‘Queer bohemian’ chairs theology department at Woodside Priory School

In a number of Catholic high schools in the archdiocese of San Francisco, the departments of religious studies are populated by, and in some cases chaired by, teachers who not only do not adhere to but are active enemies of the faith.

At Woodside Priory in Portola Valley the chair of the department of religious studies is a man named Matthew Nelson. Nelson has been with Woodside since August 7, 2007. He also runs a blog called “Theological Derring-Do.”  He describes himself on the blog: “I’m a queer bohemian living in San Francisco Bay area. I’m also Chair of the Theology Department at the Woodside Priory School, a Benedictine boarding school in the Silicon Valley…” A 2011 video on the Woodside Priory YouTube channel shows Nelson’s classroom—with a rainbow flag front and center. Some quotes from his Facebook page:

“If you oppose marriage equality, you need only look at this video of the Millennial generation shouting the Civil Rights anthem of these contemporary times to know that you are a swiftly dying breed.” –August 25, 2013.

“On gay marriage and LGBTQ rights, conservative Christians find themselves on a one-way train to the land of irrelevance and self-marginalization. No one is listening to you!” -June 29, 2013

Regarding San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s DUI: “Schadenfreude is not an attractive adornment to anyone’s disposition; however – though I don’t wish Company Man Sal any ill-will – may this get his ass booted from the Bay Area”. –August 27, 2012.

His Facebook page also contains photographs. One is with three members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, dated May 24, 2008—after his employment at Woodside had begun. The photo was appears to have been taken at the May 23, 2008 Equality Ride at the Great America amusement park.

According to the Governing Board’s page on the school’s website “The Priory is an independent, self-supporting, non-profit school, owned as a corporation by the Benedictine monks of the Priory and St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. The owners are not directly involved in the school, but maintain a policy oversight involvement through a five-member board of directors, two of whom are Priory monks and all of whom have spent part of their careers at the Priory.”

Current Directors include: Abbot Mark Cooper and Father William Sullivan at St. Anselm Abbey, 100 Saint Anselm Drive Manchester NH  03102, and Father Martin Mager at Woodside Priory, 302 Portola Road, Portola Valley CA 94028.

Maureen Huntington, superintendent of Catholic Schools; Laura Held, assistant superintendent of Faith Formation and Religious Instruction; and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, all at the Archdiocese of San Francisco, One Peter Yorke Way, San Francisco CA 94109.

Most important is to contact the principal of your local Catholic elementary schools. Almost all enrollment to Catholic high schools come from Catholic elementary feeder  schools.

Tuition for Woodside Priory is $37,250/year for day students, $54,850 for boarding students.

To read part 1 of this series on Notre Dame de Namur school, click here.




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  1. Abeca Christian says:

    Fr. Casey – The Devil: Liar and Murderer – Spiritual Combat #2 Video:

    • Patricia says:

      Can an exorcism of the whole City of San Francisco be done? St. Francis of Assisi pray for us.

      • Tanya Wersinger says:


      • Patricia, Portola Valley is about 40 miles SOUTH of San Francisco.
        I don’t think the exorcism waves would reach that far.

      • Martha Berry Dannis says:

        Pope Francis:
        “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” — Interview aboard the Papal Plane after World Youth Day in Brazil.

        And who are you to judge…

        • Anonymous says:

          Pope Francis was speaking about gay priests who are faithful to all of the teachings of the Catholic Church. He would not say that about someone who’s public behavior contradicts the Church’s teaching. I think he would be very patient and not judge them, but he would try to explain why the behavior is wrong. Obviously, the quote about Archbishop Cordileone and those about people who support traditional marriage do not seem to be from a person of good will. They seem like the words of an angry person with a chip on their shoulder.

  2. If you survey most of the Catholic high schools in the LA-Orange Co. areas, you’ll probably find most were “educated” at LMU. Most of the teachers in both areas I’ve talked to are pro-SSM, favor a female clergy, etc. So, what do you want? The bishops and archbishop do nothing about it.
    I have to admit that Archbishop Cordileone surprises me.
    Oh well, another generation of CINOs and that’s what they seem to want.

  3. St. Christopher says:

    This article — good reporting by the way — should be astonishing; unfortunately, taking time and place into account, it is not. Of course, this man should be terminated immediately, along with the principal of the school, and perhaps others. Many will cry that this “discrimination” will result in partents taking kids out of Woodside Priory. OK, better to have it close down than, in the name of Catholicism, give continuing scandal to impressionable teens. Is it any wonder that CA Catholic teens have almost no belief in core Catholic teachings, given the corruption in the state at almost all educational levels, and within the Church itself. This is really up to the Archbishop, who should seek to emulate Cardinal Burke, and stand tall for Church teachings. If not, then why not face reality and do as happy Matt says on his website and go over to the “relevant” side. The Catholic Church is becoming a virtual caricature of a religion, much as the Anglican church as become. Let the crazies run up and down the aisle with their “queer” adornments, and turn the Mass into a perverse charade. This man, and his chosen lifestyle, is vile and without moral support. Just say that, dear Abp., and show him the door.

    • Why don’t Authentic Catholics raise a fuss? This is a corruption of the faith and those who sit back will have to answer for this. Is it any wonder that most catholics have no idea of the concept of sin? Outrageous!

    • People would cry “discrimination” because it would be discrimination. You can believe what you want, but don’t force it upon others. Maybe Catholic Youth have almost no belief in core Catholic teachings because they, like Jesus, believe in love and acceptance. This “vile” man happens to be one of the most compassionate, enthusiastic, and accepting person I know. Your intolerance almost makes me embarrassed to be a Christian.

      • Ann Malley says:


        God bless you for your fervor, but please discern what acceptance and discrimination means. Specifically, accept the individual, yes, for they are made in the image and likeness of God, but discriminate between the actual person and that which they do and/or feel inclined to do – especially when it leads to spiritual death. (To just not comment for fear of being judgmental is not kind, but negligent and often cowardly as ‘we’ do not want to be perceived a certain way.)

        You sound like a very loving soul. And yet I cannot imagine you accepting the alcohol or embracing the alcoholic lifestyle of a friend perhaps who is killing themselves and their family with drink. Would you? And if you organized an intervention for your friend, would you consider yourself a hater, judgmental, cruel – or actually rather kind because you risked your ‘friendship’ to speak truthfully about that which is a vicious and potentially lethal inclination?

        So while the inclination may not be a choice, the choice to act on it very much is. That needs to be taught, Hana, because if it isn’t we become a society of I-just-can’t-help-myself on every level. That’s a denial of human will and intellect and the power of Grace.

        • You can’t compare being gay to being an alcoholic. An alcohol addiction is a problem, which you can try to fix. You can’t “fix” someone who is homosexual, because it isn’t a problem.

          • Ann Malley says:

            That’s your ‘view’, Hana. Someone who is fine with adultery may believe that it’s no problem to act on sexual urges wherever they lead.

            But there is an actual genetic inclination to addition. So whereas you just say, that’s a problem that can be fixed, others disagree and that is why they don’t drink anymore.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Okay, Hana, there may be a genetic inclination to addiction, but addition, probably not. Sorry for the typo 🙂

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            Dear Ann Malley: As I have gently pointed out before, being gay is neither a sin nor a choice. It is not a problem, it is a state of being. Please understand that when you post things as you just did, you denigrate God’s own children.

        • Adultery has nothing to do with homosexuality. An adulterer is a married person who has sexual intercourse with someone who is not their spouse.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Anon, adultery is the result of someone acting on a ‘love’ or ‘inclination’ over which they, by the logic of ‘just can’t help it’, cannot rein in. Adulterers do not ask to be attracted to someone other than their spouse. But attraction happens, Anon, all the time. (Most especially when we put ourselves into occasions of sin – for the married, that could mean platonic dating with coworkers. for those who suffer SSA, it would be seeking out the company of those similarly afflicted.)

            Being married doesn’t mean one’s eyes are gouged out or one is automatically immune to the very real and charming aspects of another person. If only that were so, a lot of heartache would be avoided.

            That, however, is the analogy. That we as creatures do not ask for the urges that assail us, but we do or should ask for the grace to not act on them if our Faith and the natural law shows them to be disordered and harmful.

