Friday, June 17, 2011

Lucia Catholic schools and same-sex dates

Some things are just naturally explosive.

A Catholic school boy is upset that he can't take his older male friend as a date to the St Patrick's school ball. He writes about it on his Facebook page, and then quick as a flash, the story makes it to the Dominion Post on Wednesday, took over NewsTalk ZB's Wellington talk-back in the morning, and was taken up by Gay NZ, who saw this as a means to force Catholic schools to bend on their religious obligations to the students who attend.

One of the problems here is that the Catholic school is not strongly putting forward the Catholic position on same-sex dating.  Their reasons for not allowing an older boy to attend seem to obscure the issue at hand.
The debate began when Malcolm was told by St Pat's Rector Father Paul Martin that if he wanted to attend, he had to bring a girl, which Malcolm and Keith saw as a homophobic school policy.

St Pat's Fr Martin denied homophobic intentions and said that the ball was for the students from his school and therefore they would not allow boys from other colleges or old boys to attend.

"If the policy says that you may not take a boy to the dance who is one year out of school, but may take a girl who is one year out of school, then they are indirectly homophobic," the boys complained.

The policy, by its very design, created a de facto ban on the ability of homosexual students to bring a partner from outside of their own school, Keith said.

The boy has since decided to back off, as the firestorm caused by this issue has threatened to attack his school and his religion.  Good on him, in that respect, he's showing some maturity in not just thinking about himself.

However, this is a conversation that needs to be had.  Our Catholicism needs to be clearly articulated rather than hidden.  As such, our beliefs will clash with the increasingly secular society we have around us.  But then our beliefs clashed with Roman society from when the faith first burst out of Palestine.  But eventually that society was transformed, the Roman Empire became Catholic.  Compromise, obfuscation, cowardice does not transform, it merely ensures eventual extinction.

Related link: Ball row expands beyond Catholic school ~ GayNZ
Pupil backs down on school ball fight ~ Stuff

4 comment(s):

Seán said...

Yes, you are spot on here Lucyna. And the school did not need to fall back to "policy" to explain itself. It would do well to recall its special character and simply point to scripture, to its beliefs. Strength seems to be missing.

Mateo said...

I don't think the Catholic Church bans having male friends.. The boy said he was only bringing the ball partner as a friend, and they are not together. The boy is openly gay, but in this case was just bringing a friend. This may or may not be true, but if that was the case I don't think there is scripture that would prevent him from having male friends.

Seán said...

Mateo - well if that was the case then then surely the media and GayNZ would not have gotten in on the act. The scenario you paint is a completely different kettle of fish. If the youngster couldn't find a date he should have taken his sister :-) Straight males don't tend to dance with other straight males.

Oswald Bastable said...

A piece of attention seeking nonsense. That's all.

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