‘Puter, Jr. attends our local Jesuit institution of lower learning (higher learning being reserved for colleges and universities), McQuaid Jesuit.
‘Puter and Czar prepare to attend “Gay Couples Drink Free at Jesuit High Schools’ Prom Night” at the Leaping Peacock.
Unbeknownst to ‘Puter, two of ‘Puter, Jr.’s fellow students are openly gay, and requested they be permitted to attend prom as one another’s dates.
This is a far cry from ‘Puter’s early 1980s experience at a different Jesuit institution of lower learning. ‘Puter knew several of his classmates were likely gay, but in those days (particularly amidst the new AIDS crisis) relatively few adults were openly gay and the number of ‘Puter’s classmates who were out was zero. Certainly none of his classmates would’ve ever considered taking a male classmate to prom.
Here is McQuaid Jesuit’s letter to all parents informing us of the school’s decision, reproduced here in its entirety, as there is no unnecessary portion.
March 27, 2013
Dear Sisters and Brothers of our McQuaid Jesuit Community:
Our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, in the homily for his Inaugural Mass, had encouraging and inviting words: “Today amid so much darkness we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation and to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope, it is to let a ray of light break through heavy clouds.”
Darkness and heavy clouds have gathered here at McQuaid recently because of misinformation, fear, misunderstanding, and even anger. That misinformation, fear, misunderstanding, and even anger came about after two of our brothers asked whether they could attend the Junior Ball together. Into the darkness of misinformation, fear, misunderstanding and anger, together with Pope Francis, I invite and encourage each and every one of us in the McQuaid family to be men and women who bring hope to one another. I invite and encourage each and every one of us in the McQuaid family to be men and women who look upon one another with tenderness and love. I invite and encourage each and every one of us in the McQuaid family to open up a horizon of hope, to let a ray of light break through heavy clouds.
I myself would like to let a ray of light break through by correcting some misinformation. It is simply not true, as was reported and as many seem to have assumed, that a decision had been made by McQuaid authorities not to allow the young men in question to attend the Junior Ball. No decision had been made.
I would like to let a ray of light enter into the darkness of fear. I, together with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who in their Pastoral Message, “Always Our Children,” “. . . call on all Christians and citizens of good will to confront their own fears about homosexuality and to curb the humor and discrimination that offend homosexual persons. We understand that having a homosexual orientation brings with it enough anxiety, pain and issues related to self-acceptance without society bringing additional prejudicial treatment.”
I would like to let a ray of light enter into possible misunderstanding of the Church’s teaching. In that same message, Always Our Children, the Bishops are clear –“Nothing in the Bible or in Catholic teaching can be used to justify prejudicial or discriminatory attitudes and behaviors.” The Bishops continue: “It is also important to recognize that neither a homosexual orientation, nor a heterosexual one, leads inevitably to sexual activity. One’s total personhood is not reducible to sexual orientation or behavior.” In that same message, the Bishops refer to a 1986 Letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which emphasizes that “Respect for the God-given dignity of all persons means the recognition of human rights and responsibilities. The teachings of the Church make it clear that the fundamental human rights of homosexual persons must be defended and that all of us must strive to eliminate any forms of injustice, oppression, or violence against them.”
The Bishops continue, “It is not sufficient only to avoid unjust discrimination. Homosexual persons ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2358). They, as is true of every human being, need to be nourished at many different levels simultaneously. This includes friendship, [brotherhood] which is a way of loving and is essential to healthy human development. It is one of the richest possible human experiences. Friendship can and does thrive outside of sexual involvement.”
Lastly, I would like to let a ray of light into the darkness that anger can bring. Based on the misinformation circulating and a certain misunderstanding of Church teaching, some people began posting prejudicial and humiliating comments in the social media. Speaking or writing or acting out of anger is not usually helpful. Others, however, deeply concerned for the dignity and respect of all persons, wrote thoughtful and encouraging e-mail messages to McQuaid officials.
In conclusion and in the hope that I and all of us at McQuaid Jesuit will let a ray of light break through the darkness and the heavy clouds that have surrounded us, I have made the decision that,if our two brothers who have asked to attend the Junior Ball together wish to do so, they will be welcomed.
With this decision I am not contradicting the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church with regard to human sexuality; I am not encouraging nor am I condoning homosexual activity just as I do not encourage or condone heterosexual activity at a dance. I am not contradicting the Church’s opposition to the redefinition of marriage. With this decision I invite and encourage us all, as Pope Francis does, to exercise care, protection, goodness which calls for a certain tenderness “which is not a virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness.”
Sincerely in the Lord,
Edward F. Salmon, S.J. President
‘Puter stands fully behind the school’s thoughtful response. The Father Salmon and the Jesuits found a good path in difficult circumstances: a path that honors Catholic teaching, reinforces the Catholic catechetical duty to treat homosexuals with respect and most importantly allows two young men to be who they truly are, out in the open.
Father Salmon also does not shy away from reminding the young men of Catholic teaching, including the obligation of heterosexuals and homosexuals to refrain from inappropriate sexual activity at a dance (and elsewhere).
As ‘Puter said in a different forum earlier today, he hopes the young men appreciate the enormity of the school’s decision and comport themselves accordingly at Prom, thereby reinforcing Father Salmon’s faith in them.
God bless the Jesuits.
Well, all the Jesuits except the hippie ones and the ones responsible for Liberation Theology, but other than that, the sentiment stands.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.