On Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, Archbishop Paul D. Etienne released the following statement regarding the recent LGBTQ teacher resignations at Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien:
“With the voluntary resignation of two teachers from Kennedy Catholic High School recently, we as church have discovered once again the delicate and difficult reality of being one family of faith when our personal opinions create tension in the family of God. I wish from the outset to state that we are one family of faith. We know that even healthy families have disagreements, but in the end, they still respect and love one another.
“As Pope Francis has taught, “The Church makes her own the attitude of the Lord Jesus, who offers his boundless love to each person without exception” (Amoris Laetitia, 250). This applies to all individuals, whether they are Catholic or of another faith, or even of no faith. It is true for persons of all walks of life, of every race — in short, all of humankind. Within the family of God, all are welcome, and all are loved.
“How do we balance our timeless teaching with our love for all of God’s people? The answer lies within the human condition. Pastors and church leaders need to be clear about the church’s teaching, while at the same time refraining from making judgments, taking into consideration the complexity of people’s lived situations. We are always called to compassion as we journey with our people. The end goal of walking together in faith is to help people embrace the fullness of the Gospel message and integrate the faith more deeply into their lives.
“The church teaches the fullness of the Gospel. Those who teach in our schools are required to uphold our teaching in the classroom and to model it in their personal lives. We recognize and support the right of each individual to make choices. We also understand that some choices have particular consequences for those who represent the church in an official capacity.
“As your pastor, I ask for your prayers for each member of this family of faith, as well as for your patience and understanding. Let us move forward together, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, who is our way, truth, and life. The Holy Spirit will help us find our way through this difficult time in a way that helps us remain faithful to the Lord and respectful of one another.”