enough for the activist types.

Stevie Dod, a junior at St. Mary’s, said that things started to change at the Geography Club last year. Dod is a leader with what is now called the Student Alliance For Equality, though the club still cannot advertise or put posters up in the halls. “But it is not a secret like in the past,” Dod wrote in an email. “I feel comfortable telling other students about it, or talking about future meetings on social media.” Wednesday’s news came as a total shock. Dod recalled that old recruiting slogan, “Free to be me.”

“That no longer seemed accurate,” Dod wrote.

The school’s reversal came quickly. A little over 24 hours after the first email, the St. Mary’s president announced the school board’s unanimous decision to add sexual orientation to its equal employment opportunity policy.

“St. Mary's is a diverse community that welcomes and includes gay and lesbian students, faculty, alumnae, parents and friends, including those that are married,” Christina Friedhoff, the president, wrote. “We are proud of our work preparing the next generation of women leaders for service and leadership. We are still deeply committed to our Catholic identity.” 

Vox Wrote:
See? "Including those that are married." Catholic teaching isn't good enough. Respect for folks who struggle with SSA isn't good enough. Charity and understanding for them isn't good enough. The only thing that is good enough is to betray the Church.

According to Willamette Week, Brown has not been offered her job back because the school already gave it to someone else. But Friedhoff says the school wants to offer "reconciliation" to Brown.

St. Mary’s students and alumni are now busy figuring out what exactly happened. “The thing that’s irritating most of us is just why they had to make that first decision at all,” Reid said. “If it was easy enough to repeal, to do the right thing, then why did they have to do that in the first place?”

Many point the finger at the Portland Archdiocese. Since the pope asked "Who am I to judge?" a small group of Catholic leaders around the world have spoken in support of gay people generally and the importance of employment nondiscrimination policies that protect gays and lesbians in particular. The Portland archbishop is not among them. Last month, he wrote a column explaining why Pope Francis’ question does not translate to Catholic support for the “gay lifestyle” or “gay marriage.”

Vox Wrote:Duh.

“If a person with same sex attractions engages in homosexual acts, these acts are intrinsically and gravely disordered, and objectively constitute grave sin,” he wrote.

While it is unclear exactly what role Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample played in the school’s decision to resend the offer, he voiced support for the decision earlier this week when the news broke. “We expect that given certain reassurances by the federal government in the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling making ‘same-sex unions’ the law of the land, our religious liberty would be protected in this case as well as any future cases of this sort,” he said.

Vox Wrote:
Don't count on it.

Since the school changed its policy, a spokesperson for Sample declined HuffPost's request for an interview. “The Archdiocese is aware of the decision made by St. Mary’s Academy, and will continue our conversation with school officials,” David J. Renshaw, the director of communications for the Archdiocese of Portland, wrote in an email. Asked whether the school may lose its Catholic affiliation, Renshaw declined to say. “As the statement indicates, conversations are ongoing.  We all hope for the best resolution.”

The school likewise turned down HuffPost's request for an interview on the week’s tumultuous events. ”We are focusing on our internal community right now. We are engaging in dialogue with our parents, students, alumnae, and faculty and staff so that healing within our community can begin,” Friedhoff said in a statement.

Perhaps the midweek turn occurred, as some have suggested, after two top donors to the academy slammed the school’s decision to rescind the job offer.

“We are extremely disappointed in the decision by St. Mary’s Academy to terminate an offer of employment based on sexual orientation and objections to marriage equality,” wrote Mary Boyle, who graduated from St. Mary’s in 1967, and her husband, Tim Boyle, the CEO of Columbia Sportswear. “We feel strongly that the position taken by St. Mary’s, as reported in the press and reflected in communications from the school, was wrong and should be reversed.”

The Boyles did not respond to HuffPost’s request for an interview.

Regardless of the reasoning, the school now stands as an important test case. Can a Catholic institution deviate from church doctrine and remain Catholic? LGBT Catholics everywhere hope so. “This is a landmark,” said Francis DeBernardo of the New Ways Ministry, an LGBT Catholic group. “I don’t know of a single other school that has stood up in this way.”

Vox Wrote:Again, it goes back to the question: is this teacher merely homosexual and honest about it -- or is she actively homosexual and justifying it? Those are two radically different scenarios. Christians should get fired for sinning, per se, when those sins aren't major crimes or indicate danger for the community in which they're employed (in which I'd include someone's attempt to justify their crimes). But they should be fired if they're unwilling to support Catholic teaching. So what isthe deal with this teacher?

BTW, you can see some articles about Jewish yeshiva teachers who come out and leave. They're found almost always in Jewish publications, like The Forward, The Tablet, etc. When it's a self-professed Catholic "standing up against" the Church, it's a story that gets covered by the Huffington Post, Salon, the New York Times, etc. Funny how that works, isn't it? 

Here we go again.....left wingnuts getting euphoric over a "triumph" against Christianity. Tale as old as time! Their obsession with homosexuals would be comical if they'd leave Catholic orgs alone but then again a lot of Catholic orgs aren't really Catholic. They use the name for its influence but don't understand it worth a darn. That's alright though. God will settle the score.
Write and send e-mails to Archbishop Sample of Portland, Oregon to stop this
The world going to hell fast. I wonder if it will last long enough for me to even start a family 

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