Thursday, May 3, 2012

Esat Bay Catholic Calls Out De La Salle High

This article was published in yesterday's California Catholic Daily. We commend Mr. Arata for his concern.

"No Secrets
Catholic high school in Concord exposed

The following are excerpts of an April 27 email received from Mike Arata, a reader in the East Bay area, Oakland diocese.

Brother Robert Wickman, who returned as principal at Concord's De La Salle High School (known far and wide for its football program) has promoted at least two homosexualist programs at the school this year, most recently last week:

1. The Laramie Project - Brother Wickman wrote favorably about this homosexualist play in the school newspaper Spartan Spotlight’s October 2011 edition. The play was shown in November. Brother Wickman misrepresented (through omission) the Church's relevant positions on homosexuality in the newspaper story.

2. Day of Silence — On Wednesday of last week (April 18), Brother Wickman announced his support for the school’s Friday (April 20) participation in this [GLSEN-driven] day of activism.

The announcement was quickly removed from the school’s web site. But I found a cached copy of the page — and have pasted it further below in case the link becomes inactive. I have also attached an MS Word-stitched screen shot -- color highlights remaining from the search -- and the MS Word copy is clearer at this end.

17 years ago (during Brother Wickman’s earlier stint as principal at De La Salle), my wife and I protested a co-ed St. Valentine’s Day presentation of Secrets, a salacious, condom-promoting live performance by Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre group, to De La Salle and Carondelet High School students.

We detailed/previewed the performance’s grossly inappropriate content in a meeting with Brother Wickman — content which promoted teenage behavior that is immoral, unhealthy, and illegal (not to mention diametrically opposed to Church teaching) — and requested that Brother Wickman cancel the event, which had apparently been coordinated / scheduled by Brother Jack Henderson.

[Brother Henderson collaborated later the same year with the notorious, self-outed homosexual Father James Schexnayder in a presentation at a conference of the Bay Area Network of Gay and Lesbian Educators, conducted at Holy Names College.]

Brother Wickman permitted the Secrets performance to proceed despite our objections and those of other parents. The performance, presented to a co-ed assembly of high school boys, girls, and faculty members in the Carondelet gym, was followed by an extraordinarily perverse question-and-answer session involving students and the twenty-something Kaiser performers. Wickman later apologized to us — but the harm we predicted had been done.

I have transmitted to Wickman copies of our protest letters from 1995, and now a list of 20 questions regarding his homomosexualist promotions (the two we know about, that is) during this current school year."

Among the comments to the story, some of which are informative, Br. Wickman sent this response. It was broken into two sections in CalCatholic's comments section because of the character limit. We have combined the two into a single response:

"As I was not contacted by the California Catholic Daily for a comment on Mr. Arata’s piece, I here supply you with my response to him. April 30, 2012 Dear Mr. Arata, I am in receipt of your correspondence of April 26, 2012. I remember well our interactions in 1995 and am disappointed to see from your April 26 message, both its tone and content, that you still carry an adversarial mindset and a disposition to characterize the views, intentions, and actions of others in a most unfair and uncharitable manner. You also have a less than accurate recollection of our interactions, including your notion that I somehow apologized to you in the aftermath of the Kaiser assembly. I recall quite well that I commented to you and others that I would have scripted the show differently in parts. I have been known to say that about a wide range of theatrical presentations. I also take exception to your characterization that I “misled readers” in my letter in the October issue of Spartan Spotlight. Insofar as you seem poised to write an article that will cast De La Salle High School in an unfavorable light of your own making, I will not be providing you with answers to your list of 20 questions. I will, however, comment in a more general fashion. De La Salle High School is a recognized and revered ministry of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. It operates with the approval of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland. De La Salle’s program of studies, environment of the school, and extracurricular activities are all designed to advance our mission to provide the best in contemporary, Catholic, college preparatory education for young men. Indeed, our Catholic identity and Lasallian character serve as anchor and horizon for us in all we do. Our programs are created, developed, and refined under the guidance of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and the prescriptions of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Our students are taught well what the Church proclaims. Our Catholic students are given the tools to become better Catholics.

Those who do not share the Catholic faith are provided opportunities to know and appreciate what we propose as they mature in their beliefs. We consider in an ongoing manner how best to communicate the Roman Catholic tradition in ways that make it understandable and compelling for young people. In a time when the message of the Christian Gospel is not received well among some, we work to build bridges, cast light, and always promote charity, justice, and the love we have been given by our triune God. We are faithful to our Roman Catholic beliefs and share the truth of Jesus Christ with all whom we encounter. Finally, De La Salle High School does not endorse, identify with, or align itself with any organizations whose purposes or messages are incompatible with the Roman Catholic faith. God Bless! Brother Robert J. Wickman, F.S.C. Principal"

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

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