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Charlotte diocesan, school officials apologize for controversial presentation on homosexuality

April 03, 2014

Two weeks after a Nashville Dominican nun spoke to students at one of North Carolina’s largest Catholic schools and delivered a presentation critical of homosexuality, diocesan and school officials offered apologies at a meeting attended by an estimated 900 parents.

“Many said that” the first part of Sister Jane Dominic Laurel’s presentation at Charlotte Catholic High School “was excellent and fully in line with the Catholic faith,” said Father Roger Arnsparger, the Diocese of Charlotte’s vicar of education, as quoted on the diocesan newspaper’s website.

“There was unfortunately a misunderstanding about the content of the last part of the presentation,” he continued. “In that part, I understand that Sister used data from the Linacre Quarterly, a reputable journal, and from other sources. That data can be debated and, in fact, is debated back and forth by scholars who are researching the areas of human sexuality. Because of the ongoing debate, it would have been better if these studies and data were omitted from the presentation to the students.”

The school’s dean of students and two assistant principals apologized for not informing parents about the presentation beforehand. (The school’s principal was placed on leave in March amid reports of mishandling of funds.) “Parents should have been better informed,” said David Hains, spokesman for the Diocese of Charlotte, according to the Charlotte Observer.

At the parent meeting, “there were comments from parents who supported the school and the assembly, but most of the comments were critical,” the diocesan newspaper reported. “Many parents’ emotions boiled over, with arguments even carrying over into the school’s parking lot when the meeting ended after two hours.”

“Two observers called the meeting’s climate ‘disrespectful’ and ‘hate-filled,’” the report added. Parents who sought to defend the priest responsible for the nun’s speaking engagement “were shouted down by other people.”

The Charlotte Observer reported that the Nashville Dominicans have canceled Sister Laurel’s speaking engagement at the Diocese of Charlotte’s upcoming youth conference.

“They felt like this just wasn’t a good time for the sister to speak again in the diocese,” said Hains.


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  • Posted by: - Apr. 06, 2014 7:44 PM ET USA

    Will the unmentioned and apparently silent bishop of this diocese come out from under his desk and speak up ?

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Apr. 05, 2014 3:11 PM ET USA

    Wow! Now even the Church subjugates itself to those who shout the loudest at those who point out the errors of homosexuality. The Diocese and the Bishop should be ashamed. It is the tactic of these anti-Catholic teaching types to bully others. When we let them win, we lose.

  • Posted by: Defender - Apr. 04, 2014 10:32 AM ET USA

    So, defend the Magisterium and you're shouted down by CINOs. Mock the Magisterium and everything is fine. The state of Catholic education and the responsibility of parents to pass on the Faith have come to pass. This sits squarely on the bishops for, once again, not doing their jobs.

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Apr. 04, 2014 10:03 AM ET USA

    Apologize for what? Presenting Catholic teaching?? How many of the parents in that school have imbibed the pc-version/ideology of homosexuality and sexuality in general and expect the Church to cave in?? This seems like awful cowardice on the part of some of these officials. Where is the bishop??

  • Posted by: KL Flannery - Apr. 03, 2014 11:29 PM ET USA

    It would be good to have access to Sr. Laurel's talk.

  • Posted by: feedback - Apr. 03, 2014 10:15 PM ET USA

    Well, Hollywood is pushing the homosexual agenda 24/7, while the Church is pretty quiet. Confusion results.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Apr. 03, 2014 7:47 PM ET USA

    I would like to see the full text of sister's address!

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Apr. 03, 2014 6:46 PM ET USA

    I guess the message from the meeting is that "You should not upset the CINOs! (Catholics In Name Only).