Do Catholic Schools Really Embrace Gender Ideology?

    Dear Daily Signal: Charlie Jacobs’ commentary article on a Catholic high school in California is disturbing, and also sad on so many levels (“As I Found Out With My Daughter, Not Even Catholic Schools Are Safe Havens From Gender Ideology”).

    First, why the kid-glove treatment of this Catholic school’s administration and staff? Their actions, in my opinion, constitute child abuse, yet the author and her husband put up with it for way too long. Would they have allowed their daughter to stay in that school if they found out that she was being sexually assaulted on a regular basis?

    Second, why not look for another charter or Christian school? Their daughter originally attended a public (i.e., secular) high school, so attending an overtly Protestant school would be a step up, especially if it did not promote mental illness.

    Third, what’s with the Catholic Church hierarchy? Where are the Archbishop Oscar Romeros among them? Are they so afraid that by standing up for human biology and Catholic teaching they won’t get invited to cocktail parties?

    I understand the need to express concerns in a civil manner, but when those concerns are ignored by the Catholic school and the result is harm to one’s child, the gloves should come off. There are plenty of legal aid organizations that would take up the fight and sue this school to force change.—Keith Breedlove, Groveland, Fla.

    Dear Daily Signal: Although this is a very sad story that involves a Catholic high school, I am extremely disturbed by the lack of a good faith reporting by the author. Her article does not mention the school by name, nor does it identify by full name any of the school officials involved.

    There is no indication that this is an isolated incident within the Catholic community or its schools. A reader could easily assume that pushing this gender ideology is common among all Catholic schools. In fact, the article states: “Sadly, the Catholic Church has adopted a new religion: gender ideology.”

    This is false, and The Daily Signal and The Heritage Foundation should be ashamed of publishing such an incrimination. I am a Catholic and I am involved in my parish and its Catholic school. There are no such “pride” groups in our parish or school, or within our diocese for that matter.

    The author of the article has no understanding of Catholics or our beliefs. Just like any vast organization or group, there are those that lose their way and deviate from the truth. After all, we are human. Do not use the misguided few to generalize about the rest of us Catholics.

    In the future, the parties involved should be named and there should be an effort to explore activities of other parishes before generalizing. Because the parties in this article are anonymous, readers should conclude that the article is made up and some type of propaganda piece to disparage an entire faith.

    If this is the case, The Heritage Foundation has certainly lost its path.—Jeffrey A. Michalik, Salisbury, Md.

    Editor’s note: Charlie Jacobs revealed to The Daily Signal the names of the Catholic high school and those she dealt with there, but made it clear that, at this time, she doesn’t wish to jeopardize her daughter further by identifying them. She provided copies of emails to document what she describes as occurring.

    Jacobs also told The Daily Signal that she was unable to find a high school within 50 miles—“Catholic, private, or otherwise”—that wasn’t already captured by gender ideology.

    Dear Daily Signal: One thing Charlie Jacobs says in her article about her daughter’s Catholic high school and transgenderism is more than just an error, but a contradiction of information she provides earlier (“As I Found Out With My Daughter, Not Even Catholic Schools Are Safe Havens From Gender Ideology”). In her conclusion, she writes: “Sadly, the Catholic Church has adopted a new religion: gender ideology.”

    This is objectively false, and can lead a reader to perceive the situation with the fundamental error that the Catholic Church embraces transgender ideology. Mrs. Jacobs points out that she herself supplied the principal and president of her Catholic high school with copies of documents that stated the official teaching of the Catholic Church.

    One of these documents—“Male and Female He Created Them”—was from Pope Francis himself. In Point 35, Pope Francis states that:

    education on sexuality and affectivity must involve each person in a process of learning ‘with perseverance and consistency, the meaning of his or her body’ in the full original truth of masculinity and femininity. It means ‘learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning […] Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different […] and find mutual enrichment’ …

    The pope’s document also gives guidance for Catholic schools, such as these examples in points 44 and 55, which it seems were not followed by Mrs. Jacobs’ school, if her account is accurate:

    Schools and local communities are called, in particular, to carry out an important mission here, although they do not substitute the role of parents but complement it. [44]

    … every educational institute should provide itself with organizational structures and didactic programmes that ensure these parental rights are fully and concretely respected. [55]

    Further, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that:

    … man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honor since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day [CCC 364].

    Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. ‘Being man’ or ‘being woman’ is a reality which is good and willed by God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator. Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity ‘in the image of God’. In their ‘being-man’ and ‘being-woman’, they reflect the Creator’s wisdom and goodness. [CCC 369]

    In summary, the teaching of the Catholic Church is that God created each one of us as the gender he intended us to be, and it is our obligation to our Creator to regard our bodies as good since they were created by God, who is all good.

