Silly Putty Catholicism

October 2003

Kris Berggren is upset. She tells the story (National Catholic Reporter, Jul. 4) of Kathy Itzin, “a nice, lesbian middle-aged mom who works as elementary faith formation director at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Minneapolis” who “almost received an ‘Excellence in Catechesis’ award from the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese until someone pointed out the nature of her family life — she lives with her partner and their four children — to Archbishop Harry Flynn, who subsequently withdrew the award.”

Ms. Berggren is upset because she thinks Ms. Itzin is an ideal “role model mom.” Ms. Itzin has adopted children, “including a hard-to-place teenager and a child with special needs.” She volunteers at a homeless shelter. And so forth.

Well, Colleen Perfect, President of Catholic Parents OnLine, is the one who notified Archbishop Flynn. Ms. Berggren says of Mrs. Perfect: “She doesn’t want to see gay or lesbian people in church, except those who choose a life of celibacy,” whereas Ms. Berggren does want to see them there.

Ms. Berggren says that Ms. Itzin “has lived a life of faithfulness to the paramount Catholic values of justice and charity.” Ms. Berggren adds: “The bottom line for Catholics, as we all may rest assured, is the primacy of human conscience.”

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New Oxford Notes: October 2003

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