      • The Truth says:

        What every one of Mr. Nelson’s defenders are forgetting as they righteously tell other Catholics what Jesus said and what Catholics “really believe” is that Jesus did always go to the sinner, then REQUIRED REPENTENCE. That’s why He said “go and sin no more” to the adulterous Samaritan! He was not some namby-pamby, “You are saved as long as you seem loving” (where is that in the Bible?) Acts done outside of God’s covenant/commandments are against the faith/Catholicism– period. You students will be angry to know that love alone is not enough; you must be faithful to Christ’s words. Why was Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed? Turning away from sin IS the loving choice. The fact that you don’t understand this proves that your teachers have scandalized you to the point where you accept sinful acts as “loving.” Find that in the Bible. I will pray for your conscience to cut through to God’s teaching. If you feel anger, it’s working . . .

    • _________ says:

      I said it before so let me say it some more:
      No one’s gonna leave Priory for the reasons you assume. I think you’ll find our community accepting and loving.
      PS: it’s not a “chosen” lifestyle as you so simply state it is. Being queer is not a choice someone makes. If it were a choice, sign me up because I don’t want to be called a “f*ggot” as much as I am by people who claim to be Catholic and loving.

      • Ann Malley says:

        Dear ______________

        Unlike you may have been taught, you do have the ability to choose. That is to choose what thoughts, inclinations, or ideas you act upon. It is &^%$# hard at times. Every moment of every day can be a struggle. And for many other behaviors that go far beyond sexuality. But you are not a mindless animal who is hard wired to certain behaviors that are beyond you – that is the lie.

        That’s one reason why you perceive so much venom out there, especially with regard to this particular teacher as it seems increasingly that people are being taught – it’s okay, you can’t help it, it’s not your fault. And while this sounds great at the outset for it soothes our feeling and mitigates a lot of self-loathing, the reality is it robs us of the truth of our ability to fight against that which is evil, bad for us, disordered, or not the best choice. It weakens us, taking us out of the position of being made in the image and likeness of God, to being merely animals with no hope of self direction or self-mastery and control.

        I am sorry you are being treated cruelly, that is not all right. Not at all. But please, do not negate the message because of the flawed messengers.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          Dear ________

          I am sorry you have to put up with people who treat you so cruelly that they deny you certain parts of your very essence. Know that you are treasured. Every hair on your head has been counted, that is how much you are loved.

          Toss aside those who pretend that you have a choice and that if you make the “choice” you are evil, or you haven’t lived up to the “struggle”. They have not travelled your road.

          Listen deeply to what God whispers in your heart. There you will find your joy.

          I am- truly – your fellow catholic

    • Anonymous says:

      I am appalled by your response to this article sir. I am a sophmore at Woodside Priory and have never had Mr. Nelson. So you can be sure my mind has not been “tainted” by “slander.” I have a few questions for you regarding christianity and catholicism. What makes a good christian? Please correct me if I am at all wrong, but I believe that “to be a good christian” one must not be full of hate, one must love their brothers, sisters and neighbors, and one must be open to god and his people. This argument seems very similar to the story of the good samaritan. Although the good samaritan was not even a part of the faith he helped a fellow human being in need. The moral of that parable is “Love your neighbor as yourself”(Luke 10:27). In this scenario several fellow human being are being accused of sinning, merely for being themselves. Finally, there is only one reference stating that homosexuality is a sin that being Leviticus 20:13. In that very same chapter of Leviticus it states “Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of their father or mother must be put to death” (Leviticus 20:9). Have you ever disrespected your mother or father? I cannot say this with any certainty but I believe that at some point in almost everyone’s lives we have talked back or gotten angry at our parents and said something disrespectful. I certainly have. This is written in the bible as of equal offense to God as being homosexual. It is not okay to discriminate any people no matter of any quality they may possess be this the color of their skin or their sexual preference. I am sorry sir that you feel that to be a good christian you must have hate. I am sure you are a very kind and knowledgeable person, if you could take a moment of your time I would be very curious to hear your response. Also it is by no means just Woodside Priory School that has gay members of it’s community and accepts homosexuality.

  4. Father Karl says:

    This is a scandal which cries to Heaven for vengeance. Anyone who is not upset with this cannot be called a Catholic, much less a Christian.

    • Tanya Wersinger says:

      Father, The whole of California needs prayers. The unfaithful and dissenters; for their repentance, and for the innocent; who are being scandalized and harmed. You are right about this sin crying out to Heaven, and I hate to even say that I’m not surprised anymore. God have Mercy.

      • Anonymous says:

        California can always use prayers but there are a lot of us who try to stand up against the immoral. Prayer is powerful!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a Christian and I fully support Mr. Nelson. I attend Woodside Priory School and he is a wonderful man. You don’t have to support him but your hate does no good. People like you are the reason everyone assumes all Christians are close-minded and hateful.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        A true Christian never supports this type of lifestyle. You must first fear the Lord before you can call yourself a Christian.

        • _________ says:

          You must accept your brothers and sisters. No matter what creed, gender, or sexuality.
          Love your neighbors. Love them unconditionally.
          And as for their ‘lifestyles?’ That’s not your business.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Would you be loving your neighbor if he was blind and was constantly burning his hands on a hot stove? Or perhaps running toward the edge of a cliff? What if said blind man was educating others to put on a blindfold and burn themselves too or run toward the cliff because it’s a freeing experience?

            Is that love?

            Like it or not, we are our brothers’ keeper. So while this person’s individual lifestyle may not be anyone else’s to control, speaking out against ‘the homosexual lifestyle’ is very much the business of every believing Catholic.

        • Katie Kormick says:

          A true Christian never goes out of their way to publicly slander someone, WITH NO LEGITIMATE PROOF THAT HE IS HARMING ANYONE. God would not be proud.
          Who cares if he’s gay? He’s happy. I’m sure God would rather have him be happy than miserable.

          • Ann Malley says:

            So Christianity and carrying one’s cross is now about being happy? Interesting POV, Katie. Not scriptural. But you are entitled to your opinions. Scandalizing youth by pretending that which is disordered is somehow okay is another matter. Christ didn’t say, after all, though art Katie Kormick and upon this opinion I will build my Church. He did mention something about a millstone, however. But you can take or leave that as well.

        • Hearing that I must fear the Lord before converting to Christianity is making me inch farther away. I would be a Christian or Catholic if I wasn’t trying to find balance within and outside of myself. If I must fear, then I will not and cannot be a Christian or Catholic because that goes against my own personal beliefs. Not religious, not modern, just me. If I was Christian or Catholic I would just solely love him, never fear, never hate, just love him like my Father. I would not fear him because fear is weakness to me. If I must fear him along with Love then there is no hope for recruitments

  5. Steve Phoenix says:

    In old Spanish/colonial Mexico-lore, the Devil is “El Pintado”: “The Painted One”, i.e. “The Deceiver”, “The Liar.”

  6. Maryanne Leonard says:

    My goodness, how many so-called Catholic schools are providing employment to those who hate the teachings of the Catholic Church and seem to hate Catholics and perhaps even Jesus Christ Himself? Which orders are we to trust and send money to? Which are to be considered imposters and anti-Catholics, and perhaps even anti-Christ?

    One minor aspect to be happy about in all this is that at least a few of the pro-gay folks still consider themselves Catholics, even though it is hard to understand how that could be the case unless they are living in a manner that demonstrates they truly are faithful Catholics (which of course none of those in this article are doing, as they loudly and proudly proclaim). But if a genuinely sincere Catholic is afflicted with same sex attraction and chooses to follow Catholic teaching, I am happy to express support, love and concern for this person and encourage him or her to be proud of himself/herself for choosing the higher road and sincerely following Christ’s teachings. Celibacy is asked of all of us who are unmarried and honoring our marriage vows despite difficulties of all kinds is to be a universal standard for Catholics of all persuasions; thus, remaining celibate is not a cross borne only by homosexuals and lesbians, but the proper way to live outside of sacramental marriage. Those who are choosing this pathway must be seen as our brothers and sisters, and we are to love them and assist them in any way possible to continue to seek eternal salvation for their souls just as they are to do for each of us when we need Christian support in our own travails. This is the way of true Catholics of all manners. Just because we may be personally repelled by the gay lifestyle and denounce the outrageous actions of some gays does not give us license to hate, despite and/or attack sincere Catholics who may be afflicted with same sex attraction.

    • James Phelps says:

      I am also a Junior at the Priory and have had many classes taught by Mr. Nelson. Please e-mail me if you have questions. jkp96@me.com

    • Katie Kormick says:

      Excuse me, but when did anyone say that this man hates the teachings of the Catholic church? I happen to know him, and he does not. Please do not commit libel. That makes you a worse Christian than he is.

  7. On October 7, 2007 Archbishop George H. Niederauer gave Holy Communion to two members of ‘sister of perpetual indulgence’ in full regalia. He latter apologized stating: “Although I had often seen photographs of members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, I had never encountered them in person until October 7th. I did not recognize who these people were when they approached me.” I look at the picture in this article and scratch my head.

