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Denver Archdiocese Decision to Expel Children “Deeply Hurtful” Say National Catholic Groups

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Jeff Stone
Director of Media Relations
212-662-9088 (office)
646-418-7039 (cell)

DignityUSA Leads Coalition in Expressing Grief, Concern Over Ejection of Children From Catholic School Because They Have Lesbian Parents

Boston, MA, March 12, 2010–In a full-page ad set to run in this Sunday’s Denver Post and Boulder Daily Camera, DignityUSA and three other national Catholic organizations committed to equality for gay and lesbian people in the church express concern and grief over a recent decision by the Denver Archdiocese to bar the children of a lesbian couple from reenrolling in the Sacred Heart of Jesus School, a prekindergarten-8 school in Boulder.

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Catholic School's Treatment of Child of Lesbian Couple Protested by Many

Leaders of DignityUSA join Catholic families in Boulder, Colorado in expressing extreme disappointment that the young child of lesbian parents has become the Archdiocese's latest target in its attacks on gay, lesbian, and transgender people. The child has been barred from returning to Sacred Heart of Jesus School because of her parents' sexual orientation.

"The Archdiocese of Denver has acted very unjustly in singling out this child for exclusion," said DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke. "Until every students' parents are tested on Catholic teaching, this action by Catholic officials cannot be understood as anything other than discrimination on the back of a child. At a tender age, this child has learned that Catholic officials are willing to inflict pain on children and families. The public is learning that the Catholic hierarchy is willing to place this on the shoulders of children-and then defend such heartlessness by saying they are just following the rules and that Catholics are being persecuted for their beliefs.

"The Archdiocese has chosen to selectively enforce Catholic rules about families while trampling on core Catholic values of compassion, equality, and love. This is tragic for the family involved, and for all who turn to Church officials for moral guidance," added Duddy-Burke.

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Denver Archbishop Forbids Priests to Say Mass for Gays

August 9, 2000 — In a letter to the provincials of a number of religious orders active in the Denver area, Archbishop Charles Chaput has asked the leadership to "remove" members of their order "from ministry to homosexual persons immediately." The letter specifically mentions celebration of Mass for Dignity/Denver, which meets at a Presbyterian church.

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