The Diocese just issued this statement. It looks like a rehash of the emails and letters that they and some priests and deacons have been sending. It doesn’t answer any hard questions or address much of anything we’ve said. We’ll add comments in bold below but please keep in mind the title of their own 17 page document: “A Pastoral Process of Accompaniment and Dialogue Addressing Children and Youth in Relation to Gender Concerns and Non-Traditional Families” Pastors are guided to Accompany children and youth in gender concerns, and the Bishop will allow his schools to do so in person when the pastor enrolls them, which the New York Times has praised :
“The diocese of Jefferson City, Mo., for example, said last month that it would permit transgender students in its Catholic schools.” -New York Times
Shouldn’t the Bishop be issuing a statement to correct the New York Times?
KRCG-TV, Channel 13 in Jefferson City, ran a news story on the 10 o’clock news on 6/29, regarding an internal document (They didn’t intend to have to defend it publicly and didn’t reason through it well enough) provided to diocesan priests and school principals at presentations in May. This document, prepared for administrative use at the parish level, (Not the parental level and they’re not sorry) provides guidance (Guidance means they are guiding pastors and principals in some direction, which they wish to imply isn’t what the title says) on considering admittance of children to parish schools and programs when households are non-traditional, that is, not led by a mother and father who are married in the Church. (And transgender students who may come from a traditional household.)
The news story may have been confusing to many people (Sister downplayed the response saying less than 25 letters and 40 phone calls so how can she admit it’s many?) regarding the intent, content and use of this document. (They got plenty of air time to explain it, is it because we’re too blue collar and rural to understand? The only confusing thing lies in their commentary which contradicts their own document) The diocese wants to make clear that the document makes no changes from current practice. (Then why issue a 17 page document full of heretical sources, to give official cover to current practice which is to allow enrollment of these students?) The document is intended as a tool to use when and if these unusual enrollment situations occur. (It’s already been when, not if) The diocese believes parishes should engage and have conversations with members of these households who inquire about enrollment in a school or program; (Nowhere in the 17 pages does it tell pastors how to “converse” with these people about what the Church teaches about their situation) however, the diocese is not advocating the recruitment or enrollment of children from non-traditional households for its schools and programs. (Millie Aulbur, did you write this legalistic line? They Bishop isn’t advocating but he is ALLOWING) Decisions regarding enrollment will always be made by the parish leadership because pastors (Bishop Gaydos allows pastors to enroll transgender students) and other parish administrators are responsible for acting in the good of the local parish community. (In one parish it may be good to enroll a transgender student, in another not. What is the point of funding a Church and having moral code if official practice contradicts it?)
Further, there is no diocesan ‘transgender policy’ (When the Bishop with all of his authority allows something then in praxis it’s a policy, but you may call it a “process” whereby any pastor has the authority to use the process to enroll a transgender student.) concerning the enrollment or retention (Retention because it already happened) of students. The document provides guidance regarding how to pastorally address the issue of a child wishing to present as the opposite gender. In no instance will a girl or boy be permitted access to a single-sex facility designated for the opposite sex. (Pastors are allowed to admit transgender students on their own terms and the school must accept an identity that the Church calls a lie, but not in the one instance of the bathroom? Is that consistent? What about a sports locker room? Or overnight events? If they are what Bishop Gaydos is allowing them to say they are how can you all logically deny them the bathroom of their identity?)
Questions regarding this matter can be directed to the diocese by clicking the “Contact Us” menu item and filling out the form, or calling 573-635-9127 (This is their one good idea, do ask them questions. There is a good list of questions for you to ask here)
Again, If it’s all no big deal then why does the New York Times praise the Bishop and his process in a pro-gay article? It’s the hypocrisy that is so difficult, we live in a time when the LGBT advocates are more consistent, articulate, and logical in their policy then the Chancery. That’s what duplicity brings to the table.