A Catholic school in Kansas has banned a kindergartner from enrolling because of the child’s same-sex parents.
St Ann Catholic School, Prairie Village, said the ‘rules are clear’ and that because the parents are gay men, the child is not eligible to enroll in the school.
In response, nearly a thousand people – many of them fellow parents – have signed a petition asking the leaders of the church to reconsider.
The petition, addressed to Archbishop Joseph Naumann and school Superintendent Kathy O’Hara, says:
‘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 accordance with the Church’s teaching in Sacramental marriage, lacks the compassion and mercy of Christ’s message.’
Around half the signatories are members of St Ann.
‘It also could become a source of confusion for other school children’
However, in a statement to the Kansas City Star, the Superintendent stood firm in their ban, saying the ‘Church’s teaching on marriage is clear and is not altered by the laws of civil society’.
O’Hara continues: ‘The Church teaches that individuals with same-sex attraction should be treated with dignity.
‘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.’
Parents became aware of the child’s ban from the school after the pastor, Rev. Craig J Maxim, sent a letter home.
Maxim sought guidance from the archdiocese, who advised against accepting the child.
In the letter, Maxim writes: ‘This creates a conflict for those children and what is experienced at home. It also could become a source of confusion for other school children.’
Meanwhile, the petition argues that the school already admits pupils who are not Catholic.