Sister explains the situation. Spittle-flecked nutty, bullying, intimidation ensue.

With a biretta tip to TAM, I bring to your attention something that was in the Charlotte Observer.

This is we are going to experience for a long-time, friends.  If we Catholics (read: faithful to the teachings of the Church concerning faith and morals) actually dare to speak in public about the Church’s doctrine favorably or attempt to govern our lives by it, the blow-back will be instantaneous, relentless, savage.

My emphases and comments:

Sister Jane Tells It Like It Is

In a testament to just how bad so much of what passes for Catholic education is today, [And not just today…. for decades!] note this reaction to Sister Jane Dominic Laurel preaching basic Catholic doctrine:

Charlotte Catholic High School has invited parents to a meeting Wednesday night to air concerns many of them – and their kids – had about a recent speaker’s comments about homosexuality, divorce and single parents.
Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, a Dominican nun based in Nashville, Tenn., addressed a student assembly on March 21. Days later, some students launched an online petition that called her comments “offensive and unnecessarily derogatory.” [Students have learned their lessons well, haven’t they.  Be whiners.]
A record of the comments was not available. But students attending told their parents she criticized gays and lesbians and made inflammatory remarks about single and divorced parents. [Given the state of education, which year by year churn out kids who couldn’t think their way out of a room through an open door, I don’t doubt that they thought what sister said was “bad”.  They’ve been conditioned through the tens of thousand of hours of watching TV’s exaltation of deviation as “cool” and listening to virtually nothing in schools except self-affirmation and repression of reason.]
The petition, which has drawn more than 2,000 supporters, listed 10 objections to her remarks, including this: “We resent the fact that a schoolwide assembly became a stage to blast the issue of homosexuality [Here we go again…] after Pope Francis said in an interview this past fall that ‘we can not insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.’ We are angry that someone decided they knew better than our Holy Father and invited (this) speaker.”  [That is one of the stupidest statements I have read in a long time.  And it is manipulative.]
Some students told their parents that a few teachers left the assembly in tears. [My first reaction is to say: GOOD!  Perhaps this is the first time they have ever received an inoculation of any kind against the evils that we are facing right now.  Inoculations don’t feel good.]
In addition, parents called for a letter-writing campaign, sending out emails that listed the addresses of the Diocese of Charlotte, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, even the pope in the Vatican. [Yah… go ahead and write to the Pope … in the Vatican!]
Shelley Earnhardt, who is divorced [here’s a surprise] and who sent one of the emails, wrote that “in my home, there was outrage, embarrassment, sadness, disbelief, and further reason for my 16-year-old to move as far away from her religion as possible and as soon as she can.”  [Oh… right.   It’s all about her child.  That’s just dirty fighting.]
Other parents faulted the school for not notifying them about the sensitive nature of Laurel’s planned remarks. “It’s too big of a topic for parents to be surprised,” said Casey Corser.
Diocese spokesman David Hains acknowledged parents were not told ahead of time that Laurel would speak. [And?  A woman religious speaking at a Catholic school … and that’s special in some way…. how?] But he said she has spoken frequently in the diocese and has a doctoral degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. [No, wait!  That doctorate means nothing!   You made little Suzy uncomfortable by your judgmental words.  Therefore Suzy is right, and you, Sister, have no credentials here.]
“We have seen the petitions, and we have gotten the emails,” Hains said. “And we really hope to be able to answer their questions and address their concerns” at the meeting, which he said will be closed to the media.
The Rev. Tim Reid, pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, sent an email lauding the nun, [Kudos to Fr. Reid.] saying “she represented well the Catholic positions on marriage, sex, same-sex attraction and proper gender roles … The Church has already lost too many generations of Catholic schools students to … a very muddled and watered-down faith.[As I said.]
Go HERE to read the rest. (The comments illustrate the de facto schism that exists within the Church.) Quite a few people who call themselves Catholic in this country really aren’t in any meaningful way. [That’s for sure.]

[…]

Are you ready for what is coming?

As I write, I am in my native place. I came to town for a 40 Hours closing and the traditional clerical supper afterwards. There were lots of stories and inside information about what is going on there, in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, with the vicious attacks on the local church, clergy and Archbishop. Of course the deviant Left hate the Archbishop with the furious heat of a blue dwarf star because he promoted the marriage amendment to this state’s constitution. It’s payback time.

We are going to be seeing a lot of this in the future.

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69 Responses to Sister explains the situation. Spittle-flecked nutty, bullying, intimidation ensue.

  1. MaryofSharon says:

    I was privileged, and I mean PRIVILEGED, to host Sr. Jane Dominic in my home when she spoke on masculinity and femininity at a local parish. What an incredibly gracious and brilliant and highly-educated woman she is, and now I’m realizing, too, what a woman of courage she is! She offers an extraordinary video series called the “Rich Gift of Love” at the Newman Connection, eight classes of which are entitled “Masculinity and Feminity: Difference and Gift”. Go to http://www.newmanconnection.com/institute/courses/rich-gift-of-love
    God bless her with continued fortitude and serenity!

  2. LarryW2LJ says:

    I saw this on Facebook last week – I think it may have been posted by the Cardinal Newman Society, and my comment was “Just who catechized these kids?” I should have added, who catechized these parents? I pray for these children and parents, I pray for an end to the Culture of Death, I pray for an end to the secularization of our Church.

    I guess I am an anachronism. Thankfully, I was brought up in a time and place before nonsense like this was tolerated. I was taught that there is a Devil and that there IS right and there IS wrong. I was taught to be able to discern between the two. The Baltimore Catechism was ingrained into my being before the days of “Kumbaya” and felt banners, and Jesus being “my buddy” were allowed to take center stage. My mom and dad stepped up to the plate and augmented what the good Bernardine Sisters were trying to teach me.

    This doesn’t make me better than anyone else, please don’t take that as what I am trying to say. I am a sinner just like everyone else, but hopefully, God’s Grace was there, giving me some valid education, to fight the good fight that was and is yet to come. Sadly, there is a lot of confusion out there – over 40 year’s worth. But Catholic teaching is more than just feelings. There are precepts, doctrine and some very, very hard lessons to be learned and followed.

    We all have to try and be educators and evangelizers the best we can. It has to start at home with the Domestic Church before it spreads outward. I am doing my best to teach my children to be open hearted and to love as Jesus would, but at the same time to know that there is a Devil out there, and that there are things that are wrong and unacceptable, even though society in general would have you believe otherwise.

    In the end, looking at the reactions of these students and their parents, I think that Pope Benedict’s prophesy of a much smaller, but truer Church is likely to come about sooner than later. I saw one of those Catholic meme’s the other week; and it said “WWJD? Please remember that sometimes involved the use of whips and turning over tables.” I think some of these tables of failed catechesis need to be turned over and receive a good cleaning.

  3. ByzCath08 says:

    To be sure, I wasn’t there and didn’t hear Sister speak. However, from all accounts she spoke plain Catholic truth and doctrine. As Fr. Z said, it was probably the first time many of them had ever heard this teaching and it cut them to the core.