    • Steve Phoenix says:

      Ron is right on target: those of us who have had the misfortune to encounter the Infernal Sisters on the streets of SF have recognized them (in my case) over a block away—and beat a hasty opposite-direction retreat.

      Niederauer’s claim that he “did not recognize” them is simply not credible (and a Most Holy Redeemer parishioner in another post some time ago at Cal Catholic glowingly affirmed that Niederauer did in fact know who they were and deliberately gave them Communion. But they play us all for fools.)

      These insulting agitprops mock the Catholic faith and consecrated life—and no one finds this bigotry appalling?

      “Usquequo, Domine: Exsurge!”

      • Lauren C says:

        I think that they are beautiful. If you got to know them, your opinion would change. Your ignorance needs to stop.

    • _________ says:

      The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence work to help people in need. It is completely unwarranted to slander such wonderful, charitable people.

      • Anonymous says:

        But…their activities which parody Catholic traditions (like the Stations of the Cross pub crawl and even their names and dress) are considered by many to be a mockery of the Catholic Church. I know the Sisters mean it to be humorous and in good fun but they do not realize how disrespectful and offensive it is to Catholics. (But even after finding out, they still do it.) I think this teacher may not be Catholic, because Catholics don’t usually get masters of divinity degrees at Harvard. So he might not realize how it would look for him to be a teacher in a Catholic school and post his picture with the Sisters.

        • Lauren C says:

          I’m Catholic and it doesn’t offend me. Go ahead, call me a “bad christian”. I support homosexuality because I believe that God would favor love over hate. I don’t believe that it’s wrong, but that’s just me.

          • Anonymous says:

            Lauren C, it does not make you a bad Christian. What does it mean to support homosexuality? If you are Catholic, you know that homosexuality is a condition which no one knows why it occurs in some people. It’s like saying you support acne. If you mean that you support gay persons loving other people, well of course. God is love. Now, I don’t want to get to graphic here but if you mean you support gays having a physical relationship then you are supporting sin which is not love. God is very strict on that kind of behavior for all people-straight or gay. Here is what a Catholic can do (and there is only one thing) a man can marry a woman in the Catholic Church and only then can they have a physical relationship. The man and of course the woman is bound to that person and that person only until one of them dies. Then if they marry someone else in the Catholic Church they can have a physical relationship with that person. (Oh and you can’t kill the person to get on with another relationship-but you knew that.) That is the only thing that Catholics are permitted to do. Anything else is a sin; a grave sin which means that one needs to be reconciled with God and the Church in the Sacrament of Reconciliation before one can again receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. This is true whether you believe it or not, because God himself has revealed it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    His facebook page is unavailable and his “queer bohemian” profile on Theological Derring Do has been edited.

    • Tanya Wersinger says:


    • The Speaker says:

      Well, if people were writing discriminatory and hateful articles about YOU, citing your Facebook page and blog as evidence on which you could be discriminated, you’d want to take that stuff down, wouldn’t you?

  9. Michael McDermott says:

    Dend your kids to ‘catholic’ (small ‘c’) school for a real eye opening experience.

    BTW – Do the Twysted Systers give dance lessons in the “Conga Line of Buggery” too? And how much does that add to the tuition?

  10. So, where is Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone? Crickets… This crap has to stop. I don’t know why any responsible parent would send their child to any “Catholic” school in the Bay Area, including elementary, highschool and college. Here’s a challenge: Can someone name me one Bay Area Catholic school which is authentically Catholic?

  11. Unfortunate that parents who send their children to a “Catholic” school and pay that kind of tuition risk losing their children. Pray for the children while you send your protests.

    • Unfortunate that you call yourself “Catholic” but still spread hate and discrimination.

    • Excuse me, as a student, my family is putting in the right amount of money to get such a creative, diverse, out-of-the-box learning experience that is extremely lovely and wonderful. I know for a fact my friends at the public schools near by are not having as much fun as we are. I enjoy going to school for once, and the food there is wonderful. The diverse learning is a great way to understand subjects from different points of view, whether it’s from an atheist’s point of view, or a catholic’s point of view. Heck I’m agnostic, yet all of this is so interesting. I accept your praying for protection from whatever “sins” will come to me for going to a beautiful school, but nothing is wasted if you’re going to Priory, unless a student, and only a student, is a wasted druggie that will eventually get kicked out for being one.

    • Anonymous5 says:

      Excuse me as I exercise my first amendment right,
      As an attendee of Woodside Priory High School I do not feel like I am being or being lead to be “Lost” in any way, shape, or form. Being Gay is not being “lost” just as much as having Blonde Hair is being “Lost”. As all Catholics are taught (or as I thought they were up until now) that love is an absolute. I furthermore would like to not be prayed for, for I am not a victim. Imagine the victims of War, Famine and Natural Disaster. Those victims are the ones that need Attention in their times of need. I have a very nice life and a very good education is one of those things.

    • What do you mean by “losing?” Is spiritual contact with the christian God you believe in (which may be different from the christian god that others believe in) wrong? If so, then how are we different from other people who force their beliefs on others.

      A quote on the first amnedment: “If you believe in freedom of speech, you must be willing to stand by while another slanders what you believe in, speaking with the kind of conviction that comes from the core of his person.”

      I have nothing wrong with any religious (or not) affilation. But I do have a problem with the implicit suppression of views and social progress.

      • Anonymous says:

        All Christians believe in the same God. There are some smaller denominations who do not accept the teaching of the Holy Trinity but they believe in Jesus Christ. I am sure they did not teach you that there are different Christian gods. No one can force you to believe something. Faith is a gift from God.

  12. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the Archdiocese of San Francisco, One Peter Yorke Way, San Francisco CA 94109.
    This is who needs to be informed and contacted, along with a copy of this news article.
    The Diocese Bishop is ultimately responsible for everything ‘Catholic’ within his own Diocese.
    This school is in direct violation of the Code of Canon Law.

    Don’t just complain folks, act.

    • Act!! and send e-mails of complaint to this so-called hateful Catholic newspaper so they can take down this rude article and send the Woodside Priory an apology.

    • _________ says:

      This article is deeply misinformed and the commenters are even worse. Do not put a veil over your eyes and drift into the sea of hatred.

  13. When we hear comments such as “who am I to judge” form the highest Catholic positions in the Vatican and the United States what should we expect. Shame on these people with very soul hazard comments. Who am I to judge was never said about the clergy who violated young boys.

  14. Archbishop Cordeleone has a duty to stop allowing these LGBT schools to call themselves Catholic. If he doesn’t take swift and decisive action, he is no better than the people who run these schools. He can’t say he doesn’t know about them.

    • _________ says:

      One of the first and most important things I learned in Sunday School is that “catholic” means “universal” and “diverse.”
      The way you describe my school, as an “LGBT school,” suggests we are very catholic.

  15. Mind-boggling how the Traditionalists are avoided like the plague, but this is acceptable! God help us!

  16. Roger C. Thibault says:

    Jesus said “When I come back, will I find any Faith?

    Roger C> Thibault, former DuPont engineer

  17. When Bishop Vasa tried to have all Santa Rosa Diocesan school employees include a letter of intent to live by Catholic values in their contract all heck broke loose. Yes, there was no warning of this, but why is it so alarming to students, parents, faculty and staff. Because a majority of them are not Catholic or are non practicing Catholics. Even some of the practicing ones have disagreements with doctrine dealing with sexual issues and women in the clergy. Cardinal Newman High School draws the majority of its students for its sports program. The Catholic part of the school could go away and most families would have no problem with it.

  18. Major Charles Rane (ret.) says:

    Is this anymore shocking or shameful to a Catholic sense of decent shame, than the priest’s in Rome who were indulging in homosexual male escorts, attending underground “tinker-bell” parties just outside the Vatican, which were replete with “buggery” and acts so debased, that a pagan from the darkest jungle in New Guinea would shield his eyes in horror!…Does this man Nelson pray his rosary?…is he even Catholic? why has the Pope himself not contacted the Archbishop concerning this?

    • It is up to you and each of us to contact the Archbishop to insure that he knows what is going on within his large Diocese. No Bishop is a mind reader.
      The Pope probably would have no knowledge of this either.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Gravey……Yes, Marin Catholic!

    And in Modesto……I realize it is the Central Valley……Central Catholic!

    Both are truly Catholic schools and pro-life…..you’ll see them at the Walk for Life West Coast….and Marin Catholic has been there since the beginning 10 years ago.

