Catholic Church | Discrimination | Gay Marriage | Gay Wedding | News

Lesbian Wedding Announcement Blocked From Catholic School's Alumni Publication


Sarah Rupert-Sullivan (on the left in the picture above) got married to her wife, Molly, last August, but if she wants to share the news with old friends from high school, she may have to call them up one by one. Her alumna status at Notre Dame Prep does not include getting her wedding notice published in the school's "Class Chatter" report, and now Rupert-Sullivan would like to make a change. She has started a petition to revise an editorial policy that she believes is discriminatory against same-sex couples, but "Class Chatter" editor and school spokeswoman Cami Colarossi opposes the change.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

"We do not print in official school publications information which conflicts ... in any way with the totality of the Church's teachings," Colarossi said.

Rupert-Sullivan said Notre Dame Prep alumnae coordinator Shawn Osmeyer told her the school now plans to immediately inform alumnae when their submission will be omitted. But she also said the school's headmistress, Sister Patricia McCarron, politely told her in a conversation on Monday that Notre Dame Prep has no plans to change its publications policy...

"On one hand, we love and value every member of our community, like the gospel says," Colarossi said. "But on the other hand, we have to uphold Catholic doctrine as an official ministry of the Catholic Church. That is also what the pope says. He's not changing Catholic doctrine."

Rupert-Sullivan has indicated that there is a special double-standard applied to same-sex couples, however, and that other "Class Chatter" announcements have, in fact, defied "Catholic doctrine."

"The weddings that are listed are not Catholic-only," she said. "I got a message from a woman on Facebook that was married, divorced and did not have her first marriage annulled. So technically her second marriage is also a sin, and therefore her child was born illegitimately. NDP happily published both of those things."

Though the petition may not make any changes at Notre Dame Prep, Rupert-Sullivan does think that putting up a fight has its merits. 

"My other goal was to make sure no other student, whether it be current or past, feels like they are the only ones left out," she said. "At this point, I can only push on. I can't just quietly settle down."

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Why should the school publish something that contravenes its values? Would towleroad accept advertising from the Moral Majority?

    Posted by: richard | Jan 20, 2014 6:15:24 PM

  2. Not surprised but see little point making a fuss over it.

    However, acknowledging a second marriage at a Catholic high school is news. Maybe she was just a "protestant whore" as my dad likes to call them.

    Posted by: Sam | Jan 20, 2014 6:20:24 PM

  3. I am never surprised when, despite the current Pope's comments about "Who am I to judge?", the Catholic Church or, for that matter, any Christian denomination stands in the way of equality. In fact, I'm surprised when they don't. What I don't understand is why queer folk work/worship for/in these anti-gay institutions and are then taken aback when their homophobia is turned against them. Wake up, people! They don't want you, sinners. Your money--yes. You--no.

    And, by the way, Towleroad has had ads for non-supportive people/organizations pop up on its web site. Ads for Republican and anti-gay Heather Wilson was a recent example. I have written to the site about this when it happens. And I'm surprised when the ads continue to run.

    Posted by: barryearle | Jan 20, 2014 6:31:02 PM

  4. I have never understood why there are catholic schools and catholic hospitals. It seems the medical care can, at best, only be equal to secular hospitals and the education must be less (given the won't teach or discount accepted scientific principles such as evolution, etc). Why would anyone choose to attend to get a lesser education or go to a hospital that may not be the best?

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Jan 20, 2014 6:32:04 PM

  5. The school is publishing news of its graduates for other graduates to learn what they are up to. So refusing to state a fact is an insult to the readers, as if they are going to be tainted. They're no endorsement here by the publisher here. An alumni bulletin news column is an opportunity for alumni/ae to share. And news is news.

    My own all-boys Catholic high school has printed class notes that references "Joe and his husband" and reported the death of someone's husband. My favorite was a note from an older alumnus who reported he was retiring and living in California but still returned to New York City annually to visit his son Brendan who lives in Brooklyn with his partner Kevin.

    And life goes on.

    Posted by: Chuckles | Jan 20, 2014 6:34:17 PM

  6. Why care about this? Catholic schools, or other religious institutions, shouldn't be forced to contravene their religious beliefs. It IS another matter when businesses discriminate. But this is a completely different issue. No reason to be offended or care. There are more important things to worry about than alumni newsletters from religious schools.

    Posted by: DC_in_Durham | Jan 20, 2014 6:38:33 PM

  7. @MIKEBOSTON: There's no problem with evolution, that's a protestant issue.

    Keep in mind that not everyone can "choose" which hospital to go to; they go where they can get care.

    Posted by: Vint | Jan 20, 2014 6:38:40 PM

  8. My delight to see this joyous news of college classmates is diminished by the nature of the story.

    Keep breaking barriers everyone! Congrats to the happy couple! <3

    Posted by: ADIRENZO | Jan 20, 2014 6:41:22 PM

  9. "We do not print in official school publications information which conflicts ... in any way with the totality of the Church's teachings."

