An old friend, a graduate of a Jesuit high school, called my attention to this story about the decision by McQuaid Jesuit High School in Brighton, N.Y. , to allow two gay students to attend the school’s Junior Ball as a couple. My friend commented: "Of course it's a Jesuit school. Humaneness is in the S.J. DNA.”
But then I learned from another friend that a school operated by the De La Salle Christians Brothers, who taught me, also allowed a male couple to attend a prom. In both cases the reasoning was that the school doesn’t presume that a couple who come to a prom together are engaging in sexual relations.
Father Edward Salmon, the president of McQuaid, put it this way in a letter to parents: “With this decision I am not contradicting the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church with regard to human sexuality; I am not encouraging nor am I condoning homosexual activity just as I do not encourage or condone heterosexual activity at a dance. I am not contradicting the church's opposition to the redefinition of marriage. With this decision I invite and encourage us all, as Pope Francis does, to exercise care, protection, goodness which calls for a certain tenderness ‘which is not a virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness.’ "