opining

Can’t a Catholic School Parent Push to Exclude Gay Families’ Kids Without Everyone Getting Upset?

On Friday The Pilot, the official newspaper of Boston’s Catholic Archdiocese, featured the wisdom of Michael Pakaluk, an author and university professor, on why the children of gay parents shouldn’t be allowed in Catholic schools. Yesterday, the paper’s editor apologized: Sorry if you were offended!

Pakaluk’s own son, when he was in the first grade at the Boston Archdiocesan parochial school, had to deal with a classmate who had two daddies. Disgust! While we’d all like to pretend that it’s not the child’s fault for having gay parents and there’s nothing wrong with enrolling these children alongside the offspring of “traditional” families, Pakaluk writes, the situation inevitably breeds scandal.

For three reasons, one of them involving “a real danger” that a child of gay parents would bring porn to school. Get ready!

One:

It was inevitable that either the teacher, or some parent, would deal with the two men in such a way as implicitly to teach my son, or other children in the class, that there is nothing wrong with same-sex relationships. But this is scandal: that is, leading a “little one” astray in some serious matter by the example you set.

Two:

The second reason is that parents are rightly given access to a child’s classroom, and yet I could not trust the designs of the same-sex couple. A mother or father may volunteer to read to the class or chaperone for a class trip. If the homosexual parent does so, what guarantee would I have that he would not be an advocate for his lifestyle, implicitly if not explicitly? One would expect him to be: he says he takes “pride” in his life; the school, it seems, has implicitly endorsed his role; and so why wouldn’t he speak unabashedly about his lifestyle? He might even view himself as something of a “pioneer” and “reformer,” helping to encourage what he regards as “progressive” (“spirit of Vatican II”) aspects of Catholicism in opposition to the “backward” and even “hateful” positions taken by “the Vatican.”

I saw this happening in my son’s school. The same-sex couple was interestingly activist in hosting pizza parties, sponsoring tables at fundraisers, and volunteering when parental help was needed. I found out only by accident that the pizza party–a “beginning of the school year” celebration, held as an afterschool event–was going to be held at the apartment of the same-sex couple. The school felt no obligation to inform the parents of this fact. When I complained to the principal, she claimed that the school would never divulge such information, as it was “confidential” and a matter of “privacy.”

And three:

The third reason is that it seemed a real danger that the boy being raised by the same-sex couple would bring to school something obscene or pornographic, or refer to such things in conversation, as they go along with the same-sex lifestyle, which–as not being related to procreation– is inherently eroticized and pornographic. He might expose other children to such things, as he might easily have encountered them in his household.

So here comes The Pilot‘s editor Antonio M. Enrique, apologizing to readers: “This particular column was written as a personal opinion of Mr. Michael Pakaluk who is expressing his views following his own experience of being a father of a first grader at a Catholic School. The tone of the piece was strong and we apologize if anyone felt offended by it. Pilot readers are accustomed to reading differing views on many complex social issues. Our Catholic laity is well educated and can make up their minds on whether they agree or disagree with a particular opinion. Mr. Pakaluk’s column, as is the case with other opinion pieces, does not necessarily represent a specific position or endorsement of The Pilot or the Archdiocese. We see ourselves as a vehicle to promote conversation and better understanding of the different positions on issues of interest to Catholics within the bounds of the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

While the apology — which arrives after GLAAD made a stink — is a reasonable thing to print, at first glance it’s also a curious one: Isn’t the Catholic Church in the same business as Pakaluk, branding gay families as places of moral destruction? Actually, no, at least not in Boston. We’ve already seen Archbishop Seán Patrick O’Malley come to the defense of a gay family whose child was refused admission at a Catholic school. If The Pilot is O’Malley’s newspaper, then, editor Enrique’s rebuke — or “clarification” — of Pakaluk’s column is in keeping with this surprisingly refreshing position.

But Jesus still hates gays, so there’s that.