Catholic Diocese Issues, Gay Couple Signs, 'Family School Agreement Policy'

Mark Judge | September 2, 2015 | 11:12am EDT
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Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki (Archdiocesan Photo)

The Catholic Archdiocese of Springfield, Illinois has issued a Family School Agreement - formal standards for parents and students to live in accord with Catholic teaching.  

The agreement is the result of questions that were raised earlier this year when a homosexual couple wanted to enroll their child in Christ the King, a Springfield Catholic school.

“When two gay men wanted to enroll their child in the school, it raised the question of how to administer with integrity to those who may not live within the teachings of the Church,” Jonathan Sullivan, Director of Catechetical Services for the Springfield diocese, told CNS News. “I should add that the couple in question did sign the agreement, and their child has been enrolled.”

The agreement stipulates that Catholic students be educated according to Church principles regardless of their parents' lifestyle. It reads in part:

All Children will be taught the Catholic faith in its fullness, regardless of the situation of their parent(s)/adoptive parent(s)/legal guardian(s).

Parent(s)/adoptive parent(s)/legal guardian(s) not living in accord with Church teaching are expected to discuss with the pastor of their Catholic parish ways in which we hope they could.

Special attention is to be given to discussion of moral issues that may be problematic for the parent(s)/adoptive parent(s)/legal guardian(s) prior to signing the Family School Agreement.

Parent(s)/adoptive parent(s)/legal guardians and students who cause public scandal by actively promoting a moral or doctrinal position contrary to Catholic teaching or by making a public issue of their state in life contrary to Catholic teaching shall be considered in violation of the Family School Agreement.

Failure to abide by the agreement will be grounds for the child(ren’s) expulsion from the school.

The agreement says that Catholic schools "are not simply a private or alternative school system," but exist “to provide an environment of academic excellence where students learn how to become committed disciples of Jesus Christ, to grow in holiness as stewards of God’s creation, share the Good News of Christ’s love with others and invite them to join us in the Christian community of the Catholic Church.”


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