Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput must be feeling a little hot under the priestly collar following the decision of Cardinal Sean O’Malley to adopt an admissions policy in Boston’s archdiocese that prohibits discriminating against children of gay parents.
Chaput is the man who decided last May that two preschoolers were unwelcome in Boulder’s Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School because their parents were lesbians.
Jeanette De Melo, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Denver, told Boulder Weekly at the time, “This isn’t a punishment to the children. To allow children in these circumstances to continue in our school would be a cause of confusion for the children themselves, in that what they are being taught in school conflicts with what they experience in the home.”
De Melo went on to say that the archdiocese wasn’t just picking on the children of gay parents, but that all “[p]arents living in open discord with Catholic teaching in areas of faith and morals unfortunately choose by their actions to disqualify their children from enrollment.”
Does this mean that children of single parents are denied permission to attend? Or the children of parents who divorce for reasons not allowed by the Catholic Church? And what about parents who use contraception, don’t observe Lent or make use of in-vitro fertilization?
We asked those questions last May, and were told that the policy holds firm for any “open discord,” though we have yet to hear of kids getting the boot because their mommy and daddy are enjoying the benefits of the pill.
The anti-gay nature of the decision rankled many, sparking outrage even among many Sacred Heart parents.
But now a bona fide Prince of the Church has rejected this reasoning. “Catholic schools exist for the good of the children, and admission standards must reflect that,” O’Malley wrote on his blog. “I believe all would agree that the good of the child must always be our primary concern.”
Observers say this emerging schism will fuel the conflict over gays and the Catholic Church and the seeming conflict between the free practice of religion and discrimination. Catholic website Lifesite reported on Jan. 14 that O’Malley’s decision has already “won praise from dissident ‘Catholic’ gay rights leaders.”
Will O’Malley’s decision have any impact on the situation in Boulder? After all, this is the Catholic Church, where spiritual truth is less mutable than concrete. Or as De Melo put it last May, “Each of us does not have the right to decide what is ‘Catholic’ and what is not. To be Catholic means to submit to the teachings of the Church in matters of faith and morals.”
De Melo told Boulder Weekly Tuesday that while Cardinal O’Malley has a loftier title than Chaput, his duties over his archdiocese are no different than those of Chaput, who has not reconsidered his decision.
“The decision of Cardinal O’Malley in his archdiocese does not have any authority over any other diocese in the country,” De Melo says. “[Chaput] believes he made a good decision for the best interests of the school and the children involved, and at the moment he is standing by that decision.”
Asked how such variances can be tolerated in a church that believes in one universal truth, she called it “a practical difference. It’s a difference of policy, it’s not a difference of belief.”
Interesting. In other words, there is some flexibility on issues like this. That means Chaput’s decision to exclude the children of GLBT parents is a choice.
So, as if we weren’t confused enough by the backwards names that Starbucks uses for its drink sizes, the coffee giant has added a fourth.
For those of you who have been living under a rock or are allergic to caffeine, for some reason a small drink at this establishment — which we refer to fondly as “the crackhouse” — is called a “tall,” and the medium is called a “grande.”
Now, to make things even more interesting, there is something beyond the current large “venti” size: the “trenta,” a 31-ounce behemoth that begins to approach the paperboard buckets of soda you get at the movie theater.
Trenta, as you probably know, is Italian for “trough.”