Catholic high school in Des Moines chooses to honor its faith

By Tom Quiner

“Dowling High decision not to hire gay teacher protected by law.”

This is the headline that emblazoned this morning’s Des Moines Register.

The story begins like this:

“A Des Moines Catholic high school was within its rights when it decided not to hire a substitute teacher full time once it found out he was gay — because Iowa’s civil rights law allows religious institutions to discriminate based on sexual orientation.”

Note the slant to the reporting: “discriminate based on sexual orientation.” I prefer my headline above.

Dowling High School chose to honor its religious conscience rather than cave to the so-called sexual liberties honored by the mainstream media and the liberal elite. The substitute teacher denied a contract publicly snubs Church teaching by the life style he chooses to live.

A young man who graduated from Dowling just a couple of years ago posted an articulate response on his Facebook page this morning worth sharing:

“I was deciding whether or not to post about all Dowling this week, but I feel like it’s necessary…

Please note: I’m explaining what I see as a logical position, and it presumes acceptance of the Catholic Church’s teachings, HOWEVER, this is not a “religious” argument (in my opinion). I’m really not trying to evangelize or defend Church teaching with this post (you can look that up on your own if you want: Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357-2359 for starters)—I’m just explaining DOWLING’S logic.

Whether you are Catholic or not, whether you agree with the Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexuality or not, Dowling Catholic High School, as a religious institution, has the right and responsibility to maintain a code of conduct for both students and faculty that is in line with the Catholic Church. This is especially true of faculty members, as presumed role models, however flawed they may be.

Many might say (and have said) that Dowling’s actions were wrong because “we’re all sinners.” While it is true that “we’re all sinners”, herein lies the difference (again, presuming Catholic teachings, which is certainly reasonable at a Catholic institution): according to the Catholic Church, a homosexual relationship implies a pattern of sin going forward (if the couple acts on their desires, which I’m assuming). Therefore, it’s not about anything that an individual may have done in the past—rather, it’s about his or her commitment to such a pattern of sin going forward. The past is the past. That’s not what the issue is here. It’s a lack of desire to avoid such a pattern of sin in the future.

Further, those who claim that heterosexual teachers living in such a “pattern of sin” as contraception, divorce sans annulment, etc. are in the same boat as individuals in homosexual relationships: ultimately, you’re right. Is this a double standard? Yeah, probably. But if anything, Dowling has the right to demand the same high expectations, at least in public matters, of all its staff. If Dowling is made aware of an ongoing issue with a staff member of such a nature(with not attempts to rectify said situation), it is within its rights to, again, maintain the teachings of the religion that is its fundamental purpose.

The purpose of Dowling Catholic High School is the Catholic Church. It’s a private institution that absolutely no one is obligated to attend or affiliate with. If you don’t like its teachings, you have your free will. But its self-contained logic follows.

I stand with my alma mater.”




  1. Alan Eoriatti on April 8, 2015 at 2:16 pm


    I was happy to read that our Catholic High School was standing firm. I think we all know the day is coming where this is going to be illegal. We must fight to ensure that day does not happen.

    I now wish the schools would stop hiring people that are living in sin with the opposite sex. There are 3 people that I know of at my children’s elementary school that live with their boyfriends. This sin is no different than homosexuality. It goes against our faith and sends a terrible message to our children. I think they get away with it because they don’t tell the school they are living this way. It is kept secret. I know only because my wife teaches at the same school. I understand we are all sinners and none of us are immune to the devil’s temptations. I do believe that if our teachers and administrators are blatantly living in a way that slaps our faith in the face we need to let them go or not hire them in the first place. What are your thoughts??


    • quinersdiner on April 8, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      You make a good point. I agree. Eventually kids will learn if a couple is cohabiting, and it is a bad example.

  2. Rebuilding Common Sense on April 8, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Reblogged this on Rebuilding Common Sense and commented:
    In my view little more needs to be said… an excellently written piece defending the principles of all of us who believe in the freedom of expression

  3. dewitte1 on April 9, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Thanks for this post. The response this young man gave is excellent! I was very relieved that the administration made the decision to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. I was less so regarding the so-called ‘walk-out’ yesterday at Dowling. It is very simple to me- it is a Catholic school, we follow the Catholic teachings. Contrary to popular belief you don’t get to pick and choose what teachings you believe in and scrap the rest. I find it pretty darn arrogant that people think they know better than 2000 years of church history. If people only knew the beauty of our faith, knew the teachings and most importantly knew WHY we have the teachings. It is for love of us; it is to help us to get to heaven.

    I have four children and it is a huge sacrifice financially for me to send our children to Catholic school. We do so because we love our church and love our faith. Our expectation is that the teachers in our Catholic schools are not only teaching this faith, but living it themselves in their daily life as role models to our children. I agree with Al- the same should be applied to people living together. If we are not going to follow the Catholic teachings, then I could save myself a heck of a lot of cash and send to public school!

    There is no discrimination or intolerance in this situation. It is the Catholic Church and the Catholic school following their faith.

    • quinersdiner on April 9, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      I agree on the co-habitation issue since it is such a public disregard of Church teaching. Thanks for your well-stated response.

  4. lburleso on April 9, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Supremely disappointed with the members of Dowling staff who participated in the walk-out. Very disappointed with parents of students who supported it. Somewhat disappointed with the students themselves, as casualties of the culture war. They are saturated with conflicting messages from secular media, and -worse- from their very own parents.

    Some great work is produced by Dowling, but satan is actively trying to make rotten whatever fruit he can. There are many families there that not only flagrantly disregard our blessed Church’s teachings, but have no intention of conforming. There are certain examples I know of that could even be called enemies of the Church.

    In an elite private school like that, it should really be no surprise.

    But still disappointing.

    • quinersdiner on April 9, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      What we have here is another teachable moment. I agree with everything you say. The Church, especially the laity, is leveraging the opportunity by using this high profile moment to explain Church teachings. At the same time, the intolerance of the gay mob grows more shrill. They are overstepping, and it will come back to bite them.