Rorate Caeli

"My mother's [female] fiancée doesn't like me," said the little girl. Pope's answer: "don't vaccinate them against the Faith" [UPDATED]

So, what should Catholic schools do about little children who declare they are sad that their mother's or father's homosexual partner (actually the homosexual partner engaged to be "married" with one of their parents) does not like them?

In the Pope's "conversation" with Superiors-General published yesterday in Civiltà Cattolica, at least one very important detail got lost in the English translation:

"I remember the case of a very sad little girl who finally confided to her teacher the reason for her state of mind: 'my mother's fiancé doesn't like me.' The percentage of children studying in schools who have separated parents is very high. The situation in which we live now provides us with new challenges which sometimes are difficult for us to understand. How can we proclaim Christ to these boys and girls? How can we proclaim Christ to a generation that is changing? We must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them."

Well, the original Italian text actually says thay the girl is sad because her mother's "fidanzata" did not like her -- fidanzata, that is, her "fiancée" (a woman engaged to be married), not "fiancé" (a man engaged to be married), as translated.


"...a generation that is changing..."

Naturally, the little girl in that specific circumstance is just a victim of events. There was not much the teacher could do or say at the moment the little girl informed her that her mother was engaged to be married... to another woman. It is nonetheless somewhat curious to find a much less ambiguous response to the issue from an Archbishop in America -- Chaput, when he was in Denver: "in his weekly column, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver reaffirmed the Diocesan decision not to allow a lesbian couple to re-enroll their two children in a parish school" -- than in Rome, is it not?

In any event, if state schools have no problem with imposing immoral sex education, why would it be a problem for Rome, instead of saying nothing or being ambiguous when faced with this "changing generation", to direct the Superiors-General of orders that run Catholic schools to at least try to address these situations objectively by teaching classes what a family truly is, what a marriage is, what a couple truly entails ("male and female He created them"), or that there is no such thing as a fiancé (that is, a man engaged to be married) of a man, or a fiancée (that is, a woman engaged to be married) of a woman?

Actually, what is the point of having Catholic schools at all if they are not at least teaching and applying in practice rudimentary notions about the way God created men and women? Or could that basic information be interpreted as "vaccinating" the students against the faith? 

And why would the official journal of articles of the Holy See, Civiltà Cattolica, publish this detail -- amidst growing unease in Italy about propositions to establish same-sex "civil unions" with legal rights --, without at least explaining the problem of having a woman's "fiancée" mentioned nonchalantly. This has rightly been interpreted by the media as a "call for fresh Church approach to children of gay parents" (sic).

Catholic families and Catholic civic leaders urgently need clarity and leadership from Rome and the hierarchy on the matter of redefinition of marriage: just look at how the protesters against same-sex civil "marriage" in France were completely abandoned by Rome in 2013! What Catholic families and politicians are getting instead is ambiguity and muddled thinking. Will the same error be made in Catholic Italy?

[UPDATE 1400 GMT] The confusion in Italian political circles was so great this Sunday on the supposed "acceptance" by the Pope of "homosexual marriages" that the Holy See spokesman Father Lombardi had to issue an exceptionally lengthy statement, also presented in an exceptional Sunday NCR post by John Allen: "The stretch is completely self-evident, so much so that in some cases it seems the pope’s remark is being instrumentalized. To speak of an ‘opening to gay couples’ is paradoxical, because the pope’s comment is completely general and because even the small concrete example made by the pope in this regard."

As usual, we must say it is not the media's fault that Vatican institutions (in this case, Civiltà Cattolica) choose to present explosive matters in an insouciant way. The issues are by themselves explosive: of course the media and Italian politicians itching to introduce same-sex "civil unions" will jump at every chance to say that the "new" papal climate benefits their cause! The ambiguity of the specific circumstances is good enough for their plans: they do not need wholesale support, any neutral mention is already an opening.

Clarity and firmness would have prevented any "instrumentalization" -- how about trying those methods which have always worked wonders when coming from Rome?...