Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle has refused to run an announcement in its alumni magazine for the same-sex marriage of an alumna who once served as student body vice president and homecoming queen. In response to the submission by the 1997 graduate, the school sent her a letter saying, in part, “… the Archdiocese does not permit this type of information to be published in our Catholic school magazine.” The reaction has been a much-circulated Facebook post by James Nau, who was student body president in Blanchet’s class of 1997 and homecoming king. In an open letter to the Archdiocese of Seattle, Nau quoted St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians — “if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” and wrote:
The policy which prohibits the public acknowledgment of (the) marriage stands behind a faith that you no doubt believe is right, but it does so at the cost of what is greater: Love.
“When there is an opportunity to rejoice in love that exists among the members of your community, you have chosen instead to shut them out, and on this issue Pope Francis has warned, ‘a Church with closed doors betrays herself and her mission.'”Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain firmly closed all doors to same-sex marriage after Washington voted for marriage equality in 2012. Sartain published a “policy refresher” raining down prohibitions on same-sex “marriage” — quotation marks courtesy of the archbishop. They include:
“No priest or deacon or lay minister may officiate at a same-sex marriage.”
“No church facility or school facility may be offered for such an event, even if it is to be witnessed by a non-Catholic minister or civil official.”
“No church facility or school facility may be used for a reception after such an event.”
“No church ministers, ordained or lay, may offer ‘wedding preparation’ for such couples.”
The archbishop’s chilly, hard-line stand on same-sex marriage has never gone down well with many Catholics.
I’m not sure what’s more surprising to me: that James Nau was upset that a Catholic high school declined to announce a very public defiance of Church teaching; or that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer report is so blatantly biased.