    Sin is ugly and we humans have tried to rationalize it, explain it away or blame someone else ever since Adam & Even in the garden. It’s time for the church and her clergy/religious/faithful to speak the truth everywhere and at all times. As a certain holy father said, “She (The Church) will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity.

    Those times are upon us.

  4. Monica says:

    Though I’ve lived in Northern VA for 14 years now, in my native Charlotte I used to rent a condo right across Johnston Rd. from Charlotte Catholic High School. I will be writing to the Bishop in support of Sister Jane Dominic. She is more than welcome to come speak at my sons’ Catholic school here. The challenges of raising children in the Faith are more than evident in the parents’ and students’ rejection of basic Christian doctrine. “The world” wants our children and is winning so, so many. Pray for mine if you will, fellow readers. I will pray for yours too.

  5. Titus says:

    “We are angry that someone decided they knew better than our Holy Father and invited [this] speaker.”

    Statements like this always remind me of the priceless scene in the old John Wayne movie She Wore a Yellow Ribbon:

    Sgt. Quincannon: “There are goin’ to be women on this wagon train, so I want you men to watch them words. Do y’hear? Watch them words!”

    Unseen Trooper: “Watch them grammar!”
    * * *
    I’ve met Sr. Jane Dominic. She’s fantastic. And even if I hadn’t, if Mother Ann Marie sent her somewhere to talk on a topic, you can bet dollars to stale donuts that she went there, said what the Church believes, and said it accurately and coherently. If you want to send a donation to the Nashville Dominicans as a thank-you for their faithful witness, and to thumb your nose at the spittle-flecked crowd, you can click through here.

  6. aemmel says:

    I have never understood this thinking. If you don’t believe “whatsoever the Catholic Church purposes to be believed,” why go to a Roman Catholic Church or send your children to a Catholic school? there are plenty of private schools out there, some even “religious.” If you just like the pretty vestments and liturgical services, go join the Episcopalians and leaves us in peace. There you can have your female bishops, gay marriage, and dance with bowls of incense.

  7. ByzCath08 says:

    Sister Jane has an email account at:

    srjdominic@aquinascollege.edu

    Send her a note thanking her for her witness to the Gospel in these sad times.

  8. RJHighland says:

    Wow a Catholic Nun teaching Catholic doctrine on authentic sexual morality in a Catholic School what a pleasent surprise. The kids and parents were obviously shocked because they had never heard this before or choose not to believe it. My hats off to sister and the priest that is supporting her. I hope the Bishop Peter Jugis steps up and voices his support of Sister Jane and those teachers that walked out need to be counselled and probably do penance for what they have been teaching these kids. That will be making a mess like Pope Francis has called us to do. Sadly it was his statements or interpretation of his comments also that have lead to confussion on these topics. So I hope these people write to the Pope so he will have an opportunity to clearify his statements to the world.

  9. Boniface says:

    Sister Jane Dominic is wonderful! Brilliant, funny, warm, kind, but clear about the realities of sin and evil. As Pope Francis said he is, she is simply faithful to the Catechism. The bottom line of her talks could be summarized as “here is the beautiful plan for our lives and world that our loving God created, and how it gets marred by sin.” Nobody was made to feel bad about being a child of divorce, et., but was made to see how problems and hurts they suffer are producrd by these situations that fall short of the love God wants us to give to Him and one another. The college students were in awe of her afterward !

  10. nasman2 says:

    This reminds me somewhat of a situation where my sisters wanted to help with CCD, but as soon as sound catechism was brought up, they were drummed out by the ‘trained professionals’ who had a stranglehold on shaping those young minds with things not entirely Catholic.

    It was great Sister Jane Dominic Laurel was invited to speak. Its pretty sad that the student body is that far gone. Its probably the fruit of this Catholic school’s concern with college placement than giving a firm foundation in the faith. This should be the wake up call to this school’s administration as to how much work needs to be done to fix the Catholic formation of the student body.

    I know many Catholic parents who send their children to Catholic high schools solely for academic reasons, with faith formation being a very distant concern. Wrestling control away from those who sow economic fear into education won’t be easy. It’s hard to argue with people distracted by trying to get into great schools to get great jobs so they can live rewarding lives. Faith usually never comes up or if it does its in a very superficial way. Without faith there is no moral anchor for what is taught, so when someone like Sister Jane Dominic Laurel shows up, its shockingly foreign. Kudos to whoever invited her. I wonder what will happen next at this school.

  11. Boniface says:

    Having trouble with the mobile function. Up above, my post ommitted that I heard her speak at a large midwestern Catholic university. Her talk was a huge success. It was one of the greatest things I have ever witnessed. Her message needs to be heard far and wide – it will be liberating for many. Sadly, high school students typically have such poor critical thinking skills that anything other than “yay, gay” and “yay tolerance” is transformed through their ears as bigotry.

  12. pmullane says:

    The tactics of these people are similar to those of other left liberals who want to shut down any argument other than their own (think Michael Mann and his fraudlent hocky stick and his never ending litigation against anyone who points out the flaws in his ‘work’, most notably Mark Steyn). These people are creating a big enough stink that it no longer becomes worth the hassle for lukewarm Catholic schools to present proper Catholic teaching. And when ‘Catholic’ schools no longer teach the Catholic faith (and for amny of us that day is here), then we might as well pack up and go home.

    The only answer is a groundswell of support for both the school and this good sister, and Catholic parents, chaplains and (most of all) bishops must demand sound Catholic teaching in all schools and teachers who fail to do so should be dismissed.

  13. tcreek says:

    The bishops of the United States are the culprits here. It is beyond me why they allow teachers to be hired who are not committed to living and teaching the Catholic Faith. I volunteer at an independent Catholic school where the teachers must sign and recite a pledge that they fully live the truths of the Faith and will teach that Faith to their students. This pledge is recited before the student at Mass.

    At my parish school, 80% of the students and their parents are never seen again after graduation. A friend said she has a difficult time getting her child to attend Sunday Mass — “Why do I have to go to Mass, none of my friends do.” A grandfather — “My grandson made his first communion last year and hasn’t been to Mass since.”

  14. Sonshine135 says:

    Thank you for bringing up this story Father Z. This one hits close to home, because I have a child who attends Charlotte Catholic High School, and others waiting in the wings. I also personally know Shelley Earnhardt, and I know the Priest involved, Father Matthew Kauth. This is Father Kauth’s second year of being the pastor of Charlotte Catholic High School. He is a Priest that any of the regular readers of this blog would be proud to have say Mass. He performs Mass in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form, and is an excellent teacher of the entire Deposit of Faith. Father has provided direct spiritual advisement to my child and has my child considering a vocation (he is planting seeds). Father is an associate Pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas. The church has OF Masses that are reverent, properly done, and include all the smells n’bells.

