Catholic parents who are trying to remain faithful to Church doctrine are doing their best to teach these values to their children at home. They often choose to send their kids to Catholic schools with the reasonable expectation that the values we are trying to instill at home will be supported and nurtured in our schools. Sadly, this is not the case in today with many Catholic schools. These schools do little more than pay lip service to their Catholic Identity.
Such appears to be the case with Totino-Grace High School in Fridley, Minnesota. Totino-Grace has been the target of Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual (LGBT) activists for many years. These activists are intent on trying to change Catholic teaching on human sexuality. Over the past ten years, the school has employed no fewer than 8 individuals actively involved in homosexual relationships, including administrators, religion teachers, school counselors and coaches. Many other Totino-Grace employees are sympathetic to the LGBT cause, and some have openly expressing their opinions in the classroom. This has made it nearly impossible to offer Totino-Grace students with authentic Catholic teaching on topics such as human sexuality and marriage for fear of offending others.
Case in point: an all-school Mass celebrated this past week. The priest delivered a beautiful homily about the brokenness we all experience in this life. One example cited was the recent Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage.
A number of students immediately began to vocally express their disagreement with the priest’s message and some actually walked-out of the Mass. For the remainder of the day, the school was abuzz with talk about the homily. A number of parents reportedly contacted school administrators to express their outrage about the ‘divisive’ homily.
By that afternoon, the school’s president made the decision to make a school-wide announcement. But instead of supporting the priest, many students felt his announcement sounded like an apology for the priest’s homily. That evening at a Totino-Grace football game, one disgruntled parent threatened the priest who was on the football field meeting with players. The following Monday, LGBT student activists were reportedly allowed to distribute rainbow ribbons with the Totino-Grace logo to other students at school who wanted to express their dissatisfaction with the priest’s homily.
This is just one example of a long list of abuses that have occurred at Totino-Grace over the years. Although students, parents and even priests have repeatedly expressed their concerns to school administrators, little has changed.
Unfortunately, this situation is not unique to Totino-Grace. Many so-called ‘Catholic’ schools have also surrendered to the secular culture. But how could this happen? There’s apparently plenty of blame to go around; from bishops who have abandoned their responsibilities to ensure diocesan schools remain faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, to school administrators who are either LGBT sympathizers or simply lack the fortitude to resist secular influences, to parents who have remained silent in the face of these problems, often choosing to simply move their children to a different school rather confronting the issues head-on. We all share some of the blame for the predicaments facing many of our Catholic schools.
If you want to get sense for where this is headed, just look at Canada, which is about 10 years ahead of the United States in the ‘social revolution.’ There you will find examples of school boards forcing a radical sex curriculum on Catholic schools; faithful teachers are being fired for standing-up for man/woman marriage; legislatures are passing laws that require Catholic schools to violate their religious beliefs; and Catholic schools are being forced to allow a child’s ‘gender identity’ to determine their choice of locker rooms. Faithful parents, with no other choice, are electing to home-school their children in record numbers. But you can bet that the radical LGBT movement will soon take away the home-schooling option as well.
The Church teaches that parents are the primary educators of their children. As Catholic parents, we have one major mission in this life; to help our children become saints and get to heaven. This requires that we ensure our kids understand and appreciate the beauty of our Catholic faith. God gave us His teachings not as an arbitrary list of rules to limit our freedoms, but as loving guidelines as given by a parent who desires that his children find true happiness in life. Let’s work together to ensure we can successfully accomplish our mission as Catholic parents and pass on the faith in all of its fullness and beauty to the next generation.