Blog Post

These Catholic Schools Won’t be Bullied!


diocese of camdenCommentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

Schools in the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey made headlines this week for defying political correctness and standing up for Christ regardless of public opinion.

In the wake of the controversy surrounding the decision of some NFL football players to refuse to respect the National Anthem, the Diocese of Camden decided this kind of disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated in their schools.

According to, the Diocese sent a directive to all high schools letting them know that any player or coach who does not “demonstrate appropriate respect” to the Star-Spangled Banner will be subject to a two-game suspension.

“Our schools are founded on the teaching of respect and honor; respect and honor for God, country and duly appointed authority,” wrote Superintendent Mary Boyle to Catholic high schools in the diocese. “The best approach is helping our young people understand that blood was sacrificed so that we all can enjoy the gifts of our faith and our country.”

For this reason, everyone on the team or associated with the team is expected to show respect during prayer, pledges and the playing of the national anthem.

“Failure to demonstrate appropriate respect will result in suspension from play (2 games) or dismissal from the team for subsequent offense,” she wrote.

Camden Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan Camden Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan

“The Catholics are doing what the National Football League refuses to do,” opined Todd Starnes of Fox News. “These Catholics don’t mess around, folks.”

Another New Jersey school, Camden Catholic High School, is also standing firm while under fire for refusing to allow a student named Madelyn Catrambone, who transitioned from female to male during the summer, use the men’s facilities. The family requested that her registration be changed from female to male and that she be allowed to wear a boys’ uniform. When the school refused, the parents decided to place her in another school.

"We recently received a request from parents of a student registered as female to change the registration to male and to make various accommodations. After discussion with the student's parents and reflection on the requests, it was clear that we could not provide the accommodations, as they would contradict Catholic teaching on gender identity," said Michael Walsh, a spokesman for the Diocese of Camden, according to

"As a Catholic school, our principal mission is to form students in the Faith and we must always be true to the teachings of that Faith, even — indeed especially — when those teachings are challenged by the secular world."

Walsh said the teachings of the Catholic Church and Pope Francis are that biological sex and gender "can be distinguished but not separated."

He went on to say that the Diocese of Camden fully supports the school's decision.

"In the last several years the topic of gender identity has been pushed to the forefront of the national consciousness," the diocese statement said. "It is a subject the Church has wrestled with, as we have strived to remain open and welcoming to all, even though the philosophy of gender change sits opposite to Catholic teaching."

As usual, the sympathetic media spun the story to sound as if the school rejected Catrambone rather than tell the truth about it being the family’s decision to place the child in another school. This is because most Americans are not in favor of forcing religious employers or institutions to violate their beliefs in order to accommodate the latest cultural fads.

But they are sympathetic when it comes to discrimination, whether real or imagined, which is why the media often manipulates the facts in order to garner the support they want for their liberal agenda.

In this case, it worked, at least partially, with one student starting a petition drive on urging people to contact the Diocese in support of Madelyn (who now goes by the name of Mason). Thus far, the petition has gained less than 2,000 signatures.

It’s certainly refreshing to see these Catholic schools stand up for the values that make us who we are – followers of Christ who taught that real love isn’t about feeling good – it’s about being willing to put our selfish desires to death in order to preserve the greater good.

© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®