    Father invited Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, and it is obvious from first hand, anecdotal evidence from my child that the students that complained took Sister’s message and statistics, blew them completely out of proportion, and took this misinformation home to their poorly educated parents. The poster child for these parents just so happens to be Shelley Earnhardt due to her e-mail that made the rounds. The original e-mail was crafted for a select group of undisclosed friends at her church. The church Shelley attends just happens to be known as one of the most liberal in the Charlotte Diocese. The RCIA program there is run by a Nun of the “Nuns on the Bus” LCWR crowd. It is your typical felt banners, rock band, Protestant Choirmaster, milquetoast liturgy as you can imagine. That Priests that have served it have a history of giving communion to whoever comes up for it, no matter if they are known to be divorced, homosexual, or Protestant. Who is more at fault for this though? Is it Shelley and those of her ilk, the Priests, or the Bishop who allows this to take place?

    Shelley, like many of these parents are generally ignorant. If you read the Emma Waters Petition, it is complete and total lack of knowledge of the Catholic Church. Plain and simple. These people feel very threatened, because they have been taught that the God is love and no matter how bad you sin, God is love so nothing bad will happen to you. That is the extent of their catechises. Worse yet, adults like Shelley are teaching Christian Formation to the next generation.

    I will not let Charlotte Catholic High School off the hook either though. If you go to the school during the day, the kids are in uniform and dressed modestly. Come to the football games at night though, and you will see many of the young ladies that opposed Sister Jane’s talk scantly clad in tied-up tee shirts and cutoff shorts that leave little to the imagination. Catholic has also marketed themselves for their very good football team. This has caused many non-Catholics to come to a Catholic School so their kid can be in a good football program. Many of the teachers at Charlotte Catholic are also non-Catholic.

    What has been even more deafening about this controversy is the silence from other Priests and the Bishops. Father Reid was the only Priest with courage enough to speak plainly about this. The rest of the Priests in the Diocese must be trying to protect their collection plates versus speaking out on issues of great importance.

    There is a parent assembly at Charlotte Catholic on Wednesday at 7PM. I feel like this is going to turn into a shouting match. One thing is for sure, I will be listening to what the administration says to determine whether or not I turn in my Catholic Schools applications. In the meantime, please pray for strong Catholic teaching to continue here, and that the shroud of ignorance is removed from the hearts of these parents and students. Much fasting and praying is needed.

  15. HeatherPA says:

    Hence, why we purchased the Baltimore Catechism and are committed to teaching our children their Catechism at home instead of allowing them to attend “religious education” at our church. We have a decent priest, but the “same people” have run religious education for years and teach error constantly. After dealing with it for a year, we pulled our preteen son out, because he started becoming confused about the huge difference in what we taught and followed at home and what he was being told, and challenged on, at classes. One example I will throw out from many, many examples is that he was told it was not blasphemy or saying the Lord’s name in vain to exclaim, “oh my G–“. He told the teacher he thought that was wrong because we have always told our children it is wrong, and he was “corrected”. Also they showed the “Nativity Story” as a Christmas movie. If you are lucky enough to go to an FSSP parish, thank God every day for that grace. The closest one to us is 4 hours away.

  16. bernadette says:

    There is also a petition supporting Sister Jane Dominic at change.org. Apparently this was also started
    by some students at Charlotte Catholic, much to their credit. Please go there and support this sister and her much needed message.
    I so wish that my children had been taught by the Nashville Dominicans instead of the church of nice people.

  17. BLB Oregon says:

    “We are angry that someone decided they knew better than our Holy Father …”

    Oh, that is richer than schmaltz.

  18. Pingback: Pontifical Laetare Sun. in Rome w/Bp. Matteo Zuppi - BigPulpit.com

  19. Athelstan says:

    It sounds like Charlotte Catholic High School is not a place that I would send any child of mine to be educated.

    Sister Jane can’t make up for such a feeding frenzy of heresies with just one afternoon talk, God bless her. I will pray for Fr. Kauth’s efforts to turn the place around, but it sounds like he’ll have to wade through a sea of blood and toil to get from here to there.

  20. GypsyMom says:

    This sorry state of “Catholic” schools is the rule rather than an exception. By far, most people who send their children to these schools are looking for academics ( a joke now with Common Core) and all the bells and whistles of sports, school dances, and other extra-curricular offerings. They pay upwards of $10,000 a year for their children to be taught essentially a public school curriculum (post Common Core) by non-Catholics, non-faithful Catholics, and lesbian nuns, who do their work well when most of the students lose their faith completely by graduation. My husband attended such as school in the 1980’s, and today most (no exaggeration) of his classmates, in their early 40’s, are either atheists, addicted to drugs, in prison, or dead. His class can even boast of a dominatrix and an abortionist among their ranks.
    Parents who actually care about their children’s faith do have legitimate options. There are small parent-run (usually NAPCIS) schools and homeschool co-ops, and, of course, there is regular homeschooling. These parent-run efforts are faithful to the teachings of the Church and are usually much stronger academically than diocesan schools. Because of the higher academic standards, the children graduating from these small institutions have no trouble getting into college. There may not be as many bells and whistles, but these extras can usually be had through the city of from other sources.
    Sadly, even among orthodox Catholics, too many parents succumb to adult peer pressure to enroll their children in the “right” schools, or bow to pressure from their children who want all the extras. We CAN take back Catholic education for at least our own children, but individual parents need to have the courage to start these types of things or to support existing institutions.

  21. The Masked Chicken says:

    This is trickle-down mismanagement of education. To begin with, all of this falls on the back of the bishop. He is accountable for all of the Catholic education in his diocese. Secondly, the administration has to know the Faith and choose good teachers who are loyal to it. Thirdly, parents have got to know the Faith so that they can reinforce it and pass certain aspects of it to their children.

    Guess what? Everybody failed. If the administration does not tell these trouble-makers (for that is what they are – ignorant trouble-makers), to sit down and shut up, they should be fired. Oh, be glad I am not an administrator there. I will not put up with such willful ignorance. I would refund the parent’s money and show them the door. Who the heck do they think they are. I am so angry with the state of catechesis in this country. Bishops, you are responsible. Do something.

    To be realistic, there simply aren’t enough Catholics willing to work for the pittance paid by some Catholic schools. I have taught at a very orthodox private Catholic school and I loved the environment, but the pay was meager. I cannot work at the high school level in the public sector because, by state law, anyone who has a doctorate in a subject area has to be paid, from what I have been told, a salary of at least $100,000/year and no school system wants to pay it. I would work for half that at a truly Catholic high school, but they would not hire me without an, essentially useless, teaching certificate, which I refuse to get because I refuse to waste my time and money being taught nonsense by instructors who don’t know how to do research. A friend of mine, a physicist, refused to get a license for exactly the same reason. Is this pride? Not really. You put people trained to do highly sensitive statistical analysis and data collection in a room with education majors and then ask who knows what they are doing. Education theory is pretty much a joke. The research in the education field is, largely, I suspect, being done by people who are not trained in proper experimental techniques. It is Cargo Cult science. I should pay money to learn how not to do research? I have a colleague who quit her doctoral program in science education, ABD, for similar reasons.