    Pray for the Archbishop, he has a HUGE PLATTER full of issues in this archdiocese, that have been allowed to be and continue for many decades!!!
    It’s a big ship to turn around. And please realize everyone, that things are being done by the Archbiship behind the scenes that we have no knowledge of. (sorry about ending with a preposition)

  20. Father Karl says:

    There was a comic strip named POGO, and once a line in the comic said, ‘We have met the enemy, and it us!’ The ones who are destroying the Catholic Church are her members, clergy and laity alike. The liberals have not left the Church but are inside, even in the Vatican, and are like termites, and locusts, leaving desolation where ever they have been.

  21. FrMichael says:

    Look at that tuition! One has to pay big bucks to have the young scandalized by this pervert.

    • Ann Malley says:

      What one is paying for at these institutions seems to be the psychological expertise required to get students to negate common sense, God’s law, natural law and everything perceptible by their 5 senses. Much like having to obtain a PhD in ‘art’ to see the ‘beauty’ behind say – the ceramic paisley toilet complete with deposits featured at the Seattle Museum of Art.

      • Catherine says:

        Ann Malley that is so true. I also think that there are many parents or grandparents who think that their children will be getting the same Catholic education that they received many years ago. Some of these parents are clueless and naive but some have picked up on the comfortably unchallenging fact that not “all” Church teaching is discussed or upheld and it has become a comfort zone of mutual laxness on the part of parents as well as some educators. There also can be on the part of the parents a false pride attached with telling relatives, friends and neighbors that your child attends a “private” school and many parents are completely unaware that their children are being *privately* “indoctrinated” to rebel against the fullness of the truth. An example of this is the teacher who told the boys in the classroom that the boys already got everything special when it comes to the Catholic Church and that only the girls could win the rosaries as a reward for a class religion bee. One kindergarten teacher told another teacher that she had issues with Purgatory and the Blessed Mother but she publicly supported homosexual adoption. Imagine paying big tuition while not knowing that your trusted kindergarten teacher has issues with the Mother of God? It seems that even good Catholics are willing to remain quiet in order to still collect a teaching paycheck. It’s called compromise and don’t rock the boat that is feeding your family, even when you know it is wrong. I understand that fear but it has taken a tremendous toll over the years.

        • Anonymous says:

          Catherine, most Catholic parents don’t want a strict Catholic upbringing for their kids. They don’t raise them that way and they don’t want them in schools like that. They don’t care if gay people teach their kids. They don’t agree with Church teaching. Those of us who do, check the schools out before we put our kids in them. Of course they all say the same thing, then you can get blindsided by things like you write of.

          • _________ says:

            And why should they care if gay people teach their kids?
            Is it a sin to be a gay teacher now?
            Are you so-called “catholics” gonna make up another “sin” to cover yourselves from the fallout and manage to remain righteous?

        • Ann Malley says:

          Many parents have also been led down the rosy road of believing that so-called professional educators always know better how to approach kids, Catherine. Even in Catholic schools. The idea being that a parent mustn’t presume to teach the teacher and/or question the methods used as they are not the expert. Sadly, this has infected Catholic schools and all manner of society as parents cease to teach their own children in lieu of seeking those ‘better qualified.’ Combine that with being increasingly busied with having to focus on career and making money in order pay for all this expertise and it’s a great distraction. And when parents are encouraged to get involved, it is often only to have parents get along with ‘the program’, that is the one already established by those experts, instead of assessing the schmuck that is often dished out as necessary to ‘reach kids.’

    • _________ says:

      I think you’ll find the students at Woodside Priory to be quite intelligent. We are not capable of being scandalized. And Matthew Nelson is not a pervert. He loves his job. He loves his students. You’re a sick person for confusing him for a pervert.

      • Canisius says:

        Of course you are not capable of being scandalized you do not believe sin exists in the first place. If you believe that, then explain to me why Christ came down from heaven and suffered on the Cross..?? Can anyone of you Priory students explain this???

        • Oh Canisius. Leave the children alone; spare them your hate.

          • Ann Malley says:

            I love it how anything unpleasant is now classified as ‘hate’. It’s like some secret stop word for anything one doesn’t like or want to navigate.

            Wish that worked on the job. Difficult boss. “Hate!” And he goes away. Traffic jam. “Hate!” The cars disappear. Erroneous billing or bank error. “Hate!” And the books are somehow balanced.

            Does it work when kids don’t want to get out of bed in the morning? Oh, Mom, cut the ‘hate’. And whoosh, the harridan disappears.

        • Anonymuus says:

          Sin does exist.
          It is a sin to disgrace people who fought, and died, for our mother country.
          It is a sin to judge people based on race, or sexual preference.
          These things (minus racism, which is apparently even too far right for this group) are brought to you by, yours truly, the WBC. (Fred Phelps).

          There is a line between teaching the values of a religion and teaching the methods of the same religion. Although priory does have the methods (and is very willing to teach them to anyone who wishes it), it only actively teaches the values.

      • Ann Malley says:

        If you are not capable of being scandalized ______________, then you have not become as little children like Our Lord asks us to do. That’s a problem.

  22. Just Observing says:

    Just another reason why conservative Catholics are leaving in droves for Evangelical churches which actually “teach” and walk the walk of the Bible. Reformed Christian churches may not be perfect, but Catholic local parishes have become so dominated and ruled by new age nuns and cavalier clergy that the word of God has been reduced to “old school” and put on the shelf. I once asked a Priest how the Book of Ruth related to the NT. He said there really is no connection. One nun told the RCIA group the first 12 chapters of Genesis are mythology so they were not required to believe. Another Pastor announced at Mass we all would be dining with homosexuals at the Eucharistic table in Heaven. The Pastor obviously was sick that month the Book of Romans was covered in Seminary. Then again, do they actually study the Bible in Catholic Seminaries any more?

    • Anonymous says:

      They teach that John 6 proves the Eucharist is symbolic.
      They teach that people are saved by believing in Jesus Christ and that Baptism is not necessary. Neither is Confession.
      They do not teach original sin.
      They teach that the Catholic Bible in not inspired because it includes 7 OT books, some of which contradict the Word of God.
      Once you are saved, it does not matter what sin you commit, you will not go to hell.
      They teach that one goes to heaven or hell when one dies-no purgatory.
      They teach that God will come back for the good and that only the bad will remain on earth until the end of the world.
      They believe that Catholics are not saved. Some teach that the Catholic Church is the Beast of Babylon.

      • Ann Malley says:

        All you mention in your post is true, Anonymous, and yet the sad reality is that many Catholics are perceiving what you outline as the lesser of two evil when compared with the outright absurdity being allowed in the Catholic Church under the auspices of ecumenism. (A guideline that is not enforced is no guideline at all. So whereas the Catholic Church does not formally teach what you outline in your post, She is made to appear so by many of the consecrated and lay folk embracing tolerance over Faith.)

        It is a double-deal scandal and loss of souls. Nowhere did I get the impression that ‘Just Observing’ was advocating leaving the Catholic Church.

    • Ann Malley says:

      This kind of bogus teaching at ‘Catholic’ schools has been going on for decades. That’s why talk of evangelization without first *rigorously* cleaning house is counterproductive. It sounds very positive and upbeat and valiant, but one MUST know where one is going first in addition to identifying who the enemy is.

      Evangelizing to ambiguity aids no one…. and turns off too many who actually believe in Christ and the truth of the Bible.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Just Observing not all Christian sects are walking the walk. Some of those bible believing folks are even condoning gay marriage! If you are observing then remember that even in the old testament, God’s people didn’t always walked the walk but they were still God’s people. Of course Not excusing disobedience. But since you are just observing, take for example King David. He was considered a man after God’s own heart. Well he was, but he was human just like all of us sinners are. He had a man killed just so he can marry his wife. You had Moses freeing God’s people and what do they do the first chance of being freed from slavery? They created an idol even with the miracles set before them of parting of the sea. In the new testament, Even Peter denied Jesus 3 times and Judas committed suicide.

      I’m not excusing the sins of humans but what I am trying to say is that the faith is perfect but humans are not. We are still sinners and not all sinners seek to obey God and not all embrace God’s graces or even know how to fear the Lord. Its called free will!

      But the church is still here for all those who hunger for the truth, for all those who are sick due to sin. For Jesus (and His church) is the great physician. These abuses are happening due to disobedience and other grave sins that the church leadership is not admonishing. This is our punishment because as we all know is that sin causes the good to suffer and pushes the heart of the hardened ones. For those who are faithful, we will persevere with fortitude. Speaking, taking action and fighting the good fight in Christ.