    Translates to, "We will stubbornly keep our heads in the sand and refuse to depict reality, especially reality that shows gay people being openly happy and forming families."

    It's amusing that they think people look at "Class Chatter" as an example of Catholic doctrine when all it is letting your classmates know what's going on in your life. Just another instance of the hierarchy have little connection to anything outside their antiquated bubble.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 20, 2014 6:54:32 PM

  10. The decision not to print was most likely done by some low level office worker who has homophobic tendencies that he/she want to be part of the fabric of life in that school. I say, make an issue of it. There are plenty of people in the Catholic Church that are really upset by the bishops' and other haters' prejudices. My family members are a good exmple. Some of them actually teach in the Catholic schools. They are angered by the homophobia and work against it. I would prefer they just left the Church, by my preferences are not really at issue.

    Posted by: jmartindale | Jan 20, 2014 7:02:39 PM

  11. Of course there is a double standard. You can't have religion without that.

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 20, 2014 7:24:04 PM

  12. Parochial schools depend heavily upon alumni and alumnae for funding. What this couple should do is lead a donation boycott among alums. That may not change the situation for them, but it will make a statement that the school and church can't ignore. The Almighty religious organizations really worship is the Dollar.

    Posted by: Tim | Jan 20, 2014 8:29:24 PM

  13. Hey, it's a Catholic institution. If they don't print it, it didn't happen.

    Posted by: deke | Jan 20, 2014 8:34:14 PM

  14. Of course they won't print it. Allowing a contravening Idea or experience is the Death Knell for organized religion. They can't let anyone else "indoctrinate" their youth - thats their job. How can they maintain total control if people see that its possible to be happy outside of the Church's teaching?

    Posted by: Robert Rhea | Jan 20, 2014 9:43:19 PM

  15. The Church likes to appropriate what is at the time the social norm and give it an appearance of "eternal truth". The society has changed and now they are stuck. Probably they will be the last to catch up, after the Republicans and the African countries. They will then issue some "apologies" like the last time they suddenly waked up to the reality that the Jews are no longer their enemies and Galileo was probably right.

    Posted by: Simon | Jan 20, 2014 10:51:20 PM

  16. Some people like to rave about the supposedly superior parochial schools, but the gay alumni they produce seem to be really slow learners. Can't they get it through their thick heads that Christians hate them? It isn't that complicated. Just let go, and stop looking to your enemies for approval.

    Posted by: Merv | Jan 20, 2014 11:20:17 PM

  17. The Catholic Church is a private club. If you belong to that club, obey it's rules. If you don't like the rules, quit the club. Join a club that accepts LGBT members.

    Posted by: andrew | Jan 21, 2014 1:09:41 AM

  18. The Catholic doctrines that the school claims to teach include catechism 2358: [Homosexuals] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. EVERY SIGN of UNJUST DISCRIMINATION in their regard should be avoided.

    So much for the school teaching the Catholic doctrine of respect, compassion and sensitivity. Apparently they're hypocrites, heretics or half-wits at Notre Dame Prep.

    Posted by: Marco Luxe | Jan 21, 2014 2:26:16 AM

  19. Marco:
    The Church teachings and Bible always talk about love and compassion. Historically it was not always the case. It could mean they put more combustible materials in the fire to bring an end to a heretic faster. In other words, to burn you in a compassionate way.

    Posted by: Simon | Jan 21, 2014 2:45:30 AM

  20. @ Andrew: Exactly.

    Posted by: johnny | Jan 21, 2014 8:04:34 AM

  21. My Jesuit university posted my wedding announcement in Class Notes without a second thought. It all depends on the leadership of the school.

    Posted by: DC Insider | Jan 21, 2014 8:37:51 AM

  22. I like Andrew's thoughts on the Catholic Church being a club. He's spot on with that statement.

    Posted by: Mitch | Jan 21, 2014 8:48:29 AM

  23. "Why should the school publish something that contravenes its values?"

    Good question. Maybe after they answer why they do -- as the article points out about remarriages and divorces -- then we can ask why the ONLY thing they won't print is SSM.

    Posted by: BobN | Jan 21, 2014 8:53:39 AM

  24. Oh for crying out... WHO CARES?! Listen, I'm an atheist, but as someone above me said, we need to stop looking to our enemies for validation. I have no sympathy for this couple or anyone who is fired from a parochial school for being gay. They know what they're getting into.

    Posted by: Zell | Jan 21, 2014 9:38:28 AM

  25. When my catholic high school and college have contacted me looking for donationa, I've always asked them to have the gay and lesbian alumni association contact me.

    Times are changing however. The last time the college called, they admitted they didn't have one, but did ask if I would start one.

    Posted by: Kevin | Jan 21, 2014 10:43:25 AM

Post a comment


« «Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1499« «