    Sister Jane Dominic is certainly more qualified than anyone at the high school to be teaching what she did. It might be eye-opening to have the faculty take a written test on the moral theology (basic stuff) of the Church. Now, that might be entertaining, if not good, science.

    The Chicken

  22. cdet1997 says:

    I’ve decided that most parents who send their kids to Catholic high schools don’t do so because they want properly catechized children who are faithful Catholics.

    They do it because they want competitive college applicants.

  23. Johnno says:

    All it takes is one lazy wayward generation to completely flip the world upside down. Just one! It happened to Israel before the exile and it’s happening again. One poorly catechized generation will completely ruin the world for years to come unless this is reversed and reversed hard and severely! The first step is to set up a new Inquisition and root out all the little government programs where there is money pouring in. All of it: The bathwater and the Obama baby. Then new hiring and enrollment policies that will be just as strict with regards to the faith as one would if they were looking through a criminal record. Exercise any excuses and loopholes necessary to rid the school of anti-Catholic staff. Yes, it’s tough putting someone out of a job, but just feel better remembering that the secularists WILL NEVER show the same courtesy and mercy for faithful Christians who are so much as suspected of whispering support for real marriage outside working hours or so much as having a Republican bumper sticker.

  24. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    The archdiocese of Boston is looking for a new superintendent of schools. It is advertising in the National Catholic Reporter, causing something of a stir among orthodox Catholics. I would heartily suggest Sister Jane Dominic Laurel apply for this position. She could do a world of good in a sorry state (literally) if she were to get oversight of a Catholic school system. I will ask friends to pray for a takeover of our schools by these Dominican nuns.

    (Boston school search article: http://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/boston-archdiocese-search-firm-looking-for-schools-superintendent-in-the-wrong-place/)

  25. tcreek says:

    MaryofSharon noted this link at the top and it bears repeating in case it was missed. http://www.newmanconnection.com/institute/courses/rich-gift-of-love

    I am volunteer in Youth Ministry and just watched 3 of these 25 or so presentations. They are excellent and among the best instructions for Catholic youth (and parents) that I have ever come across.

  26. Quanah says:

    I would be interested in knowing more about the specifics of what the good sister said. (And I really do mean “good” sister. I’m assuming she is a Nashville Dominican and we can’t have enough of them). More to the point, not what she said but how she said it. I teach at a typical Catholic high school and these topics come up fairly often in my classroom. I have been called a lot of things, most notably infuriating and annoying, but never offensive or unnecessarily derogatory, and I am always crystal clear about the Church’s teachings concerning abortion, homosexuality, and marriage. The students and their parents are definitely being unreasonable, but I wonder if this is a case of knowing your audience and how to talk to them.

  27. Stvsmith2009 says:

    Unfortunately, there are far too many people, both here in the Diocese of Charlotte, and elsewhere, who call themselves “catholic”, yet regularly reject Church teaching as regards “gay marriage”, same sex attraction, abortion, and euthanasia. They believe…no, insist…that what they think and believe trumps Church teaching. They should remember, that Christ taught that those who reject the Church, reject Christ, and reject Him who sent Christ. The Catholic Church is not a democracy, and is not an anything goes if it makes you happy church (with a little c).

  28. Boniface says:

    Quanah, Sr Jane Dominic seems always to speak gently and kindly, explaining the philosophy behind these things. You can see her tall on youtube, which are just like the one I saw her give in person. It’s tough to imagine someone doing a better job – I think some of these parents just don’t understand – or believe – Church teaching on the subjects.

  29. CrimsonCatholic says:

    @MaskedChicken, you’re right, nobody wants to teach. There are really not many faithful Catholic that want to teach, including yourself as you have pointed out. I understand your frustration with the system(and I considered teaching myself so I know about being certified myself). What do you do when you cannot hire faithful Catholics?

    We should all pray for the sister, the Bishop, and the school, and then we should all some how show our support for the sister doing God’s work.

  30. PA mom says:

    Cdet1997- I think that many parents want both.
    I also think that a certain watering down of the faithfulness to Church teaching among parents who choose to send their children to Catholiv high school is easy to imagine. Most of them probably had to contracept quite a bit to have few enough children so that they could afford to send them all.

  31. ckdexterhaven says:

    Sister Jane spoke at our parish in the diocese of Raleigh this fall. Same talk, I believe. The subject matter was well advertised beforehand. A lot of teens from the *nondiocesan* private Catholic high school attended. No complaints!

    Ooh Rah, Sister Jane.

  32. jhayes says:

    I found the list of statements to which students objected

    HERE

    None of the statements listed appear to be church teachings.

    Of course, it’s impossible to tell whether Sister actually said these things. Perhaps that can be cleared up at the meeting if the school says that she didn’t.

  33. dominic1955 says:

    I just love petitions. You can just take the list and excommunicate everyone on it. Easy peasy!

    Honestly though, something drastic has to be done if this is the crazy-sauce response some “regular Joes” have over basic Catholic teaching. The place was obviously in a grave state of disrepair if this is how far it has sunk that they must not have even know what the authentic teaching was in order to be so shocked by it.

  34. Cradle Catholic says:

    Fr. Z, feel free to not post my following comment as it is probably off topic.

    I am not indignant any more when episodes as described in your post happen. I just am unutterably sad. I know of a couple, one a “Catholic “, remarried to another woman – not a Catholic; This second marriage (for him, first for her – though she had been living with another boyfriend before), broke down. Before they started living separately, she was already dating other men, and he too, was looking for his next girlfriend. I made a comment to an Orthodox Jewish friend of mine- who knew the situation, saying I think the term for this is ‘adultery’. Her response: “you are so judgemental”. I think I would get that response from many Catholics as wll.

    I belonged to the CWL in my parish. [ The CWL has since shut down]. The CWL’s president was a single, (never married) woman. She and some others, also unmarried, were having a discussion about marriage. The majority of them had no problem with marrying a divorced man- whose marriage had not been annulled. I asked them if they would continue to be going to Mass and taking communion upon marriage to the divorced man. Their answer was an unqualified ‘ofcourse’!

    In yet another episode, I was invited to a baptism of the second child of a single Catholic mother, who really does try and practice her faith, but has made some serious mistakes. I applaud her for having the baby, because the father of the second child – who was also a ‘Catholic’ – insisted that she have an abortion. She walked out on him. But back to the baptism – there were other baptisms at the same time – after Mass and the fathers of the other babies were present. After the infants were each baptised individually, the priest had a group picture taken, with only the mothers and babies. He did not invite the fathers for the picture. While I can understand his concern not to make the single mother feel bad, somehow, I did not feel right that the fathers should have been excluded from the group picture.

    A lot of us don’t know what Catholic really means any more – and unfortunately – don’t even want to know and to understand what it is really means to be a Catholic.

