The Solution The solution is NOT to tear down the institution. What is important is constructive and transparent dialogue about curriculum – including scriptural and non-scriptural teaching – conducted in the open with all interested parties invited to attend and participate. Let’s take inventory of the way in which other schools – secular and religious – are handling this important subject matter, and then with consensus, act to address the issues.
The Jesuit High School (Sacramento) Board of Trustees is vested with the power to cause this to happen. But at Jesuit and elsewhere, what happens is that governing Board influence has been limited by habitual deference to school administration. If a religious Congregation (i.e., an Order of priests, sisters or brothers) is involved, Boards often defer on matters of governance when it is the Board that has primary authority. Boards do this for many reasons: weakness, lack of awareness, failure to grasp the legal significance of “Board governance,” and generally poor information about how governance should occur within Catholic schools given the over-arching influence of Canon Law. Ideally, the presence of Canon Law should ensure continuity and consistency no matter the Catholic school. This is the ideal. The reality is that many Catholic school administrators know little about Canon Law, not even understanding how grave it is to disregard it.
Again using Jesuit (Sacramento) as an example, the Jesuit Board of Trustees in January 2021 abdicated its responsibility in reaction to the Jesuits’ province-approved threat to withdraw from the school if Board inquiry about the objectionable teachings continued. The Board owns Jesuit High School and has power and authority it refuses to exercise. This means that once the school and its curriculum “went rogue,” the Board’s failure to intervene because the Administration and Society of Jesus (Jesuits West Province) objected means that the Board has been intimidated out of its governance role. The entire structure of the school, its mission, and its purpose is in jeopardy. It starts the decline into being not Catholic at all.
Boards need the will and the impetus to act, swiftly and decisively, on behalf of the students and the future of the institution. The Society of Jesus on the West Coast (Jesuits West Province) defy authentic teaching, will not engage with stakeholders, and align with the worst of the Church’s past: “pay, pray, obey”. Jesuit High School and the Jesuits are not alone, but they are conspicuous offenders. While Jesuit and schools like Jesuit – with their traditions of excellence and achievement – advertise to parents, donors, and alumni that they are committed to the established wisdom of excellence and achievement, they internally present to students a radicalized view that rejects Christian unity, the theological significance of “Man” and “Woman,” the primacy of family, and a range of other teachings Scripture itself reveals. Access to information provided by distance learning provided parents their first opportunity to hear these teachings as they were being presented.
How We Can Help:
- We have sample written communications for your use in engaging with your child’s teachers and administrators, and with the local Bishop, Archbishop, or Cardinal.
- We have compiled the teachings of the Church to allow you to orient yourself in the richness of the faith, specially to combat false teaching popular today on many Catholic campuses, including the majority of Jesuit high school and college campuses.
- We have ourselves, individually and as a group, written letters to authority, and we share those with you here so that you can define and refine your own talking points.
- We provide links to learned theologians and educators our communications mention, including in emails distributed by the Concerned Parents of Jesuit High School and in articles authored by alumni.
- The Church has forums for you to bring complaints to the highest levels of Church governance. The Vatican’s Congregation for Education can be petitioned to examine possibly false teachings. To do this, you should consider hiring a Canon Lawyer, i.e., a lawyer versed in the laws of the Church, to assist you in the process. We provide links to Canon Lawyers. Many will provide introductory advice, but to achieve the best results, full retention of canon counsel is optimal. The parents, donors and alumni associated with the movement challenging Jesuit High School (Sacramento) retained a Canon Lawyer soon after it became clear that Jesuit was taking a particularly defiant, anti-parent position, an administrator’s threats of retaliation against parents for organizing, and the school’s deepening resolve to present the objectionable teachings to students.
- Civil lawsuits have been filed. A significant donor to Holy Names Academy in Tampa sued for the return of all donated funds, on the ground that the school was not presenting Catholic teachings according to its history and to its representations to the donor, but had embraced critical race theory to the exclusion of authentically Catholic, Gospel, and Scriptural teachings. A civil lawsuit was filed on July 29, 2021, against Jesuit High School (Sacramento), where the school administration is alleged to have violated the disability rights of a Latino student whose parents had complained about the objectionable teachings.
- We provide links to objectionable teachings at other schools, showing that these corrosive teachings are being imposed in many places by administrators and teachers, over parental objection, in Catholic, public, and non-sectarian private schools. The nearly identical teachings show that these are not scripture-based or in any way theological, but are the result of a propaganda-based movement that views itself as not accountable to parents.