  23. Michael McDermott says:

    “Cardinal Burke Tells Parents to be ‘Especially Vigilant,’ Laments Infidelity of Catholic Colleges

    “Parents and teachers, who work with parents in the correct education of their children, must necessarily respect totally the period of innocence of children and young people.
    Respecting that natural innocence which is a reflection of God’s gift of conscience to every child, parents and teachers will prepare children and young people to respond clearly and courageously to those forces which would rob them of their innocence, both from within themselves – due to the effects of original sin – and from outside, for example, from bad companions and from bad communications like pornography on the internet.

    Parents and teachers should be vigilant that nothing is introduced into the curriculum which violates a child’s innocence and even attempts to instill in the child gravely wrong ways of thinking, for example, a curriculum endorsed by a certain major government which teaches 4 and 5 year olds that marriage can take other forms than the lifelong, faithful and procreative union of one man and one woman…”

  24. We need to pray everyday for the Bishops. Priests, Nuns and each other in the Catholic Church because it appears that the devil has his foot in the door and waiting to see who he can deceive. I will not leave the Church but stay and pray. I was baptized eighty one years ago at St. Henry’s Catholic Church.
    I thank God for the good nuns who taught me the truth. The NEW world we live in is quite different and sad to say there is a great lack of faith. We have the bible (the word of God), the sacraments, the catechism, everything we need so live it faithfully and don’t make up your own rules.

  25. Become a part of sanctuary house it’s men and women offer their lives in atonement for such as this since 1979

    frank founder
    Read our site for more info.
    We are approved by our bishop and swveral true clergy and nuns the men are laity brothers of the passion of Christ and the women are called daughters if the sorriwul mother ..we are worldwide…even known to the pope one daughter even works for the Vatican.

  26. That someone who wrote, ON LINE, so disrepectually about the new Archbishop of San Francisco would be permitted to teach in a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of San Francisco is beyond belief!

    • Shameful Catholic Sheep. says:

      You do realize the the Archbishop was arrested for drunk driving. It bears on his fitness as a leader in the church. That he would endanger the lives of the passengers in his car and everyone else on the road is unforgivable. He could have killed someone.

      It is absolutely appropriate for a Catholic, or any other person, to have a strong opinion on the Archbishops criminal acts.

      It sad to see Catholics so willing to defend criminal behavior in the part of the church leadership.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no one without sin. In this case it was probably only a venial sin. He did not endanger anyone, and there is no public court evidence saying so. If you have a link to Court evidence saying he endangered others please provide the link. Otherwise stop lying.
        He had a few glasses of wine at his Mother’s home.
        Do NOT equate this with sexual moral / mortal sins of others.

        CCC: ” 2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
        – of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
        – of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
        – of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          Excuse me, the Archbishop admitted to and was CONVICTED of misdemeanor reckless driving. Reckless driving endangers others because it is reckless. He has admitted and apologized for driving under the influence. While I think sincere apologies were offerred and we should accept them, sweeping the conviction under the rug benefits no one, especially those that might learn from the shame he brought on himself and the Church.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          Thank you Anony. I’m sick of these awful people trying to slander a good Archbishop by bringing up that incident of the drinking and driving crap! Its over and done with and he has apologized. Its over!

      • Austin Bertucci says:

        Hi Shameful Catholic Sheep,

        Do you see anyone defending the Archbishops DUI? We all make mistakes and although this does not excuse his actions it certainly should remind us that an archbishop is not above human frailty. All the more reason to pray and to stand with the Archbishop on extremely important matters of faith. He must know that we care, that our prayers, thoughts and actions are with him, not against him. Only God and he knows what drove him to drink a little too much and drive. Let us remember that we all have fallen and should not and cannot be defined by our repented sins. If Jesus can forgive a contrite, repentant heart, we should also.

        Christ’s Peace,

        • Shameful Catholic Sheep. says:

          Hi Austin,

          It is fine to forgive, it is also acceptable to question the character of a leader who commits such acts. At the time of the DUI, he was not yet the Archbishop of the diocese and this behavior certainly casts doubt on his character.

          My personal position here is clear. I found it deeply offensive when the Archbishop made self deprecating jokes about the incident. In commenting that God often found ways to put him in his place, Cordileone joked that “God has really outdone himself this time.”

          I find this behavior shameful from a religious leader. It suggests that God manufactured this scenario and that Cordileone was not responsible. It also undermines his public apology. I believe that leaders should be held to the highest standards, but it seems that most people here disagree.

          The CCC cited above is inapplicable, the Archbishop admitted to a lesser charge and admitted to having too many drinks before driving. That is sufficient proof to justify public comment.

          This article and most of the comments above violate the cited CCC. They have judged and called for disrespect of a teacher for things that occurred in the past. The photo was taken in 2007. Assuming the post about Cordileone occurred at te time of the arrest, it was also a couple of years ago.

          This article troubles me because it smells like a witch hunt. It is designed to cause pain and that is a sin.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          God bless you Austin, I agree with you. Over all this Archbishop is a holy man. He is humble.

      • Anonymous says:

        Except that he made absolutely no mention of that aspect. He was clearly taking pleasure in someone else s misfortune. Your powers of rationalization are pretty good. Are you an alum??

        • Shameful Catholic Sheep. says:

          Given the time gaps in the selective information provided in this article, it is clear the author has an agenda. The article provided no context for any of the statements it quoted. If you expect context in all statements made from this teacher, then you ought to expect the same context from this anonymous author.

    • Elizabeth says:


  27. Linda Maria says:

    Our post-Vatican II “Hippie Church” does not have the GUTS to follow Christ, Who gave His life to save us all!

  28. Austin Bertucci says:

    If sending any letters, be forewarned nearly the entire school seems subtly anti-catholic. The entire theology department save perhaps one man have faults in their theology. One is quoted having studied liberation theology, which can never be considered Catholic. The Head of the Upper School can also be seen with pictures of Hindu gods on their website. I think this school like many in the area require much prayer, mortification and action. Let us pray for the bishops and their great burdens, that they may always be protected from temptation and evil. Our Father…

    • Christine says:

      At this point letters should be sent to the Diocese Bishop, not the school.
      If anyone has access to the school, he or she should take pictures of anything that is not “Catholic”, to help with the documentation before they are temporarily removed to fool people.

      • You are assuming that there are many “non-Catholic” things in this school with no proof. Before you say these kinds of things, consider the sources that you find reputable. If you think this website is one of them, I would recommend you rethink that. This article is completely misleading, and so is your comment. The school is a wonderful place. I believe that it is wrong for you to post this comment without you having been to this school yourself.

    • Not all of the teachers are Catholic or Christian. Not all of the students are Catholic or Christian. The whole school is a diverse, accepting, creative community. Yes, maybe one of the teachers has Hindu Gods on their website because maybe they’re actually Indian and follow Hinduism, or else maybe they have a World History Class or a World Religion Class.

    • Anonymuus says:

      Can I point out that the priory is a values-based school rather than a method based school? They teach the values of Catholicism, not force the students to perform methods that they do not wish to perform.

  29. Michael McDermott says:

    Just in case they missed this in the ‘theology’ (small ‘t’) classes:

    Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons…
    3. Explicit treatment of the problem was given in this Congregation’s “Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics” of December 29, 1975. That document stressed the duty of trying to understand the homosexual condition and noted that culpability for homosexual acts should only be judged with prudence. At the same time the Congregation took note of the distinction commonly drawn between the homosexual condition or tendency and individual homosexual actions.
    These were described as deprived of their essential and indispensable finality, as being “intrinsically disordered”, and able in no case to be approved of (cf. n. 8, $4).

    In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.

    Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.


      ” 15. We encourage the Bishops, then, to provide pastoral care in full accord with the teaching of the Church for homosexual persons of their dioceses.
      No authentic pastoral programme will include organizations in which homosexual persons associate with each other without clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral.
      A truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to avoid the near occasions of sin. ”

      TEACHING of the CHURCH
      CCC #2357, 2358, 2359
      and CCC: “2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.”
      BIBLE: Rom 1:24-27; 1 cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10.

      • No one cares. That is all bull that was written 3500 years ago. Get over it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Karen L, the New Testament was not written 3500 years ago, but less than 2000 and the Letter to the Bishops was written less than 30 years ago.

        • And the CCC was promulgated in 1997, with the first USA printing in March 2000. I hope Karen L is not an example of a student at the Priory. (Not too bright.)