  35. Titus says:

    “I’m assuming she is a Nashville Dominican and we can’t have enough of them.”

    That assumption is correct.

  36. lsclerkin says:

    Seems Judas has found a new face..again.

  37. Titus says:

    jhayes wrote:

    I found the list of statements to which students objected [. . . .]

    None of the statements listed appear to be church teachings.

    Of course, it’s impossible to tell whether Sister actually said these things. Perhaps that can be cleared up at the meeting if the school says that she didn’t.

    Of course the statements themselves aren’t Church teachings. Putting up a petition that expressly condemned a clearly articulated dogma would be foolish. If you want to engage in demagoguery and rabble-rousing, you need to attack ancillary statements, conclusions, and minor premises.

    Besides, if you just settled on denying doctrine, you wouldn’t get to write things like, “As rational people, we know that most homosexual people lead healthy, normal and productive lives like their heterosexual counterparts. ” Clearly, as rational people they haven’t had a class in epistemology or the scientific method.

  38. benedetta says:

    Call me skeptical, or, jaded, but, this whole thing sounds a little fishy to me. I’m curious how much lead time there was between the school’s announcement of this speaker, apparently known nationwide for her talks on Theology of the Body.

    Because the elitist and relatively oldster dissenting parallel universe objects to all Catholic young people hearing about the Theology of the Body of JPII, ever, for fear that it will motivate them to, I don’t know, purity? Healthy relationships? Actually I do not know if they have any rational or theological objection at all other than it came from a Pope but I do know for a fact that they typically try to deny it or pretend it doesn’t exist, in some places now for decades (though perhaps some are reading the writing on the wall and are at least in controlled trials permitting). Theology of the Body is a good and healthy topic for all Christian young people and the more they get to consider it as a counterpoint to the libertinism of the popular culture, the better…hey, why are they afraid of even listening to one single other idea about sexuality other than what is foisted upon them by big commercial entertainment and porn. The whole thing just screams, “set-up”. To be honest, most Catholic parents and young people themselves knowing how horrific the pornification of everything has become really are asking, begging, their diocesan leaders, their youth ministers, their school chaplains for this, and more of it. People just in general are registering how broken young people are at such terribly young ages, before being permitted to mature and take on responsibility, by the detritis and aftermath of the “sexual revolution”. I find it terribly selfish that some will not even let young people consider any of this good and worthy and healthy area of Catholic thought for fear that it will upset the apple cart of planned parenthood brainwashing, porn all the time on phone and everywhere, and we need more abortion, dogmas.

    At any rate I read this on the Women of Grace website:

    “Sister Jane, who has a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, said she has given the talk more than 80 times in 25 states without a problem.

    School officials claimed that about half of her hour-long presentation involved homosexuality, including the correlation between the decline of fatherhood in America and the rise in homosexuality.

    When reached by telephone, Sister Jane said she presents the Catholic viewpoint toward persons with same-sex attraction by saying “homosexual persons do not need our judgment, they need our compassion.”

  39. tskrobola says:

    “We are angry that someone decided they knew better than our Holy Father and invited [this] speaker.”

    This seems to me to be the obvious fruits of the Holy Father’s public statements across the spectrum of moral teaching. This is not to suggest that he’s changed any moral teachings (of course he hasn’t), nor that he will change moral teachings (of course he won’t), nor that he wants to change moral teachings (I highly doubt that he wants to change any moral teachings).

    But what Francis has signaled to the world is a “cease fire” on the culture wars…or at least that the Church is standing down rhetorically on matters related to abortion, gay rights, and so on….so that anybody who wishes to speak publicly on these matters is going to stand alone; and of course anybody who is against Church teachings on sexual morals can easily use Francis’ statements (rightly or wrongly) to pretend that the person promoting Church teachings is at worst dead wrong or at least highly insensitive.

    The key is that thanks to Francis’ public statements over the last year, the job of bashing Sr. Jane Dominic is pretty easy now. Just use the statements that have been provided in the public sphere and Sr. Jane looks like an unsensitive lout at best, or is tacking against the Holy Father’s pastoral tide at worst.

    But it’s worse than that. Put Francis’ comments together with Cd. Dolan’s comments praising Michael Sam’s coming out as gay on NBC’s MTP, and it’s clear to anybody in the Church or elsewhere that the Holy Father and one of the leading Princes of the Church in the Western Hemisphere (Dolan) are simultaneously waving the white flag of surrender in front of the gay rights/marriage crowd.

    Anyone who speaks out now against the gay agenda is now completely untethered from any contemporary aid from the leadership of the Church.

    I was one of a handful of lay leaders who pushed the One Man/One Woman State Constitutional amendment forward in Michigan in 2004 when the Michigan Catholic Conference of Bishops refused to lend ANY support to ultimately successful signature drive. When we managed to get 550 thousand signatures collected among several hundred volunteers, the bishops eventually threw their support behind the ballot initiative and it won. Not having our bishops’ support was galling and problematic, but we could always invoke the name of the Magesterium AND the Holy Father in our struggles.

    Now, we can still invoke the Church of course, but as a practical matter, nobody (not even us) really believes that Francis is on our side in the struggle for traditional values/morals anymore. He has abandoned the movement and by his public statements has irreperably harmed our movement and has given aid and comfort to the enemies of the Church’s teachings and of the Natural Law.

    Thomas C. Skrobola, Michigan

  40. benedetta says:

    Because also I mean if this school had been teaching the whole area of charity then of course students and teachers would know that there were myriad better and more Christian ways of approaching their community about whatever their concerns. But actually there are secular studies as well as Catholic teaching to show that the best way to support a child is through married husband and wife households. Not perfect always but to take this and rage that it’s “judgmental”…it sounds as if the tactic is to silence, not to have a discussion on it, in terms of the actual welfare of children and their interest as the “least of these”.

  41. OrthodoxChick says:

    I followed jhayes’ link to the petition. I’ve been slogging through the comments. I don’t think that the problem at this school has been lack of catechesis. Based on the comments I’m reading, the problem at this school is proper catechesis by and from within the dissenting social justice crowd. We really need to start publicly calling out our Church leaders and lay Catholics for their dissent. Preaching and teaching a radical political agenda under the label of social justice so as to masquerade it as doctrinal catechesis is not Catholicism. It is however, exactly what it is intended to be. Here is one comment from a former student that speaks volumes. It was posted by an alumna of Charlotte Catholic, Camille Adams, now a resident of Henrico, Virginia:

    “I flagged all the old, outdated “research” from the 70s and 80s. As an update, “homosexuality” was removed from the DSM in the 70s. Being LGBTQ is no longer seen as illness- in fact, as psychotherapists, we view the culture that discriminates against LGBTQ people as harmful and sick. Being gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, questioning or Queer does not make one “sick” but being in a culture where you are told over and over again that you are less than, unworthy, unholy, going to hell, sinful, etc. certainly takes its toll. The group that the “research” was from also advocates for “reparative therapy” which has been disproven and in fact causes great harm. If anyone would like to discuss recent research about LGBTQ issues or just ask a Queer person (I am bisexual and attended CCHS- class of ’89 & Student Council President that year) a question, feel free to contact me. Here’s my website: camilleadamslpc.com. I am open to genuine questions but not religious debate as I am now an atheist.”

