Outraged parents of students at a Catholic grade school in Kansas are taking action after the school denied enrollment to a child of a same-sex couple, The Kansas City Star reports.
Craig Maxim, pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church and School in Prairie Village, sent a letter to parents explaining that a prospective kindergartner had been rejected simply because their parents were of the same sex.
Neither the child’s name nor gender have been made public.
Roughly 1,000 St. Ann parents and community members have since signed a petition pleading that church leaders reconsider.
“The Archdiocese states that since same sex unions are not in conformance with the Church’s teaching on sacramental marriage and these unions have no current ability to bring their relationship into conformity, the parents cannot model behaviors and attitudes consistent with the Church’s teachings,” Maxim wrote in his letter.
“One of the many reasons that we choose to send our children to St. Ann is the welcoming culture, which is central to the original ministry of Jesus Christ,” the petition reads.
“Respectfully, we believe that the decision to deny a child of God access to such a wonderful community and education, based on the notion that his or her parent’s union is not in according with the Church’s teaching in Sacramental marriage, lacks the compassion and mercy of Christ’s message.”
The letter also cites “vasectomy, IVF, divorce, and remarriage without approved annulment” as other examples of how modern parents may not follow the church’s teachings, as well as the fact that St. Ann accepts children from non-Catholic families.
“Individuals with same sex attraction should be treated with dignity,” the church responded in a statement. “However, the challenge regarding same sex couples and our Catholic schools is that same sex parents cannot model behaviors and attitudes regarding marriage and sexual morality consistent with essential components of the Church’s teachings.”
“The Church’s teaching on marriage is clear and is not altered by the laws of civil society. The decision of the Supreme Court to grant marital status to same-sex unions does not change Church doctrine on marriage, but does present the Church with new pastoral challenges.”