    • Katie Kormick says:

      Honestly who cares? Based on the school’s reputation, these people are getting a better education than all of us probably ever got, whether it is in theology or not. The bottom line is that you have no idea what is actually being taught in these courses, so assume nothing. If you want to make judgements, I recommend you fly all the way to the Bay Area to find out for yourself. Otherwise, keep your unproven ideas to yourself and don’t portray them as if they are true.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with you! Another thing is that not all of the students are Catholic or religious so they could either be one of the 3: 1. Enjoying learning more about their religion and culture 2. Enjoying the class as a more history or research class 3. Just think of it as a requirement to graduate.

      • Anonymuus says:

        Thumbs up if I could

    • Katie Kormick says:

      Based on the school’s reputation, these people are getting a better education than all of us probably ever got, whether it is in theology or not. The bottom line is that you have no idea what is actually being taught in these courses, so assume nothing. If you want to make judgements, I recommend you fly all the way to the Bay Area to find out for yourself. Otherwise, keep your unproven ideas about the curriculum and about this man to yourself and don’t falsely portray them as if they are true.

    • That was written more than 40 years ago. Psychologists have since removed homosexuality as a mental disorder

  30. Monica Dhandapani Mallon says:

    I am a student at Woodside Priory School and I have known Mr. Nelson for a little over two years. He is an amazing teacher and human being and probably one of the most intelligent people I have ever met in my life.

    The comments on this article are beyond rude and the article itself is uncalled for. Unlike other catholic schools, Woodside Priory doesn’t teach hate. We value every member of our community and stand by them. This is what Catholics and all decent human beings should do. Nothing good comes from hate and attacking others.

    As many pervious comments have stated, the young Catholic population is in decline. Young people are not leaving churches that are in favor of equality, they are joining them. According to recent survey done by the Public Religion Research Institute one-third of millennials left the church they grew up in due to anti-gay policies. People such as Mr. Nelson are getting young people excited about religion again. If you ask any Priory student about their thoughts on Mr. Nelson they might comment on the difficulty of his class but I do not believe that they would call him an active enemy of the church.

    –Monica Mallon (Sophomore at Woodside Priory School)

    • Monica, does your school use as a required text, the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” as a required text for all juniors and seniors?
      If not why not?
      Or are you taught to tolerate Mortal Sin ? (When we tolerate mortal sin, we do not love our neighbor.)

      For quotes from Pope JPII, Benedict, and Francis, please see: “What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE”

      • I doubt that they aren’t being taught the Catechism at a Catholic school, regardless of the teacher, it is part of a curriculum…
        But anyways, who the hell cares? Why are you forcing Catholicism on the students of one of the top schools in the country? This is the reason church and state are separated.

        • Any school that advertises it self as “Catholic” must be “Catholic” or it is fraudulent advertising.

  31. Woodside Priory Student says:

    I am a student at the Woodside Priory School. The comments that have been written on this page are ignorant, inconsiderate, and extremely hurtful to the community of the Woodside Priory School. Not only is Matthew Nelson one of the most beloved and respected teachers at Priory, but he is a dedicated Catholic that only preaches the word of God. He is a leader of the 21st century. Not only is he well educated attending Harvard Divinity school, which this article carefully chose to not mention, but he is a theologian in the making. I am absolutely appalled by some of the terrible comments on this article that are written by adults. I am a Junior in high school and I can even see the utter lack of knowledge that this article contains which is especially demonstrated in the comments section. If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. Get a real cause. It is heartbreaking to see a critically acclaimed Catholic blog attacking an amazing teacher at one of the top schools in the country, rather than focusing on real causes such as hunger, poverty, school drop out rates etc. Utterly digested.

    • Gail Teymourian says:

      Yes Julia you can post this lovely comment about our dear Mr. Nelson. We always stand by our friends.

    • Ann Malley says:

      Dear Woodside Priory Student, I applaud you coming to CCD in defense of your teacher. Your loyalty and involvement is to be commended. That said, despite you being appalled by what some adult Catholics have to say about the situation at Woodside, I would ask you to take a step back and ask yourself ‘why’ this is. Not from the prospective that you have been taught, but from that of a neutral observer.

      CCD is a critically acclaimed blog as you state, but this is so specifically because of articles such as these. Because CCD dares to expose the disconnect from that which has been Catholic for 2000 years as compared to what is supposedly Catholic now. As if only now people have come to know what Christ really meant – a pretty bold claim considering the Apostles and Fathers of the Church actually knew Christ when He walked the earth. Consider that for a moment – from a purely neutral position. Would you claim to understand your great grandparents or what they believed/taught better than their own children did?

      That said, while Matthew Nelson may be a very kind and genuine person – that is not the issue. The fact that he attended Harvard Divinity School isn’t the issue either. But rather the reality that this person you claim only preaches ‘the word of God’, by his example and personal belief system, advocates for a new theology based on ‘not hating’ or ‘not judging’. While that sounds quite loving and inclusive, it is only part of the Catholic message. Reformation of life and the rejection of that which leads to spiritual death is the other. That needs to be taught, Woodside Priory Student, or else the lessons are false. Think of a driver’s manual that spoke only of the gas pedal without any mention of the brakes. For while there are many other aspects to driving, the brakes are a fundamental that MUST be taught.

      Christ Himself taught hard truths. He wasn’t judging or hating, but rather being highly charitable in conveying to us what leads to spiritual death. For whereas hunger and poverty are real causes, they do not lead a body to spiritual death or spiritual blindness.

      Also, consider what it takes to be classified as ‘a top school in the country.’ Is it numbers of students? Is it academic prowess? What precisely. I ask this because Christ’s followers deserted Him when it came to the hard teachings, that is when He walked the earth. He was inclusive to the nth degree in deigning to become human at all – what humility. But while He welcomed everyone, there is always the requirement to respond to Him in full, by going and sinning no more. Not that we will not stumble. But to openly advocate for that which is spoken against in most certain terms in the Bible, is loving nobody. It is deception.

      And many adult Catholics are bitter because this deception has been leading ‘our’ children down the path of ruin for generations. And while Christ does forgive, we often cannot forgive ourselves. Persons become so scared and filled with that which they regret – that which could have been avoided in part by a simple revelation of the Truth – that they leave Christ and do not return. That’s a reality that those who comment on CCD have lived.

      So please, take what you read on CCD as another lesson. Your teacher at this particular point in your life is not the only one with insight and knowledge.

      • anonymous says:

        You address this student as if they’ve been brainwashed by liberal propaganda and as if they are incapable of thinking for themselves. I am another student from Woodside Priory and I can confidentially assert that Mr. Nelson always has his students learn both sides of an issue. Through him I have learned the fundamental principles of theism, atheism, and been given a strong foundation in moral philosophy. While Mr. Nelson has strong personal convictions, he NEVER enforces them on his students. Academic neutrality provides a strong platform on which students can form their own points of views. In contrast to many other catholic schools that do in fact “brainwash” kids into blindly believing catholic values, the Priory educates students about different world views. This myopic diatribe of an article is no authority on the teachings of Christ which always have and forever will be up to interpretation. There is no “lesson” to be learned in this article. It is not an academic piece. It is not an in depth piece of journalism. It does not offer any insights. It is simply an attack on a great man’s moral character. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But this article simply proclaims Mr. Nelson as an “enemy of the faith” and provides multiple quotes (taken out of context I might add) as evidence for this vague, bigoted statement. As I previously stated, there is no “insight or knowledge”, there is just bitterness.

        • Ann Malley says:

          God bless you, Anonymous, but you have nailed the issue or rather the conflict.

          “…Academic neutrality provides a strong platform on which students can form their own points of views. In contrast to many other catholic schools that do in fact “brainwash” kids into blindly believing catholic values, the Priory educates students about different world views.”

          It is your point about ‘blindly believing Catholic values’ that is key as Our Lord asks us to believe in Him – oftentimes without ‘understanding’ ‘agreeing’ or even ‘liking’. His Presence in the Blessed Sacrament is a biggie. But He’s there despite anyone’s personal opinion. That is Faith, Anonymous. That’s Catholic. Taking Our Lord’s word and acting on it despite what the ‘world’ would have you believe. Call that brainwashing if you will. That is also your choice.

          But please, do not confuse being groomed to develop your own points of view, which you are at perfect liberty to do as God Himself has given you free will, with Catholicism. What you are describing is being a Catholic who opts out of Catholicism to do his and/or her own thing. That’s called being a human. And we don’t need to attend a ‘Catholic’ school to learn how to do that as children are born with the natural inclination to do their ‘own’ thing. And how!

          That said, there would be no issue with the so called ‘haters’ if this Priory school dropped the guise of Catholic. Or perhaps modified it to Catholic optional, or Catholic if I choose to like it, or Catholic sometimes, or Catholic because I don’t want to disappoint my parents or grandparents.

