Pope John XXIII High School has had to cancel its largest and most prestigious fund-raising program of the year because the two congressmen, who were to be honored at the affair, support public positions that in the eyes of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are “inconsistent with church doctrine”.
The cancellation of the Pinnacle Awards program comes as a shock to the faculty and supporters of the school, especially since it comes just a week before the May 2, 2012 event.
Congressmen Edward Markey and Michael Capuano were slated to receive recognition for their public service and good works “on behalf of the community and many under-served populations”.
However, when it was brought to the attention of school officials that the Conference of Bishops has a rule that precludes honoring “individuals whose public positions are inconsistent with church doctrine”, Pope John principal Kay Donovan had no choice but pull the plug on the local fund-raising program.
The voting records of the two congressmen “in some aspects are contrary to Catholic teachings”, Ms. Donovan said in letters being sent to the fund-raising event’s sponsors.
Ms. Donovan explained that the policies and protocols of the bishops unfortunately “had not been consulted prior to the initial scheduling of this year’s Pinnacle Awards”.
The sponsors were thanked by Ms. Donovan for their support of Pope John XXIII High School and for their realization that “a Catholic education is the best investment we can make in a child’s future”.
She also is telling sponsors that “since we will not be moving forward with the event, I wish to offer you the opportunity of having your generous donation to the school returned”.
Ms. Donovan has disclosed that the third scheduled Pinnacle Award recipient, Daniel Doherty, will be honored at a dinner in the near future for his “unparalleled record of hard work and volunteerism for Pope John”.