Anti-Transgender Leaflets Accidentally Given to Catholic Students; Other Education Updates

Cover of the leaflet distributed to Catholic school students

Two English dioceses are apologizing after an anti-LGBTQ leaflet was distributed to students in Catholic schools. Today’s post features this story and two other news items from the realm of Catholic education.

Anti-Transgender Leaflets in English Schools

The Archdiocese of Liverpool and the Diocese of Northampton issued apologies for the anti-LGBTQ leaflet distributed in Liverpool’s archdiocesan magazine, Catholic Pic, as well as many other Catholic publications. The Liverpool Echo reported on the leaflet’s content:

“School pupils at Catholic schools in Liverpool received the leaflets – which warn against ‘Gender Theory’ as a ‘delirious ideology claiming everyone can fancy themselves as a man, woman, neither or both at the same time according to mere whims.’

“The leaflets also claim that ‘sophisticated activists are already at work to impose their anti-Christian and anti-God views on children at your school.’

“The front of the leaflet shows a group of young boys and girls who are shown to be asking ‘am I a boy? Am I a girl? Or Both?’ – which is followed by a Biblical quote stating: ‘Male and female, he created them.'”

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Liverpool said that while inserts like the leaflet are normally reviewed beforehand, such review did not happen in this case. He clarified that “the content of the leaflet is not endorsed by the Archdiocese of Liverpool and it should not have appeared.” An apology will be published in the next issue of the magazine, reported the Independent.

Students in Canada Urge School to Fly Pride Flag

Students at St. David Catholic High School,Waterloo, Ontario, appealed to administrators to fly a rainbow flag during Pride month in support of LGBTQ students. The Record reported:

“Several students at St. David Catholic Secondary School believe their school refuses to fly a Pride flag because it would go against religious teachings. They have launched a petition to deliver to the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.

“The board denies it has barred the Pride flag for religious reasons. It cites national protocol which says that if a Canadian flag is flown (as all Catholic schools do) it must be the only flag on the mast.

“‘We as a school system would never accept any idea that supporting our LGBTQ students, staff and broader community is against Catholic values,’ spokesperson John Shewchuk said.”

More than 300 students signed a petition in support of flying the rainbow flag. Disputing the Catholic school board’s claim, Waterloo’s public school district announced all its schools would be flying Pride flags having been given a dispensation by the Canadian government to fly it underneath the national flag if only one is available. A spokesperson for the Catholic school district, John Shewchuck, told CBC a Pride flag would be displayed elsewhere at St. David.

The St. David’s LGBTQ group, Respect and Equality for Allies and LGBTQ+, had several activities for Pride Week, including a “Rainbow Sock Day” and writing affirming messages in chalk outside the school.

Students Celebrate Pride at Philippines Catholic College

Students at De La Salle College of Saint Benilde  (DLS-CSB) celebrated Pride with their own parade through campus, reported The Benildean, on the theme of “Spreading Love with Colors.”

Kristine Kahulugan, president of the college’s LGBTQIA+ group, BHive, said the festivities were a reminder that the LGBTQ community “will always accept you and you will always have a home with us.” A senior college official also spoke:

“Furthermore, Vice President for Lasallian Mission and Student Life Mr. Neil Pariñas, emphasized in his closing remarks that DLS-CSB is anchored by two social teachings: Common Human Dignity and the Common Good.

“‘Ultimately, the end goal is for us to live [out] our greater version of ourselves. Everyday is an opportunity for us to reinvent [and] to become a better version of ourselves. In Benilde, we have this campaign—Be yourself,’ he said.”

For Bondings 2.0’s full coverage of LGBTQ issues in Catholic education, see the “Schools & Youth” category to the right or click here. For specific information on Catholic higher education, see the “Campus Chronicles” category or click here.

Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, July 19, 2019

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