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Jun 12, 2015 1:10 PM

Gay student challenges curriculum at Catholic high school


MANCHESTER - Jake Midura is a 17-year-old high school student who just finished his junior year at Trinity, a Catholic high school in Manchester.

But, Jake had a secret.

He is gay.

Jake came out at the start of his junior year; not an easy thing to do for any teen, but even harder when you attend a religious school.

It wasn't a huge shock when just before the end of the school year, Jake had to answer test questions related to homosexuality.

Jake answered d. none of the above. The correct answer, according to the school, was c. they are not open to life. Jake then posted the question to social media and it got people talking.

Finding a balance between Catholic teachings and acceptance is nothing new. In 2013, Pope Francis made headlines when he famously said "Who am I to judge" when referring to gays.

For Jake and his mom, they are just hoping for baby steps.

"Maybe it can be revised," Jake's mom, Donna Belanger suggested. "Maybe it can be done a little more tactful?"

The Principal of Trinity, Denis Mailloux issued this statement to NH1:

"This was a question on a test administered to students in a high school junior level class called "Life in Jesus Christ," which is a Christian Morality course. The question was taken verbatim from the textbook: "Your Life in Christ: Foundations in Catholic Morality," which is in conformity with USCCB guidelines. The correct answer is C.

"Our faculty and staff strive to be sensitive to the needs of all of our students, and we have no desire to be hurtful or coarse in presenting Catholic teaching on this or any other topic. However, as a Catholic school, we also have a responsibility to teach authentic Catholic doctrine, or to 'teach the truth in love' as Ephesians 4:15 so well puts it."

The Superintendent of NH Catholic Schools, Father John Fortin issued this statement:

"We honor the autonomy of each Catholic school in the state to choose the textbooks and other instructional tools that best serve the needs of its own students. Our expectation is that Catholic schools align their curricula with a doctrinal framework established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"Therefore we at the Catholic Schools Office are not in a position to speak directly about the content of a course or the experience of a particular student at Trinity; however, we can give some context around the question of the Church's teaching on homosexuality.

"Church teaching on homosexuality is complex, and this particular test question should not be taken as representing the fullness of the Church's teaching on it. The Church teaches that persons who experience same-sex attraction should be welcomed into full participation in their local faith community, and explicitly rejects unjust discrimination and harassment of any persons, including those with a homosexual inclination.

"The Church also teaches that all persons are called to live a chaste life in keeping with the particular states of life. In particular, the Church teaches that sexual activity is reserved for married couples."


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