SAN FRANCISCO - Controversy surrounds a San Francisco Catholic school after young students received a pamphlet that contained topics on sexuality, mercy killing, and other adult issues.
Rev. Joseph Illo, pastor at Star of the Sea, handed out a pamphlet to students called “The Examination of Conscience and Catholic Doctrine.”
Questions included: “Have I had or advised anyone to have an abortion?” and “Did I willfully entertain impure thoughts and desires?”
Parents were outraged that their children received the material but they are not blaming the school, rather the church.
The school advised the parents not to speak to media.
Filipino-American Thelma Go is a church volunteer of 11 years. She said she is tired of the negative exposure that her church is getting.
“It just bothers me why people keep looking at our church. Our two priests, they’re doing a great job in the church. Why always [show] the negative? It’s always positive in here,” she said.
She agrees that the distribution of pamphlets was wrong and that people should move on.
“It was just a mistake and everybody commits mistakes. They don’t mean that. These are good priests," she stressed.
Star of the Sea also came under criticism when Rev. Illo announced that the church will only allow boys to serve as altar servers.
In an official statement, Rev. Illo argued that it makes sense to have only altar boys because it prepares boys to consider the priesthood.
One parent did allow Balitang America to speak with her two daughters who attend the school. They said they thought it was inappropriate that such pamphlets were passed out, especially to younger kids. But they also feel that their school is doing a good job of handling the situation.
Balitang America has also reached out to school officials and the diocese but both declined to comment at this time.
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