Parents are upset after a Catholic school in San Francisco handed out pamphlets asking elementary students about sexual acts and mercy killings.
Father Joseph Illo, who made news last month by banning girls from serving at the altar during Mass, distributed the pamphlets on the “Examination of Conscience and Catholic Doctrine” to students in grades two through six at Star of the Sea School.
The pamphlets asked students whether they had engaged in “impure acts” by themselves or with others, listing adultery, fornication, and sodomy.
Students were asked whether they had practice birth control or whether they or their spouse had been “prematurely sterilized” through tubal ligation or vasectomy.
They were also asked whether they’d had an abortion, encouraged someone else to terminate a pregnancy, or attempted suicide.
The pamphlets covered suicide, euthanasia, impure thoughts, and immodest dress.
“It was very careless on their behalf, and you would expect anyone who works around children to be much more careful,” said Siobhan McFeeney, a parent of four students at the school. “You should never show this to a 9-year-old.”
Some teachers read the pamphlets first and decided not to share them with students.
Illo said Wednesday that he has handed out the pamphlet at other parishes without any problems, but he admits some the material may be inappropriate for younger children.
However, he pointed out that the pamphlet covered nothing but official Catholic Church teachings.
Parishioners are beginning to wonder if their new priest is a good fit.
“We’ve had a wonderful community here for many, many years,” said Eva Kuo, parent of a fifth-grade daughter. “It’s what brought us to the school. We have a wonderful principal, wonderful teachers, wonderful parents, wonderful families of all kinds.”
Watch this video report posted online by KNTV-TV: