California Catholic School Removes ‘Alienating’ Jesus and Mary Statues
Parents of students at an independent K-12 Catholic school in San Anselmo, California, are accusing officials of trying to erase history for removing a large number of religious statues in order to be "inclusive" of other faiths.
Amy Skewes-Cox, who heads San Domenico School’s board of trustees, said only about 18 of the school's 180 religious icons remained as part of a plan approved unanimously by the board last year, according to the Washington Times.
“If you walk on the campus and the first thing you confront is three or four statues of St. Dominic or St. Francis, it could be alienating for that other religion, and we didn’t want to further that feeling,” she said.
Sister Maureen McInerney, prioress general of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, said the plan is to make the school more inviting to students of all faiths. “San Domenico is a Catholic school; it also welcomes people of all faith. It is making an effort to be inclusive of all faiths.”
But one mother of four San Domenico graduates said, “This isn’t a new thing that they’ve been intentionally eroding their Catholic heritage. They’re trying to be something for everyone and they’re making no one happy," she wrote. "I am extremely disappointed in the school and the direction they’ve been going."
Another parent, Shannon Fitzpatrick, sent an email to school officials accusing them of trying to erase the school’s 167-year tradition of celebrating the Dominican Catholic faith. “In our time here, the word ‘Catholic’ has been removed from the mission statement, sacraments were removed from the curriculum, the lower school curriculum was changed to world religions, the logo and colors were changed to be ‘less Catholic,’ and the uniform was changed to be less Catholic,” she wrote.