    The current trend of transgenderism runs counter to both the intent of our Creator and the teaching of the Catholic Church. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t people who claim to be Catholic who hold beliefs that the Catholic Church would find heretical. Truly, countless people fit that description.

    The conduct of this Catholic high school’s principal, chaplain, president, and some staff appears to be out of line with the official and infallible teaching of the Catholic Church. (And granted, their individual accounts of the matter have yet to be heard in order to make full account.) Although they may self-identify as “Catholic” if the truth is as Mrs. Jacobs describes, they are standing outside the church’s teaching on the matter.

    Mrs. Jacobs’ situation is deplorable, but great care must be taken to ensure accuracy and that includes an accurate portrayal of the teaching of the Catholic Church, which has not “adopted a new religion” as Mrs. Jacobs states, but is still rooted in the same beliefs and teachings that she has held since her inception.

    We must remember that just because people exist who stand outside church teaching yet continue to call themselves Catholic, it does not mean that these people are representative of the Catholic Church. It is disingenuous to make that erroneous connection, even in a moment of emotional turmoil, and it is irresponsible at best to publish it.—Michael LaMorte, Columbus, Ohio

    Dear Daily Signal: Fads come and go. Unfortunately, the fad of enticing or forcing confused minors into permanent gender change is not logical. Any child could pass through temporary periods of wishing he or she could be of the opposite gender. This should not alarm adults. It can be a normaI part of growing up.

    As the only girl in a household full of rough-and-tumble boys, I became a tomboy. The first boy who showed romantic interest in me paid me a visit at home when I was 12. But he didn’t like climbing trees, so there never was a second date.

    The tomboy I was in childhood morphed into an adult who loves being a woman. A wife of nearly five decades, today I gratefully am a beloved mother and grandmother, blessed be God! I still love getting outdoors with my husband to snowshoe in winter or to hike, bike, camp, or kayak in summer.

    How many children today are being robbed of future joy and fulfillment by being herded into making a temporary curiosity or confusion into a permanent change of their gender?—Iwanna

    ‘A Thought Experiment’

    Dear Daily Signal: As a parent, I’m stunned at the school administration’s resistance to doing what the parents directed in this case. I applaud the tough-mindedness of the parents, who fought for their daughter’s best interest. And I’m honestly relieved that they have apparently “gotten through” this.

    That said, I find this sentence, in the last paragraph of Charlie Jacobs’ commentary article, quite incorrect and am appalled that The Daily Signal would print it: “Sadly, the Catholic Church has adopted a new religion: gender ideology.”

    This statement is patently false. What church document does Mrs. Jacobs give to support such an assertion? She certainly has been through the ringer with this, and I understand, at least academically, that she is both frustrated and angry at the lack of support she received from the church hierarchy.

    However, the actions or inactions of a select few does not give permission for anyone to say that those actions or inactions mean the church has adopted some position.

    Sadly, sin is in all of us. Even the most well-meaning have need of regular and frequent participation in the sacrament of reconciliation. None of us is immune from making wrong judgments about the best course of action in any given situation. None of us is immune from acting out of fear and cowardice.

    When a priest or bishop acts out of fear or bad judgment, it is natural for people to make a leap from the individual to the institution. But it’s wrong.

    Here’s a thought experiment: Imagine a U.S. Marine commander, trained for battle and ready to fight. But when the day comes, the commander flees from the battle. Are we to suppose that the Marine Corps has suddenly adopted a policy to run from harm’s way? Of course, such an assertion would be ludicrous.

    Yet this is precisely what Mrs. Jacobs’ statement in her article would have us believe. Although I applaud The Daily Signal for publishing this article, I hope that you are just as willing to call out this fallacy and correct it publicly.—Mark Pokorny, Colorado Springs, Colo.


    Although I agree with the author and believe that a Catholic institution—of all places—should not allow this kind of “club” and teaching, I don’t believe the entirety of the Catholic Church should be blamed.

    I realize that the author sought out Catholic bishops, but were they bishops from the same state? There are so many other priests, bishops, and Catholic churches throughout the country who oppose this gender ideology. To lump all of Catholicism into this category, I believe, is incorrect.

    It is very frightening to realize that what should be a “safe haven” for a child, precisely because of the teachings of the Catholic Church, is not safe at all. I sincerely hope that the author’s daughter, and the author, find peace.—Dan Micka, Centennial, Colo.


    I believe you had a misprint on your last line. Charlie Jacobs wrote this: “Sadly, the Catholic Church has adopted a new religion: gender ideology.”

    The Catholic Church strongly condemns gender ideology and gender dysphoria. Unfortunately, this particular Catholic school is wrong and needs to be corrected.—Will


    Charlie Jacobs either should identify the school or be more circumspect in her comments. I work with a number of Catholic schools that would never sanction this, and she seems to paint all with a broad brush.

