Sunday, September 27, 2009

How would this be handled in a Catholic School?

I am very intrigued by this story in today's edition of The Age: School the most dangerous place for young gays.

I wonder how such situations are handled in our Catholic schools?

First, let me say a couple of things:

1) I abhore violence, persecution and victimisation toward anyone, including those who self-identify as homosexuals. Paragraph 2358 of the Catechism says: "[M]en and women who have deep-seated homosexual not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."

2) I affirm with the Church (always thinking with the Church on this blog!) that (in the words of the Catechism again in the prior paragraph): "Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity [cf. Gen 19:1-29; Rom 124-27; 1 Cor 6:10; I Tim 1:10], tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered"141 [CDF, Persona humana 8]. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved."

3) I am surprised that a boy in Year 6 (aged 11 or 12) could already be so sexually aware and mature as to be able to identify himself as "gay".

4) I myself received distressing victimisation and name calling in later primary school and early secondary school in a country school, being called a "poof" simply because I acted differently from most of the other country boys my age with reference to matters of taste and culture. (I did not, at any stage, however, self-identify as "gay" - I would not have imagined such a thing).

So, given all that, how would the situation of this young man be handled in a Catholic School today? What would be the appropriate pastoral response?


At Sunday, September 27, 2009 8:35:00 pm , Anonymous jules said...

Well, it does get "handled" by the school very well . Most developmental issues about sexuality are left to the children and sometimes to the parents. However, there is a very strong anti bullying policy in place in all schools, regardless of what the target of the bullying is. Catholic schools, even so need to be an anchor for homosexually-inclined students, because they do suffer a"dis-integration" during their experience at Catholic high schools. Most suffer a disconnection from their families, their classmates, and their school, and even find themselves rejecting the very faith that should sustain them. The difficulties experienced by those students and the Church and school's failure to help or direct them in the authentic catholic view ,is a reality, mostly because no one wants to be labelled or sued for sexual vilification or "homophobia" and unfortunately many catholic teachers do not understand or have rejected the church's teaching on the issue. So everyone develops "truthaphobia" surrounding the issue or it's swept under the carpet or worse authentic catholic teachings are misrepresented by teachers .

At Monday, September 28, 2009 12:56:00 am , Anonymous Schütz said...

I should point out that, as the story makes clear, the boy in question is now finished school and working with a local charity group to assist other students who experienced what he did. He is not 11 years old any more.

At Monday, September 28, 2009 8:29:00 am , Anonymous Joshua said...

Recall our previous discussion of how teenagers these days use "gay" to mean daggy, weak and lame?

At Monday, September 28, 2009 10:24:00 am , Anonymous Paul said...

I like the description of year 6 as the time of quietness. I (half jokingly) say that the peak of maturity seems to be year 6. They are mostly on top of everything that happens at primary school, but haven't yet struck the teenage issues. From year 7 it all gets more complicated and mature behaviour starts to evaporate. I'm in my late 50's myself now, and I think I am now again approaching the maturity of an 11 year old!!!! (at least I hope so)

At Tuesday, September 29, 2009 12:08:00 am , Anonymous Anne said...

Tom, Morning prayer? catechesis ? Your friends are in communities? The way to go!!
Yeah yeah!!!!!

At Tuesday, September 29, 2009 7:57:00 pm , Anonymous Tom said...

Uncovered! Yes, my friends, and I, are in communities.

At Wednesday, September 30, 2009 12:31:00 am , Anonymous Louise said...

I was certainly more mature at 12 than 14!


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