Official reason to ban kids not acceptable


The situation of the children in Wyoming who are being banned from a Catholic school is shameful, at the very least. The “official” reason seems to be that their parents do not accept all the teachings of the Catholic Church.

In the Gospels we learn that Jesus rebukes those of his followers who try to keep children away from him. There is no suggestion that he first checked on the orthodoxy of the parents. He also says that it would be better for a person to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea than that the person put a stumbling block in a child’s way. For these children and for their parents this situation abounds in stumbling blocks.

I was blessed. I taught in a Catholic school which admitted not only Protestants, but students of other faith traditions as well. By definition none of these “accepted” all the teachings of the Catholic Church. But they were welcomed and treated with respect. One example: a Jewish student could not be expected to recite Christian prayers at the beginning of class. So, it was arranged that the class would alternate days, saying the Lord’s prayer one day, reading a psalm the next. The student was happy, the class was pleased, and no one was scandalized.

Make no mistake. There are many ways to abuse children, and this is certainly one of them. Doubly so, because the children’s parents are being abused also. Give thanks for the people who are supporting this family. But also pray for the abusers because it is possible that they, as Jesus said, “know not what they do.”


Virginia Norton


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