          • Shameless Catholic Sheep says:

            Hi Anne Malley,

            I appreciate the sort of respect that you try to show in your posting, it is refreshing compared to the other commenters calling this teacher a “bugger,” “anti-christ,” etc. However, I disagree with your view.

            I am a confirmed Catholic and I do not believe that Catholicism requires opposition to gay people. I have researched this and I find the biblical case to be lacking, at best. Also, I have prayed over this continually and I believe the Lord has shown me that there is a way to honor God and accept people without regard to the sexual orientation if they live by the teachings of Jesus. Please don’t presume that your opinion on what is required to be a Catholic school is the only correct. There are many people who do not agree with you.

            I believe that this debate will rage on for a long time and that we will never definitively know God’s position on this because the modern phenomenon of “gay” is not analogous to anything in the Bible or anything that Jesus spoke of. Jesus said you will know the tree by the quality of the fruit it bears. Reading the comments of the many students and parents at the Priory, I believe the fruit at Priory shows this teacher to be an upstanding and God loving man.

          • anonymous says:

            Who made you the authority for the teachings of god/catholicism? If you were more educated about the historical context of the writings in the bible or had any understanding of language, you would understand that a lot of the statements made in the bible are far more complex than one might think. What it sounds like you’re saying to me is that students who go to a catholic school should be taught about the catholic faith and participate in its doctrine without a single question asked. But is this really being Catholic? Just going through the motions and taking your own faith for granted. From my point of view, a Priory Catholic is as true a catholic as one can be. They are taught the pros and cons of faith, yet they choose to still believe. As for the one that don’t, are those really people that should identify as Catholic? Are those the people you really want in your church? People who don’t have any real education on Catholicism/it’s cons and that choose to identify as Catholic just because it was how they were brought up or what they’ve pushed to believe? If it were me personally, I would want to be surrounded by those who fully comprehend the shortcomings of catholicism and choose to engage in it anyways rather than those who are just going through the motions. Having said that, Woodside Priory is definitely not a standard catholic school and while it might be appropriate to redefine itself in terms of identity, this does not merit a teacher being called an “enemy of the faith”.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Dear Shameless Catholic Sheep,

            Thank you for your reply. I understand that you do not hold to my position with regard to homosexuality. The thing is, it is not ‘my’ view or even the view of the ‘majority’ that is the question here. The view I’m stating is Catholic – not what I think it should be.

            In truth, I didn’t always hold the view of the Church because in times past I considered it harsh and somewhat cruel. I felt that way with regard to many teachings until life and hardship taught me rather well that God’s ways and those of the natural law are there for good and solid reasons. Much like children, and that is no slam against you, learn the reasons they were told no only after they hurt themselves or others. There may be no trace of outward maliciousness involved whatsoever, but much like in a household, error needs to be corrected before the error and subsequent damage spreads. But it is said that God disciplines us as sons.

            Being challenged to ‘deny oneself’ that is to deny that which we believe we cannot do without is in reality a tremendous blessing from God. By saying as much to us, He treats us not as animal creatures who are helpless in their lot, but as the closest friends and colleagues. He gives us the opportunity for love of Him and true love of ourselves and others to follow Him in all matters by way of grace. This includes sexual purity, most definitely.

          • Catherine says:

            Ann Malley, Thank you for your beautiful explanations and for your humility. We are all sinners and always in great need of God’s protective grace. Is there not one of us who has never been a recipient of receiving an education from one of the most prestigiously effective learning institutes in life known as Hard Knock University? The photo above speaks volumes. The lies and misconceptions promoting perpetual indulgence vs. knowledge and trust in Our Lord’s Revealed Truths. When the unrepentant thief and crowd yelled to Jesus to take himself off of the cross if he was the Messiah, perpetual indulgence was NEVER used or considered as a healing remedy. If it was then Jesus would have immediately removed himself for the sake of himself. Jesus obeyed and did the will of his Father. It was REAL love, self-sacrifice, and denial that gave us the opportunity to choose eternal life or to reject Jesus’s sacrifice to choose the broad road of perpetual indulgence.

            Luke 11:3 He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth. [24] When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest; and not finding, he saith: I will return into my house whence I came out. [25] And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. [26] Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”- Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible

          • Ann Malley says:

            But we can only learn what we are taught, Catherine. And too many young are being sheltered from learning hard truths (and the strength that comes from it) for fear of ‘appearing’ mean. And at steep prices too – I was educated at a prestigious California Catholic School myself and remember all too well.

            God have mercy.

      • Priory Student says:

        I’m sorry but I’m not sure what Catholic teachings you are referring to.

        Is it the Bible? Because the Old Testament also said that every women who isn’t a virgin on their wedding night should be stoned to death and that it’s okay to have slaves. Should we kill every woman who has premarital sex because the Bible says so?

        • Ann Malley says:

          Are you suggesting, Priory Student, that sex before marriage isn’t sinful? That’s the issue really, not ‘what to do’ with the so-called sinner. (Confession and amendment of life isn’t stoning, it’s Catholic.)

          I don’t know about you, but even on the natural level, sex before marriage opens up a world of hurt for a woman – feeling used, a broken heart, potential pregnancy (then what to do – more sin? Or maybe subjecting your child to be reared with no father or perhaps giving up your child), and then there’s the lovely matter of sexually transmitted disease.

          These are common sense things, Priory Student. Just because modern science and sensibilities attempt to make it all ‘okay’ doesn’t make it okay. Our minds and hearts are not capable of being reformatted and we have to live with each and every one of the acts and/or sins we commit in life… until we die.

          God bless.

  32. Anon Y Mous says:

    Author of this article-This article seems to interpret the Catholic faith and discriminate against people’s beliefs. This isn’t what acceptance is all about? This behavior of calling out a teacher and judging a school based on your interpretation of your faith is morally wrong and is not what God wants. All men are equal in God’s eyes, so who are you to judge? As long as he is a good teacher and a good role model to his students, what more can you really ask for? This behavior appalls me. I guess you aren’t as good a Christian as you seem to believe. Also taking these photos and quotes completely out of context is completely horrifying and clearly the actions of someone who is out for vengeance. Thank you.

  33. LGBGTQ+ people deserve the same rights, opportunities, and respect as everyone else in this world!

  34. weekend chef says:

    This continuing argument, on both sides of the equation, is tedious. Recently, the news reported the gay staff of Catholic institutions being terminated because of gay marriage. Parents with $50,000 to spend annually on their child’s education can choose where that money is spent. Anyone judging the Priory and its staff don’t have first hand knowledge. Matthew doesn’t need defending. He is a brilliant scholar, loved by all. He is the example for others to follow. I am the Priory’s Jewish Gay Weekend Chef-sort of a double whammy. It is a place of nurturing, love and compassion. Oh, wait a sec. That sounds like Christianity to me.

  35. Will Galloway says:

    How dare you defile the name of a man I respect as my teacher! I am a high school senior, United Methodist by faith, baptized of my own accord in the 8th grade. Jesus accepted both Jews and Gentiles, and he preached nothing but love. Author, you are so far removed from Christianity, I truly pray that God forgives you.
    Mathew Nelson is a respected teacher who has devoted his heart and soul to the school and to further the values as defined in the Rule of Saint Benedict. Community. Integrity. Hospitality. Individuality. Spirituality. You, author, I pray that you may see the error in your hatred, and that God may accept you anyways

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Will G the real hatred here is your words against all those who fear the Lord.

      “But he giveth greater grace. Wherefore he saith: God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” James 4:6

      1 Corinthians Chapter 6

      9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

      10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

      1 Corinthians 5:11
      But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

      • Will Galloway says:

        I am unable to persuade you. Believe what you may, and may God bless you in all your folly.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          Will G that’s because Jesus is who I follow, not your modern day man made views. May your guardian Angel be a greater influence on you as we continue to pray for the truth and salvation!

    • Canisius says:

      No Galloway Christ preached obedience to his will and to carry your cross.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are correct that God needs to forgive the author. Detraction is a sin. I hope the author will repent and seek reconciliation. The proper thing for the author to do is to approach the head of the school and the local Bishop with the information and then submit to their decision concerning it. God will forgive the author when he is sorry and goes to confession. It really was a sin for the website to expose this information.

