Archdiocese Quits Program to Feed Hungry Kids Over Proposed LGBTQ+ Protections

Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski

Proposals to extend federal Title IX protections to LGBTQ+ students are gaining traction in the U.S., which has prompted some Catholic organizations to push back, including one archdiocese that withdrew from a program to feed food-insecure kids.

Last month, the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced that a dozen Catholic schools would be preemptively withdrawing from a government school lunch program to help feed hungry children. The archdiocese, led by Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski, withdrew from the federal funding because it did not want schools to observe LGBTQ+ non-discrimination protections that may become part of Title IX policy. 

Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any school or education program receiving federal money. The proposed new changes to Title IX would include language addressing sexual orientation and gender identity, broadening the scope of protections for LGBTQ+ students.

According to Only Sky, the schools would likely have been exempted as religious institutions, as the Department of Agriculture indicated, if any proposed changes were in fact made, but archdiocesan officials chose to withdraw anyway.

Incidents of Catholic and other religious organizations fighting proposed Title IX LGBTQ+ non-discrimination protections are also playing out in the courts.

Crux reported that the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and several Catholic dioceses have joined an an amicus brief that was submitted in a court case challenging the Title IX changes. The brief calls on the courts to reconsider a recent judicial decision that federal tax-exempt status qualifies as federal financial assistance.

Bondings 2.0 has reported previously about the USCCB’s objections to Title IX revisions to include LGBTQ+ people.

Catholic groups’ rigid opposition to broadened Title IX protections is not a worthy justification for the tremendous human damage that will result from the non-funding of subsidized lunch programs. In the end, some Catholics’ determination to adhere to a distorted understanding of religious liberty, rather than even a small openness to LGBTQ+ people, slows the progress towards a church that extends a full welcome to all.

Grace Doerfler (she/her) and Robert Shine (he/him), New Ways Ministry, October 11, 2022

5 replies
  1. Raph
    Raph says:

    Typical myopic approach to issues deemed to be social justice ones, viz., feeding the hungry and respect for human rights.
    If the Catholic Church leadership is so consumed with denunciations of LGBTQI persons as being distorted and poor models of Christian living to a younger generation, then they shouldn’t complain when they find fewer and fewer young people in the pews. Discrimination is the virtue being advanced by sexist prelates in the Church today and needs to be condemned by the people in the pews who pay their salaries!

    Reply
  2. John Hilgeman
    John Hilgeman says:

    “I was hungry and you didn’t give me anything to eat, because you were afraid that if you took the money for the food from the government, you would have to treat Queer people equally.”

    Reply
  3. Duane Sherry
    Duane Sherry says:

    Once again, the Church hierarchy had much to learn from its “sister church”. From the Baptismal Covenant of the Episcopal Church:

    Celebrant: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
    People: I will, with God’s help.

    Reply

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