On May 13, Dr. Mary Grassa O'Neill, Secretary for Education and Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese, released a statement that condemned the decision of the staff at
St. Paul's. "We believe," says O'Neill, "that every parent who wishes to send their child to a Catholic school should have the opportunity to pursue that dream." Dr. O'Neill also indicated that she will work to prevent "misunderstandings" like this in the future, and explicitly states, "The Archdiocese does not prohibit children of same-sex parents from attending Catholic schools."...
So I'm pretty surprised to see a representative of a Catholic body make an "our bad" statement in an official capacity. Dr. O'Neill even went so far as to offer to help the lesbian moms find another Catholic school in the area that will accept and embrace their son. Now, did Dr. O'Neill say (like she should have) that true Christianity means embracing all people, including their sexual orientation and not in spite of it? No, of course not. But I think her statement is kind of a big deal.
My favorite part of this story is that, when Dr. O'Neill's "mea culpa" was reported on the National Catholic Reporter website, a majority of the comments in response were from pro-gay Catholics. In fact, the first comment from someone writing under the screen name Mary 9999 said, "Like it or not, this is the pain we apparently have to suffer as a church before we finally reach the right and just conclusion that homosexuality is not a sin." Another commenter added, "[N]either is homosexuality a moral failing, or intrinsically evil. ... Hopefully the church will speak with one voice that children of all parents be allowed to attend parochial schools."
So remember this when you feel that there's no hope for reconciliation between Catholics and queers, because it looks like, even if it's just baby steps, maybe some progress is being made.