  42. tskrobola says:

    OrthodoxChick:

    Right on….what our side needs to remember is that no matter how hard we try to teach proper morals, we also have to TRAIN our children to (a) identify the arguments of the enemy as such (and not attempt to synthesize good with evil) and (b) to speak against evil.

    The other side has taken the gloves off. They have the advantage that gays are viewed as (a) victims of Christianity and gays garner instant and complete symphathy in every controversy now, (b) gays are absolutely ascendant politically at this time, and (c) the Holy Father and other leaders (such as Cd. Dolan on Meet the Press recently) having waved the white flag of surrender.

  43. tcreek says:

    If you read the petition you will discover that 9 of the 10 complaints lodged against Sister Jane had to do with the petitioners’ support of different aspects of the homosexual lifestyle.

  44. benedetta says:

    So then it’s a school wherein the dissenting opinion has been taught and celebrated for, awhile, and, now, Sister Jane shows up to give the minority report and they go all nuclear? Interesting…

  45. OrthodoxChick says:

    tcreek,

    Exactly. Promoting acceptance of an LGBTQ lifestyle is pushing a political agenda. It certainly isn’t catechesis.

  46. Peter Rother says:

    Dear Father,
    I comment on your last paragraph. His Excellency has been mercilessly persecuted in the local media and by a certain dissident priest since his appointment to be our shepherd in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He did the right thing to step aside while the ludicrous accusations were investigated and found to be without merit. There is little doubt that his clear preaching of the integrity of marriage between a man and a woman has cost him dearly in money and popularity. But this is his crown–of glory and of thorns.

    I know some of the outstanding clergy you likely shared dinner with at my beloved St. Agnes. I wish I could have been there. My children benefit immeasurably by such outstanding priests and our great teaching sisters.

  47. Kathleen10 says:

    This all shows how far we have fallen. I’m sorry, the Bishops of the last how many years have failed to feed the sheep. Once you start to capitulate you are facing an onslaught, and here it is nicely demonstrated. Pope Francis’s comments have added fuel, unintentionally I’m sure, but, fuel nonetheless. People are emboldened and “outrage” is everywhere. Silly parents are playing into this for dramatic effect and look, how “cool” Mom is for being upset about these comments! Mom is, to her great relief, finally cool, she’s defending homosexuals. It’s like, mad cool. Mom is so cutting edge.
    Stemming this tide is going to be HARD. It’s going to be really hard because not everyone in charge agrees stemming the tide is a good thing! Some on the inside seem to want to open the floodgates, that’s clear enough. If the line had been held, we wouldn’t be here. It’s not too late, but, foolish people are not going to want to hear the truth now. There are frankly, alot of disinterested and misinformed parents who really aren’t interested in Catholic doctrine, as has been said here. It’s all about college prep.
    Can we end up with what amounts to two churches? This seems a big divide.

  48. Quanah says:

    @ Boniface,

    Thanks for the insight on Sr. Jane.

    @ Benedetta,

    Good to know from Women of Grace.

  49. tskrobola says:

    Kathleen10: honest question, but why do you believe that Francis’ comments have added fuel “unintentionally”?

    I am quite sure that Francis has no interest in changing Church teaching on sexual morals. But if the last 50 years have taught us anything, you don’t have to touch Church teaching to make a moral mess out there.

    I also don’t think that Francis is interested in a moral mess, but I think he’s made it pretty clear that he means to disasssociate the Vatican (and any prelates willing to cooperate with his pastoral vision) from what he sees as unpopular conservativism in the Church(liturgically, pastorally and politically).

    Anybody with serious judgment of how the world works will know that the Supreme Pontiff disassociating himself from Catholic conservativism provides arms, aid and comfort to the enemies of moral truth and emboldens them to attack Catholic orthodoxy, parrticularly at this moment in history when the gay movement is on the march in ways that we’ve never seen before.

    I really don’t see any of this as a “lapse” or mistake or innocent. I think at his core Francis sees himself as a man of moderation who is personally disinterested and pastorally opposed to promoting sexual morality; rather, he also believes that the way to bring Christ to the world is through appeals for the poor, rather than to fight for the family and/or Christian liberty.

    Francis’ agenda for the poor is of course righteous and I think a “winner”, but trimming his sails to push moral issues to the side at this moment is a terrible and fundamental mistake that Francis and all leaders of the Church will deeply regret.

  50. The Cobbler says:

    Father, the blue dwarf stars asked me to remind you that they are a gentle and benevolent race whose fury is reserved for academics who fudge advanced physics when speaking to reporters and educators.

  51. Pingback: Catholic High School Turns on Priest for Promoting Catholicism? | Warriorpundits

  52. The Masked Chicken says:

    Are there any blogs out there for high school kids that teach authentic Catholicism? Just asking.

    The Chicken

  53. midwestmom says:

    Been there, done that. The blowback doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the lack of back-up…from the pastor, the chancery, etc. It must be my punishment for not keeping up with my VIRTUS e-letters that I didn’t receive for several years. Yes, I’m bitter and fed up.

  54. cl00bie says:

    I think the administration of that high school ought to send an apology to each of the parents of those children who were offended.

    Dear offended parents,

    On behalf of the school, I would like to offer a heartfelt apology to you, the parents of those young people who were offended by Sr. Jane’s talk. At our high school, we endeavor to teach authentic Catholicism along with our other core subjects, and those children who were offended by the authentic Catholic teaching espoused by Sr. Jane give evidence to the fact that we have failed you, the parents.

    Yes, we have failed you. Being a Catholic institution, parents expect better than washed out Catholicism for their hard earned tuition dollars. Rest assured, we have heard, and from now on promised to do better with regards to the quality of the Catholic doctrine taught at this school.

    For those parents who were confused about what the word “Catholic” meant in our title, Sr. Jane’s speech exemplifies it, and if you enrolled your child in error, please let us know and we will immediately release them and refund the portion of your tuition which was unused.

    Again, accept our sincerest apology for not teaching your child as diligently as Christ calls us to do, and if you remain with us, I personally promise we will work non-stop to regain your trust.

    In Christ,

    Superintendent of Schools.

  55. Pingback: A Catholic High School Teaches Catholic Doctrine and Everyone Loses Their Minds…

  56. anav.tru says:

    Sister Jane Dominic is my Theology professor this semester at Aquinas College. Please, please pray for her. I have defended her on Huffington Post and other sites in which the incident has been reported. She is really taking a blow and this of course disturbs the peace of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia as a community, who are a much needed witness in the world.

    Let me tell you — Sister is highly educated and is very diligent in her study and work. It would be a shame for her work to be compromised because of a reactionary dissenting student body.

