Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Sunday, February 14, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Nation and World
Parents object to North Carolina school's assembly on human sexuality
Catholic News Service


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hundreds of parents packed the gym of Charlotte Catholic High School to criticize a recent student assembly on human sexuality and the school leaders who arranged it.

The presentation March 21 by Dominican Sister Jane Dominic Laurel of Nashville, Tenn., titled "Masculinity and Femininity: Difference and Gift," drew the ire of many students and parents and sparked an online petition with more than 3,000 names.

About 900 people attended the April 2 meeting, arranged by school and diocesan leaders to hear from concerned parents and explain the intended purpose of the assembly. There were comments from parents who supported the school and the presentation, but most of the comments were critical.

School officials said Sister Jane spent about half of her hourlong talk in March on homosexuality, including attributing a correlation between the decline of fatherhood in America and the rise in homosexuality.

It was that portion of her talk that sparked the petition and a counter-petition, followed by emails, comments in social media and blogs. One email asked readers to contact school and diocesan leadership to express their support for Sister Jane. School officials said a majority of the emails they have received oppose the views expressed by Sister Jane.

At the April 2 meeting, parents said they felt betrayed by school administrators for not being told about the all-school assembly beforehand. Other parents objected to some of the material Sister Jane presented about the alleged causes of same-sex attraction and the way she presented it.

The first parent to speak said her student came home after the March 21 assembly feeling ashamed and embarrassed.

"Where was the trust? Where was the communication?" she said, directing her comments to Father Matthew Kauth, the school's chaplain who arranged for the assembly. "It is trust. It is respect. It is confidence. I have lost confidence. I do not trust your judgment and I do not respect (Father Kauth)."

Her comments drew loud applause from many others.

Sister Jane has a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, and her presentation was based on a series of instructional videos she created for Aquinas College in Nashville where she is an associate professor.

According to the website www.newmanconnection.com, where Sister Jane's videos are posted, her presentations focus on the differences between the genders, the role of the family in nurturing each child's unique gifts, the importance of real friendships and emotional intimacy, and the impacts of contemporary culture and the media on our concepts of sexuality.

When reached by telephone the week after her presentation, Sister Jane told the Catholic News Herald, Charlotte's diocesan newspaper, said she has given similar talks more than 80 times in 25 states.

At the April 2 meeting, parents heard apologies and statements from Father Kauth, as well as from Father Roger Arnsparger, diocesan vicar of education, and Charlotte Catholic's dean of students and two assistant principals.

School leaders asked parents to engage in a respectful dialogue, and a statement was read aloud from Charlotte Bishop Peter J. Jugis, who was unable to attend because he was presiding at a church dedication. Bishop Jugis prayed there would "be a friendly and respectful conversation among Catholic brothers and sisters, united in the one faith and in the love of Almighty God."

But many parents' emotions boiled over, with arguments even carrying over into the school's parking lot when the meeting ended after two hours. Two observers called the meeting's climate "disrespectful" and "hate-filled."

"There was a lot of passion from two different viewpoints," David Hains, diocesan director of communication and moderator for the parents meeting, said afterward.

In his statement, Father Arnsparger explained that Sister Jane "has been invited to give this presentation very many times throughout the country in many dioceses and with great interest and success."

"Many said that the first part of her presentation at Charlotte Catholic High School was excellent and fully in line with the Catholic faith. There was unfortunately a misunderstanding about the content of the last part of the presentation," he continued.

"In that part, I understand that Sister used data from the Linacre Quarterly, a reputable journal, and from other sources. That data can be debated and, in fact, is debated back and forth by scholars who are researching the areas of human sexuality. Because of the ongoing debate, it would have been better if these studies and data were omitted from the presentation to the students."

In his remarks, Father Kauth likened the Catholic faith to a light that dispels the darkness, and the truth which sets people free from sin.

"When I came here, I experienced to an increasing degree the suffering that comes to our children and the blackness they feel inside. They are taught by nearly every form of media that Christ's teachings in his church are restrictive bars, medieval torture chambers to keep them from happiness. When they have 'broken free' I get to see their agony," he said.

His intention, Father Kauth explained, was to bring back a popular speaker to give a different voice on the topic of sexuality to students. Sister Jane's talk last fall at Charlotte Catholic was so well received, he said, that he invited her back to deliver a presentation to the entire school.

He defended Sister Jane's presentation on same-sex attraction as it related to church teaching, but he distanced himself from the social science data she quoted as being appropriate for the forum of the student assembly.

"I was stunned as anyone," he said, when asked why he didn't stop her talk. "I didn't know she had inserted this other piece. That piece (on homosexuality) is something that I wouldn't have presented" in that forum. He said later that he takes responsibility for not making that clear.

Father Kauth repeatedly told the crowd of parents that Sister Jane should not be blamed, and that any fault should be pointed toward him.

Parents were given three minutes each to express their concerns and ask questions, but as moderator Hains frequently had to remind speakers to control their emotions.

One parent told Father Kauth, "You have divided parents, you have divided students, and we've lost respect for you."

A parent who said she was representing homosexual and bisexual students at Charlotte Catholic said Sister Jane "pounded home the message" that if these students are questioning their sexual identity, they had better stay in the closet.

Some parents tried coming to Father Kauth's defense but were shouted down by other people.

Afterward, Hains said the meeting was designed to assure parents of "a commitment on the part of the school to better communicate when dealing with issues of sexuality."





Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
 
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search











Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved