Mount Saint Charles Academy in Woonsocket, Rhode Island has issued a policy that has banned transgender students from the school, according to the Parent and Students Handbook.
The 2015-2016 edition, the Philosophy of Admissions’ section of the handbook states, “Mount Saint Charles Academy is unable to make accommodations for transgender students. Therefore, MSC does not accept transgender students nor is MSC able to continue to enroll students who identify as transgender.”
Alumni of the school took to social media criticizing the policy of the school. According to the school’s website, the policy was updated in October of 2015. And, it is unclear if any students were asked to leave the school.
Mount Saint Charles teaches “in the tradition of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart” and is listed as a member school of the Providence Diocese. Leaders at Mount Saint Charles did not respond to questions. Neither President of the School Herve Richer or Principal Edwin Burke responded to questions.
According to the schools mission statement, “Each and every student is known, valued, treasured and taught in partnership with the family.”
“As a constitutional matter, the fact that the school receives some state aid is not sufficient to subject them to constitutional constraints, which generally apply only to government actions. There are, of course, separate statutes that ban discrimination in both public and private institutions, but many of those statutes have exemptions for religious institutions,” Steven Brown, Executive Director of the Rhode Island ACLU, told GoLocalProv.
In March of 2015, Pope Francis meet with a number of transgender men during a visit to a prison in Naples. “When Pope Francis pays a visit to Naples this Saturday he will have lunch with some 90 inmates at a local prison, a contingent that will reportedly include 10 from a section reserved for gay and transgendered prisoners, and those infected with the virus that causes AIDS,” reported the Religion New Service.
In 2013, when Pope Francis was asked about gay clergy being allowed in the Catholic Church, he responded, “Who am I to judge.” That statement was widely praised by gay, lesbian and transgender advocates around the world
In September of 2015, it was reported the Vatican upheld a Bishop refusal to allow transgender to be a godparent.