  57. frjim4321 says:

    Not having heard her presentation I am not in a position to analyze it or evaluate it.

    From second-hand reports it seems likely that she has bought in to the pseudo-science promoted by Dick FitzGibbons around this topic.

    How is presenting half-baked, unsubstantiated fringe theories about the etiology of sexual orientation going to help Catholic youth integrate their sexuality into a healthy, holy and loving adult life?

    When teaching this subject it would be much better to stick with what the church actually does teach rather than pass along absurd theories as if they are doctrine. Anything other than this is a disservice and possibly abusive.

  58. Elizabeth R says:

    Fr. Kauth, the school chaplain, has published a statement here: http://catholicnewsherald.com/images/stories/News_Local14/fatherkauthfullstatementupdate.pdf.

    Using the example of a stained glass window, he believes that the talk was not appropriate for the venue: “Because without a small venue, a gentle hand, parents, a calm approach, good will, and most importantly the opportunity for follow-up questions this discussion exposes and unnecessarily prods at a wound that everyone has to some degree or other. What some of the students saw and what many believe now as a result of descriptions is that there were bars without glass. The light was eclipsed and no light creates caricatures and the semblance of death”

    The concluding paragraph is beautiful: “The Light has come into the world, St. John tells us, and the darkness has not overcome it, but sometimes it can be eclipsed by ignorance or by sinfulness. If in any of my sins I have eclipsed that truth-if I have been a momentary obstacle to His light for you or anyone else because of my weaknesses or sinfulness I am heart-fully sorry. Sister and I are both quite aware of the biblical admonition from our Lord about what happens if one leads a little one astray and I am not fond of the mixture of millstone and water. The intent is and has only been to shine so as to set them free. However to hide Christ’s saving teaching is also a means to lead them astray by allowing them to be led away by another- and as you know as parents, there are many who would take your children where you do not want them to go. Christ is light and in Him there is no darkness. His light sets us free to love as we were made to love-in the full dignity and beauty of the sons and daughters of God. His light also exposes and that can be painful. But that same light radiates the beauty of what we were made to be and can be if we would but receive it and
    assist each other in love to receive it. That is why it is Good News. Darkness has fallen upon us with all of the attendant confusion which it brings. Our Lord can speak to this darkness just as He did in the beginning and say, let there be light. I pray we use this opportunity together to gently watch, learn and teach as the light softly dawns upon the window of His adorable face shining also on the visage of every person He has created.”

  59. jhayes says:

    The diocese and the pastor say that the presentation contained material that should not have been included in a presentation to students:

    At the April 2 meeting, parents heard apologies and statements from Father Kauth, as well as from Father Roger Arnsparger, diocesan vicar of education, and Charlotte Catholic’s dean of students and two assistant ….

    In his statement, Father Arnsparger explained that Sister Jane “has been invited to give this presentation very many times throughout the country in many dioceses and with great interest and success.”

    “Many said that the first part of her presentation at Charlotte Catholic High School was excellent and fully in line with the Catholic faith. There was unfortunately a misunderstanding about the content of the last part of the presentation,” he continued.

    “In that part, I understand that Sister used data from the Linacre Quarterly, a reputable journal, and from other sources. That data can be debated and, in fact, is debated back and forth by scholars who are researching the areas of human sexuality. Because of the ongoing debate, it would have been better if these studies and data were omitted from the presentation to the students….”

    His intention, Father Kauth explained, was to bring back a popular speaker to give a different voice on the topic of sexuality to students. Sister Jane’s talk last fall at Charlotte Catholic was so well received, he said, that he invited her back to deliver a presentation to the entire school.

    He defended Sister Jane’s presentation on same-sex attraction as it related to church teaching, but he distanced himself from the social science data she quoted as being appropriate for the forum of the student assembly.

    “I was stunned as anyone,” he said, when asked why he didn’t stop her talk. “I didn’t know she had inserted this other piece. That piece (on homosexuality) is something that I wouldn’t have presented” in that forum. He said later that he takes responsibility for not making that clear.

    HERE

  60. happyCatholic says:

    anav.tru,
    Thanks for the information about Sister Jane. I have written her a note of encouragement through one of the online links, and she and her order are in my prayers, and I plan to send them a donation.

    I am still not quite sure what all the hub-bub was about. Did parents prefer a message that fathers aren’t important? That perverse sexual practices should not be resisted and brought to Confession and God’s healing grace? I am really tired of the bullying of good people by those who are defending an unnatural,unhealthy practice engaged in by only 1 to 2 or 3 percent of the population at that. Please, don’t misunderstand me — I have no animosity towards homosexuals and completely agree with the Church’s teaching on the subject and hope for their salvation as I hope for the salvation of all.

    The student and parental reaction at the high school seems so hyperbolic, though. Would that they would exhibit such passion — meetings, petitions, tears, etc.– in fighting say, Planned Parenthood (a truly sexually corrupting organization) or sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics. From my experience, that is probably not happening. Those type of endeavors are most likely met with a great apathy and collective yawn. It is all quite bemusing.

  61. frjim4321 says:

    I am glad that the pastor and the diocese apologized for this error.

  62. frjim4321: We are neither surprised at your reaction, nor do we accept your premise.

  63. tcreek says:

    My excerpts and highlights from –
    A STATEMENT FROM AQUINAS COLLEGE
    April 04, 2014

    From Sister Mary Sarah, O.P., President of Aquinas College:

    The events around the recent talk by Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, O.P. in Charlotte, NC have produced a great deal of speculation from many sides. Among the commentators, there are few who were actually present to hear the talk, which was not recorded. …

    In her presentation, Sister Jane Dominic spoke clearly on matters of faith and morals. … The unfortunate events at Charlotte Catholic High School are not representative of the quality of Sister’s academic contributions or the positive influence that she has had on her students. …

    There are no words that are able to reverse the harm that has been caused by these comments. The community of Aquinas College is saddened by this extreme outcome and wishes to reiterate that this is not something the College condones or desires to create. There is division where there should be unity. The events and discussions that have transpired over the last two weeks reflect that there is something in this that surpasses an ordinary high school assembly.
    ————
    Sister Jane has given similar talks more than 80 times in 25 states. She had also given a similar talk at Charlotte Catholic High School. It seems that, this time, certain activists were not to going to tolerate any criticism of sinful lifestyles.

    9 of 10 items in a petition by Emma Winters, class of 2014, complaining about Sister Jane’s presentation supported homosexual lifestyles as:
    “We the students of Charlotte Catholic High School would like to issue a formal complaint regarding Sr. Jane Dominic [Laurel]’s speech,” … “We believe that same sex couples have the ability to raise happy, well-adjusted and successful children … We believe that homosexual couples are capable of monogamy. … As rational people, we know that most homosexual people lead healthy, normal and productive lives like their heterosexual counterparts.” etc.

  64. jhayes says:

    Sr. Mary Sarah also said this in her statement. It agrees with what the diocese and the pastor said about the difference between he presentation on faith and morals versus her presentation on sociology and anthropology.

