The Roman Catholic Church is wrought with scandal from serial paedophilia to money laundering to criminal cover-ups from the smallest local parishes all the way to the Vatican. One thing can be said for absolute certainty, the church has scandalized the true Gospel of Jesus Christ for centuries.
However, in the midst of the ongoing scandals of the Roman Catholic Church, one thing has historically been steady–at least from an official standpoint. The Roman Catholic Church has “officially” always opposed homosexuality.
It makes one wonder, then, why Roman Catholic schools are employing open homosexuals–yet they act surprised when their gay employees announce their relationships and intent to marry their sodomite partners.
One anonymous gay Catholic school teacher, however, is speaking out pleading for changein a recent letter penned at the Calgary Herald.
Dear Superintendents, Principals, and Administrators,
I am an employee with the Calgary Catholic School District. I choose not to reveal my identity. As you read forward, you will come to understand why. I am one voice, though I wholeheartedly know that statements in this letter will resonate and connect with others like me. In that sense, this letter carries with it an army of voices, all of which come from the disparaging shadows of our school hallways and classrooms. This letter is meant to address my feelings regarding certain actions taken, and ignored, by CCSD. As you continue to read forward, place yourself in the presence of God, for this is more than just a letter, this is my prayer of intercession.
I am a homosexual.
Sit with that word “homosexual” for a minute before moving forward.
I am also Catholic. I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school. Though I was not hired as a religious education teacher, the subject of Catholicity is a topic that I address with my students daily. As a teacher with CCSD, and as a homosexual, my motives for continuing to stay with CCSD are often questioned. How can I be gay and work for a board that identifies “homosexuality” and “sin” as synonymous? It is easy to defend CCSD. I often do. During the span of my career with this board, I have taught and worked with many students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. I hope that I can ease any tensions they feel about being Catholic and gay. It’s hard enough trying to be gay in Alberta, without the struggle of it compounded by being Catholic and understanding the relationship between my faith and who I am.
I firmly believe that our board is one of the best school boards in all of Canada, and should remain so. Recently, the difficulty that comes from defending our faith and our values has become exceptionally challenging.
The call to establish our value is here; it is now!
The word “covenant” is being thrown around the hallways and offices in our schools and in our buildings. There is a belief that a new document is coming down the chain, one that CCSD employees must sign and agree to. Though my eyes have never actually read this document, I have come to understand — from conversations with those who have read this covenant — that it reminds employees of the expectations in which Calgary Catholic employees must be mindful of, should they wish to continue their careers with our board. From what I have learned, it does not explicitly address homosexuality, though it is implied through its verbiage that if an employee is found to be gay, actions to remove this employee from the board may be justified. I want to challenge CCSD to publicly address this covenant, and if there is truth to what I have claimed, retract this document. If we wish to be taken seriously as Catholic educators, we must lead by example, and celebrate inclusivity, as Jesus did, and as he called for us to do.
As a Catholic teacher, I am called to celebrate and to strengthen my faith, and to teach children to do the same. Love. Kindness. Mercy. Forgiveness. Humility. Righteousness. Faithfulness. These are the attributes I attempt to instil in my students. Your actions regarding employees who identify as being part of the LGBTQ community directly contradict the very teachings and messages that come from what it means to truly be Catholic. If you wish to be relevant, it is time to change. You are missing out on a golden opportunity to reaffirm the importance of Catholic education.
Stories of former employees who feel as if they have been pushed out of our board because they identify as LGBTQ are ones that I have heard for years. The each identify an injustice. On a personal note, I know of four former employees who all felt pushed out of our board because they identify as LGBTQ. Recently, CCSD was given an opportunity to address one of these latest stories, and instead of speaking about how you support employees who identify as LGBTQ (which you do not), your statement only addressed supports made for students.
Shame on all of us.