My beloved and I have not stirred from the house once today. Both of us are still struggling with bad colds -- and with the pouring rain, had no reason to go anywhere. We have had a day of rest and financial planning -- two not entirely mutually exclusive pursuits.
By Tuesday or Wednesday, I promise to be back to some more thoughtful posting. I've got some more "men's stuff" percolating in my brain, but I am too fogged by cold medicine to let my fingers hit the keyboard just yet...
Though most readers may not be interested, may I point out that lowly Exeter played mighty Manchester United to a scoreless draw yesterday on the latter's home field? 'Tis a stunning surprise in English football's FA cup, and I am happy for that fine little city that my brother calls home. And in Scottish football, Celtic beat Rangers again, which is also cause for rejoicing.
From the shameless self-promotion category, I'd like to thank Brian Ulrich for nominating this blog for the Koufax Award for Best New Blog. (Any blog started in 2004 counts, and this Typepad puppy dates back almost exactly a year; my anniversary shall be on Thursday.) As flattered as I am, I'm not voting for myself -- I'm casting my vote for Amanda's Mousewords blog, which is one of the best (and most frequently updated) feminist sites in the 'sphere.
In a clash that pits Catholic teachings against shifting values of American society, a group of parishioners and parents has accused Orange County church leaders of defying Pope John Paul II by allowing a gay couple to enroll their two boys in a diocese school.
But Father Martin Benzoni, who oversees the 550-student elementary and
middle school, last week rejected the group's demands. He released a
new policy stating that a child's education comes first and that a
family's background "does not constitute an absolute obstacle to
enrollment in the school."
Benzoni acknowledged the conflict between the two-father family and the teachings of the church, but said that the boys — both kindergarteners, adopted by a pair of Costa Mesa men — had been baptized in the faith and deserved a Catholic education.
"I firmly believe that this policy is in line with the teaching of the Catholic Church," said Benzoni, who is a member of the conservative Norbertine order that runs the school and parish for the diocese.
Dismayed by the decision, some parents said they plan to ask the Vatican for help, while others said they may pull their children from the school.
It's an interesting question, isn't it? If one doesn't affirm homosexuality (which no one except for the boys' fathers seems to), is the presence of these children something that undermines the coherence of church doctrine? Or is it an opportunity for the church traditionalists to teach conservative moral doctrine to children who otherwise would almost certainly never get it?
One of the most notorious Catholic conservatives in America, William Donohue of the Catholic League, rather surprisingly wants the boys to stay:
"To single out these kids because of their gay parents would be invidious.. You cannot burden the innocent."
The upset parents' group proposes a radical solution:
Michael Joseph Sundstedt, a Newport Beach attorney advising the group
of parents, said they want families enrolling their children in St.
John the Baptist to sign a "parental moral covenant" agreeing to abide
by Catholic teachings. While unusual in Catholic schools, similar
declarations are required by many Protestant Christian schools.
The two fathers might sign the declaration even though they could not abide by it — "that's between them and their maker," Sundstedt said. "But I strongly suspect that those parents wouldn't sign the agreement."
But Father Gerald M. Horan, superintendent of schools run by the Diocese of Orange, rejected the idea of a parental covenant. If the school barred gay parents from enrolling their children, they would also have to ban children of parents who violate other church teachings, including those who are divorced, use birth control or weren't married in the church, he said.
"This is the quagmire that [the parents'] position represents," Horan said. "It's a slippery slope to go down."
Good for Father Benzoni for taking the boys. But I must admit to being mystified by the two fathers! Why on earth would you send your sons to school in an environment where your children are very likely to be taught that their parents' relationship is unnatural and sinful? That invites a kind of cognitive dissonance into a child's life that seems to me likely to be overwhelming, confusing, and unfair. Still, it raises a host of interesting issues.
But I need to get back to the couch. I'll be down in San Diego visiting a dear cousin of mine tomorrow, and more regular blogging returns Tuesday.