A Catholic girls’ high school in Washington, D.C. announced that it will feature same-sex unions in its alumnae magazine, to the disappointment of diocesan leadership.
Sister Mary Berchmans, president emerita of the 220-year-old Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, announced in early May that the Catholic high school alumnae magazine would begin featuring same-sex unions in an effort to better love people in the LGBT community.
Berchmans said she decided on the change after reflecting on what it means to “Live Jesus,” and concluding that the “Gospel commandment of love” contradicts the Church’s teaching on gay marriage. (RELATED: More Than 1,000 Catholics Want To Reconsider Banning Children Of Same-Sex Couples)
“The Church is clear in its teaching on same-sex marriages. But, it is equally clear in its teaching that we are all children of God, that we each have dignity and are worthy of respect and love,” Berchmans’ letter read, according to The Washington Post.
“As I have prayed over this contradiction, I keep returning to this choice: we can focus on Church teaching on gay marriage or we can focus on Church teaching on the Gospel commandment of love. We know from history – including very recent history – that the Church, in its humanity, makes mistakes. Yet, through the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, it learns and grows. And so, we choose the Gospel commandment of love,” Berchmans added.
— Margaret Dunning (@margaretdunning) November 7, 2015
The Archdiocese of Washington lamented the school’s decision and their failure to involve archdiocesan leadership and asserted that there is no contradiction between the Gospel commandment of love and Church teaching on marriage and sexuality, according to The Associated Press. Catholic clergy, like Father Carter Griffin, also denounced the decision, saying that giving implicit approval of same-sex relationships was anything but loving, as it is spiritually harmful to those involved.
“Undoubtedly the Georgetown Visitation Sisters will be hailed by many as courageous and compassionate in making this decision. In today’s moral climate, however, this decision is anything but courageous or compassionate,” Griffin wrote for National Catholic Register.
“It is far more comfortable to acquiesce in the wisdom of the age than to courageously rebel against it. And it is not compassionate to approve, even implicitly, sexual behavior that imperils the immortal souls of so many of our brothers and sisters.”
Griffin also implied that those in positions of religious and communal authority, like Berchmans, the monastery that runs the school, and other school authorities, will pay a high price for leading children astray.
“But sanctimonious allusions to love untethered to the truth of human flourishing, unmoored from virtue and holiness, do not help souls but rather lull them into a dangerous state of complacency – especially when such claims are advanced by those with greater responsibility, such as venerable religious sisters,” Griffin wrote.
“‘It is best not to marry the ‘spirit of the age,” the adage goes, ‘because you might end up a widower.’ After the soothing accolades have died away, we will all still face Jesus. He paid a high price for our souls, and it is not wise to be among those who ’cause one of these little ones to sin.'”
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