    That makes it harder for Catholic schools to attract serious Catholic families. It does damage to good and faithful Catholic schools.—Stephen Reardon, Virginia 

    ‘Keep Getting Word Out’

    Dear Daily Signal: Please keep getting this information out! Unless you have a child who is growing up in this messed-up world right now, you have no idea. It is a pandemic to condone pedophilia.

    If children are OK choosing their gender based on indoctrination, then it’s OK to accept pedophilia and allow these disgusting pigs to get away with Epstein Island and everyone involved with it.

    What’s concerning is the timeframe. My daughter started questioning her identity as well, whether she’s gay or straight, in March 2020. Hmmmm. This has all been planned. It is a pandemic of indoctrinating kids. I tolerated it last year because my daughter wasn’t actually in school except for three months.

    And the real reason why teachers are dropping like flies isn’t because they are mistreated but because we parents were listening to their lectures. They got caught and now have to do actual work. I can press play on a video as well.  Where are their lectures? Nowhere.

    I put my child in private school this year, and I will go bankrupt before I allow her back in public school. She would rather go to a school that is more strict than go back to the public school she was in last year.

    After a month of being taught at home during the pandemic, everything changed.  One month! Do you know how long it has taken to get back a semblance of what she used to be?  Almost two years and we’re still not there. These people have to be held accountable.

    I am so disgusted and heartbroken. Everyday, I watch what my daughter does now. I keep her mind on other things and I will continue to do so.

    Please keep getting the word out. Thank you so much. I love your articles.—Jerilyn Jensen


    I would strongly urge this family to consider any other parochial schools that surely must be in their town in addition to that Catholic high school. They could find safety there for their daughter from the “trans” pressure and indoctrination without her being indoctrinated by different religious teaching.

    I think, under the circumstances, they reasonably could request that their daughter be excused from religion classes, or they simply could controvert those teachings with their own teaching at home and church. Risking exposure to different religious teaching surely would be preferable to have her pressured and indoctrinated to change her sexual identity.—Carol Harrison


    Can you please let Charlie Jacobs know that I am praying for her and her family? I pray that truth wins out in the end.

    I hope she finds people who can help her change that school, so it will do what is best for children of God and not just CYA.

    God bless Charlie and her work. Keep up the good fight!—Gwen Grundman 

    Editor’s note: The Daily Signal forwarded most emails we received on her commentary to Charlie Jacobs, who expressed thanks for readers’ thoughts and encouragement.


    Wow! As I read the article by Charlie Jacobs, I became almost physically ill. What has happened to Catholic schools?  How can the clergy allow this? As a lifelong Catholic, I am heartbroken to read her story.

    Catholic clergy decry the decline in attendance at Mass, the decline in the number of marriages, and the decline of families. They may look to themselves when they allow, and in some cases foster, the craziness of critical race theory and gender identity in “Catholic” schools—as well as other “liberal” anti-religion attitudes.

    Charlie, thank you for you thoughtful and articulate article in The Daily Signal. I shall pray for you, your family, and your endeavors on behalf of our children.—Elizabeth Corr


    Those parents need to know that there are fine Christian schools available that don’t teach that gender philosophy.—Thain Dikkers 


    Terrific, scary, well-written article. My heart aches.

    I feel, however, that the author is doing a huge disservice to to her readers by not naming the school, or at least the diocesan hierarchy where this took place. People want to—have to—know.

    Thanks you for sharing your experience, Charlie Jacobs.—Rich Karakis, Loudon, Tenn.


    Thank you for printing the very sad story about gender ideology in Catholic schools. I understand the desire for anonymity, but how can this situation change without the specific school and Catholic diocese being named?—Doug Sherman


    The article about the Catholic high school in California is lame. How can we respond and make our voices heard to the leaders of this school when the school is not named?

    Catholics across America must speak out against this transgender evil that is leaking its way into our faith.—Curtis Loftis, Florida 


    It alarms me to read this article and how the parents’ will was disregarded by the Catholic Church. I would like to write Catholic authorities about this travesty. Please identify the high school.—Harry Beach, Salem, Mass.


    What a sad story. The Catholic Church should be ashamed of abusing a child’s gender identity to appear woke and enlightened. This Catholic high school is guilty of nothing short of child abuse.

    Most youngsters who experience gender confusion eventually grow out of it.  What they desperately need is wise and compassionate therapy.

    There’s a reason that transgenderism has been considered a mental illness among legitimate psychologists for many years. Truly, if you don’t know what gender you are, something is terribly wrong.—Randy Malco


    What an education I got from reading Charlie Jacobs’ commentary article. My utmost admiration goes to this mother, who is taking a deep dive into the transgender issue.

    Thank you for informing us. I am 75, and as I age, I love being up on what’s going on in our society.—Jonnie Shea Meinhardt, New Braunfels, Texas

    The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.

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