Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily


Buffalo Bishop Malone Requires School to Uphold Catholic Identity

Diocese of Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone expressed his gratitude that a local Catholic high school chose not to compromise its Catholic mission after the institution refused—albeit with apparent reluctance—to announce a same-sex marriage in its alumnae magazine, according to The Buffalo News.  The School's decision was reportedly influenced by previous intervention from the diocese following the announcement of a different same-sex marriage.

Former Sacred Heart Academy principal Sister Edith Wyss reportedly wrote in response to an alumna’s request, “I’m very sorry that we can’t publish your pictures and your good news in the Cordecho [the school’s student publication].”   Sr. Wyss presently serves as the provincial minister of the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity at Stella Niagara, which owns and operates the school.

Sr. Wyss reportedly indicated that, several years ago, the Catholic school did publish a same-sex marriage announcement. “We did expect some negative response,” she reportedly wrote, “and we got some.”

“Some readers of the Cordecho also contacted the Diocese of Buffalo. The bishop sent a diocesan official to meet with us at SHA to make sure that we understood what we had done,” Wyss reportedly wrote. “In their view, we were publicly supporting same-sex marriage. In our view, we were supporting our alumnae.”

“I hope you can appreciate our predicament,” Wyss reportedly concluded in her letter to the alumna. “Know that the current administration of the school and the sisters support you personally and hope for your happiness.”

Bishop Malone reportedly responded to The Buffalo News’ request for a statement, saying, “I am grateful that the leadership of Sacred Heart Academy has done the right thing and has not compromised its Catholic mission and values. While Sacred Heart is not a diocesan school, it is a Catholic school within the diocese, and I have responsibility for Catholic identity there and in every Catholic school, diocesan or not.”

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