    Sister Jane Dominic spoke clearly on matters of faith and morals. Her deviation into realms of sociology and anthropology was beyond the scope of her expertise. [I can’t make out what that means. EVERY point of moral teaching as social and anthropological implication!]Sister is a trained theologian from a Pontifical University and has the credentials to contribute to scholarly bodies of work. This she has done in the past with distinction. The unfortunate events at Charlotte Catholic High School are not representative of the quality of Sister’s academic contributions or the positive influence that she has had on her students. The students at Charlotte Catholic were unprepared, as were their parents, for the topic that Sister was asked to deliver. The consequence was a complete misrepresentation of the school’s intention to bring a message that would enlighten and bring freedom and peace….

    Sister Jane Dominic has cancelled her speaking engagements and, at her request, is preparing to begin a sabbatical from teaching at Aquinas College. It is our sincere hope that the community of Charlotte Catholic High School will soon begin a process of healing and renewal, and that all who have been affected by this event will be drawn into profound reconciliation as we approach this great season that commemorates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    HERE

  65. The Masked Chicken says:

    Okay, the gloves come off.

    Sr. Jane Dominic has taken a sabbatical from teaching and cancelled all of her talks. This is not done in the middle of a college year without extreme provocation. This is, certainly, not necessary for her to do, as far as I can see. It has been claimed that she has strayed out of her area of expertise in using medical data. Darn, it, she isn’t doing the research, she is quoting research. The administration can only level this charge if the results from the people’s research she is citing are acting outside of THEIR area of expertise. Heck, the administration can call the experts she cited to see if she fairly represented their results. If so, then the administration has no call to criticize Sister Jane Dominic. Sister can simply cite the article and let the listener do their own homework to look it up. I see nothing wrong with her approach, so I must blame the other side of the fence.

    First off, this talk should have been a review for students for the most part, since by the time they get to high school, these topics should have already been covered and the Church’s position should have been made clear. That it was not already known is the fault of the educators who have responsibility for this area. They are to blame, not Sr. Jane Dominic.

    Secondly, the level of philosophical, theological and moral incompetence of these people stirring the pot should be held up for exposure. How many of them have even read the CCC? How many of them go to pro-life rally or even study the material at all? How many have read Humanae Vitae? How many contracept? Oh, let he who is without sin cast the first stone!

    So, Sister included material from the Linacre Journal (the journal of the Catholic Medical Association). Last I heard, data from a peer-reviewed journal was fair game for presentation in a talk. If the students don’t agree, let them prove themselves equal to the task and provide alternate peer-reviewed data, or suggest experiments to disprove the data, or cite a scientific error in the methodology of the data and then write up their research for the student newspaper. Oh, wait, that would be putting truth before emotions. The simple fact is not a single person did this in any convincing way. They don’t care about truth. They care about feeling good.

    The degree of scientific literacy in this country is at 28%. The stand-alone knowledge base of young people (the knowledge you would have on a desert island – i.e., actual internalized knowledge) is at an all-time low. Mark Bauerlein, in his book, The Dumbest Generation, has citations on 300 (this is not hyperbole) studies to prove this contention. We have known since the early 1980’s, with the publication of the white paper, A Nation at Risk, that the country was fracturing into an elite and underclass when it comes to educational attainment. The moral sphere has been corrupted by the liberal elite with their post-Modern agendas. Truth has become relative. Given all of this, of course, the reaction of some students was knee-jerk emotional.

    I have read blog posts by people who were at the talk and they say they are upset about some of Sister’s claims, but they fail to cite statistics (although one commenter offered some partial contrary data he remembered from research he had done for a paper) or actual arguments to prove her wrong. She may be wrong, but in an educated society, one is expected to cite proof. In math we don’t fight. We go to the blackboard. In science, we argue, but only until someone does the definitive experiment. I would not expect most high school students to be sophisticated enough to do this, but some are and the parents certainly should be.

    Sometime, people do go off the rail. I had a history teacher who, basically, tried to do psychological studies on her students without informed consent. In this case, the parents were right to act, but we students tried, within our level of maturity, to refute the situation by debate, not lynching. It was, sad to say, the parents who caused the teacher to be fired, as I recall. In this case, it might have been justified, but less extreme measures might have prevailed if heads had remained calm.

    Are the parents justified in this case? I think not. I wasn’t at the lecture, but eye-witness accounts are available, on-line, and, from what I can see, the audience was incompetent to understand what Sister was saying. She made the quite proper observation that marriage involves a man and a woman, but some single mothers, apparently, took that as an indictment against them. Well, this shows that they do not understand the difference between marriage and its accidents. Some single mothers are widows who were married, so they don’t count, but some are, indeed, the product of poor formation in moral theology. They had pre-marital sex, got pregnant, and were abandoned by the father. It is sad, but there are consequences to sin. Some single mothers separated because of spousal abuse. Fair enough, but why can they not see that Sister’s talk does not apply to them? Aye, that’s the rub.

    As for the quote tcreek posted, above, I won’t even dignify it with a response, because I don’t care what they believe. Belief is not science. Belief is not reason, so their claims to bring, “rational,” are absurd on the face of it. Philosophically, they are wrong from the start, because they know nothing about the Four Causes in Aristotelian logic which define systems or else they would realize that homosexual relationships violate the very reasons for the differences of sexes.

    The namby-pamby back-peddling by the diocese is inexcusable. These parents don’t need healing. Some need to have logic explained to them, as they appear to be taking thing personally when things do not apply to them, but some, probably, do need to take the talk seriously – moral surgery, like physical surgery, hurts. Most of them, however, need a swift kick to the rear! They should call up their former teachers and apologize for the spectacles they are making of themselves.

    Really, all I can say is that these people need to repent and go to confession. Clearly, they are not showing anything like a Catholic identity. Where is the love of ones enemy? If they were really Catholic, they would love Sr. Jane Dominic, even if the feel they must correct her data, which could have been handled with charity.

    I say, throw them out. Let them go to public school.

    The Chicken

  66. Charles E Flynn says:

    Since you mentioned Humanae Vitae, you might enjoy the article by Anthony Esolen at the link:

    Humanae Vitae

  67. happyCatholic says:

    Dear Masked Chicken,
    Thank you. In the milieu in which we find ourselves, your reasoned, measured analysis of the situation is much appreciated. A response like that is why this blog is invaluable. Thanks for taking the time to write it, and thanks to Father Z for the forum.
    Sincerely,
    happyCatholic

  68. Father Z,
    As someone who graduated from high school relatively in the early 1960s, a time when the U.S. system of public education was still only beginning to substitute indoctrination for actual education, I fear that your assessment of

    the state of education

    dire as it is, may now, or in the very near future, be found to be measurably worse than you presently believe.

    Pax et bonum.
    Keith Töpfer

  69. Pingback: Father Z On the Silencing of Sister Jane | The American Catholic