COSTA MESA, Calif. – Some parents and parishioners have accused the Roman Catholic diocese in Orange County of violating church doctrine by allowing a gay couple to enroll their children in a church school.
The group demanded that St. John the Baptist School (search) in Costa Mesa accept only families that pledge to abide by Catholic teachings, the Los Angeles Times reported in Sunday's editions. Church doctrine opposes gay relationships and adoption by same-sex couples.
"The teachings of the church seem to have been abandoned," John R. Nixon told the Times. "We send our children to a Catholic school because we expect and demand that the teachings of our church will be adhered to."
School officials rejected the demand, and issued a new policy stating that a family's background "does not constitute an absolute obstacle to enrollment in the school."
The parents' demand would presumably prevent two adopted boys whose parents are both men from attending the school's kindergarten.
The Rev. Gerald M. Horan, superintendent of diocese schools, said that if Catholic beliefs were strictly adhered to, then children whose parents divorced, used birth control or married outside the church would also have to be banned.
"This is the quagmire that the parents' position represents," he said. "It's a slippery slope to go down."
The boys' parents, who enrolled their children at the beginning of the school year, declined to comment to the Times.
Some parents have promised to ask the Vatican (search) to intervene and some have threatened to pull their children from the school. Others are worried the boys' attendance will set a precedent, saying their presence is part of a larger effort by the gay community to change the church.
"The boys are being used as pawns by these men to further their agenda," said Monica Sii, who has four children at the school.