  36. Claire Halenback says:

    How can you, authors and commentors, claim to be a devout Christian if God tells you to love everyone, but you are judging and hating this man for the way God made him? If everyone is a child of God, then why would someone be “defying God” for having a characteristic that God gave him/her? It is immoral to publicly slander this man just because of the people that he loves. Love is something that is beyond any human’s control, and you cannot force yourself to love or to not love someone, it just comes naturally. How can you adhere to such immoral, truly disgusting actions against this man, all in the name of your religion? You don’t even know this man. You go against what you claim to believe by commenting these things. Honestly, the kinds of people that comment on and write this article, and these kinds of situations that are slandering and harming honorable, respectable, moral, and overall good people, are the reason that I identify as an Atheist.

  37. Another Woodside Priory Student says:

    Mr. Nelson was one of the reasons why I chose to attend Woodside Priory School. On the day that I shadowed the school, I had his class first thing in the morning. At the time I was attending an Episcopalian elementary school, so I was well educated about Christianity and faith. Sitting in on one of Mr. Nelson’s class, he made sure to go out of his way to make sure I felt welcomed in his classroom. Once I started attending Woodside Priory, I made sure to take as many of his classes as possible. He is an absolute inspiration and an incredibly dynamic man. He is loving, thoughtful, respectful, and most importantly, extremely proud to be a Christian. This article represents the exact opposite. Nothing about your words demonstrate what it means to be Christian, and this is coming from someone who is agnostic. I am surrounded daily by thoughtful and caring students from all backgrounds (racial and religious), and have never been more offended by any other words than I have by this article. Being Christian is not synonymous with being a good person, as you have demonstrated with this article. Being a good person is accepting others regardless of race, religion, gender, sex, sexual orientation, etc. and that is exactly what Matthew Nelson does day in and day out.

  38. Gail Teymourian says:

    All I can say is my daughter the junior who posted a comment at 5:30 on March 30th, and it is one of my proudest moments as a parent. Her response is a tribute not only to the fine education she has received at the Priory, but also from our beloved Mr. Nelson.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      If that is the proudest moment as a parent for you, then you are not a good parent. I guess the truth hurts! How can any decent parent say what you just said. Its deplorable. God have mercy on all lost parents who are losing their children to secularism, because of their very own fault.

      Parents are given a gift in being parents and not all parents fear the Lord and lead their children to true modesty, chastity and purity. I just couldn’t believe that a parent would say what Gail just said. But on these threads, there are many trolls and who knows who are truly what they say they are. Its a terrible thing for a parent to mislead their children. They will have to answer to God almighty for their mishandling of these gifts in our children especially when they teach their children that its OK to defend lifestyles against the natural law, which we know that the natural law comes from our LORD!

      Yes these threads have given us the truth, that our schools are truly places where we can lose souls. They might as well say “welcome to Satan’s school” where people are nice and good in appearance but inside there is a darkness and defiance that go against God and His truths! All appearing normal and OK which equals to the desensitizing of sin.

      • How dare you call this person a bad parent. You claim that the students at this school are ignorant? Well this is the most ignorant comment I have seen on this site. You do not even know any of the people involved in this school, neither the teacher nor this parent. I am sure this person is a wonderful parent, and shame on you for saying otherwise. I cannot believe you even have the guts to say that to someone. Not everyone has to follow the bible as strictly as you do. There is a reason as to why there is this thing called “freedom of religion”. If you claim to be a Christian while you just called this person a bad parent, I would suggest that you beg God for forgiveness, because you have committed a sin just as bad as you believe homosexuality is.

      • Who are you to judge whether or not this parent is a good parent or not. If this person believes in God and follows the religion and culture Catholicism or Christianity (or any other denomination of Christianity), God should be the only person who decides whether or not she is a good parent or not. If her own personal beliefs (aside or conjoined with her faith) tell her that she is proud and overflowing with happiness about her daughter’s statement(s), then let her be until God comes before her and tells her that she is wrong. Whats the accuracy of that happening? And if she’s agnostic or an atheist, then let her be. Agnostic’s don’t know what they believe in yet, or don’t follow a certain religion, including Atheism. Atheists, they don’t really care about religion then, so no luck convincing her then.

      • Anonymous says:

        The definition of Catholic is
        Adj: universal, of broad scope.
        By this definition and your actions, you are certainly not a Catholic.
        Wolf in sheets clothing.

  39. anonymous says:

    I am an alumnus of Woodside Priory School. I am now a freshman in college and I can say without a single doubt that Mr. Nelson’s class played a substantial part in preparing me for college. I can understand people’s more conservative stance politically but I cannot forgive people’s attacks on his character. Mr. Nelson has been one of my greatest ethical mentors in my life. I took his classes from the 7th grade onwards and never was there a time where I did not feel I could come to him for help. His teachings are completely objective and absent of any kind of ideology. In my own experience, he consistently sought to present both sides of an argument and above all things, taught me to think for myself. Never once did I see him force his own sexuality or political stances on any of his students and to suggest otherwise would be truly reprehensible. While he bears very political/social convictions, he always invites argument and debate for the sake of learning’s sake. To remove this man from his position would be an assault on the merit of higher order thinking and I hope that people can see behind their personal prejudices to recognize his moral and academic value to the Priory Community.

  40. Priory Alumni says:

    As a person who just finished their Priory experience last year, I am happy to speak up for the amazingness that is Mr. Nelson. Before Priory, I was an atheist, and detested anything to do with religious doctrine. Mr. Nelson was the one who taught me why an understanding and respect for religion is important in the modern world, and I am so grateful for that. He is a beautiful example of a man who is happy to balance his sexuality with his beliefs, and all of Priory loves him for it. The words here truly sadden me, as this obviously shows what people like yourself are focusing on taking jabs at, instead of pointing out big, worldwide problems our society has. This man was not only one of the best, if not the best teacher I have ever had, but a good friend. I hope that seeing all the love and admiration Woodside Priory school has for Mr. Nelson will make you reconsider you words, and reflect on one of the main lessons the bible teaches: Love.

  41. Anonymous says:

    To the Students of Priory-no one said your teacher wasn’t nice or wasn’t a good teacher and to be honest, whether he is gay or not is not very relevant either. What is important is-are you taught the Catholic Faith? I read the course descriptions from your school and all of you who attend a school like that owe a big debt of gratitude to whoever arranged for you to go there. However, at a Catholic school, one expects the theology department to be solidly and unapologetically Catholic. Comparative religion is useful, if you are learning how to evangelize for the Truth. Morality and Social Justice should be taught be people who accept with no hesitation all of the Catholic Church’s teachings.
    Your comments have not been less than reassuring.

    • So unless hate is taught, it’s not Catholic. Understood.

      • Anonymous says:

        No. Not at all. The Catholic Church and Catholic Schools should never teach hate. They should teach Catholicism which is not hate. It instructs a student in Divine Revelation which is not hate. God hates no one.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          peter are you saying that leading souls towards sanctifying grace is hatred? Wow! How wrong you are. If you only knew that salvation that comes from Christ and His truths is love and not hate.

          • Anonymuus says:

            He is suggesting that this article only suggests to do it through hate. Maybe there is another way. But the pro-religious comments (minus Ann Malley, someone who I can tell genuinely cares for us and understands our position) sure are not the way to do it.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Others here care very much, too, Anonymous. They are just shocked and battle weary. Much like you might be if you discovered that your teacher was secretly supporting the extermination of all those suffering from same sex attraction.

            The notion of that example might strike you as absurd and absolutely impossible. But the revelation that your teacher, who advocates for that which goes against the Catholic Faith at least on the surface of the above article and his apparent statements, is teaching religion at a Catholic school is something most CCD posters find absurdly unacceptable.

            That said, the word ‘hate’ is almost as misconstrued these days as the word ‘love’. It makes understanding each other very difficult.

    • If you looked over the courses for theology you would know freshman and sophomores are required to take Hebrew and Christian scriptures. These courses instruct the students upon the catholic faith and it’s teachings. Morality and social justice is more about logical fallacies, herearchy of needs, can morality exist without religion, different morality approaches such as moral absolutism or utilitarianism, etc.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hierarchy of needs? The first is safety which we have the witness of Jesus Christ and the Martyrs that Christianity is not about physical safety. Catholic morality should be taught at a Catholic school. I think you must have gotten an A in Morality and Social Justice but in the real world, there are moral absolutes. Please see this examination of conscience:
        I really balk at this kind of course being taught to teenagers in any school. The teen brain is not as developed as an adults and their life experience is not as varied. It is really too soon. It just confuses them. The comments here about love and acceptance show a set of very under-developed values and a very superficial understanding of those values.
        Thank you very much for posting. This was instructive.

    • We would rather not be brainwashed, thank you very much. We would rather have a supportive teacher, like Mr Nelson, explain and compare the different religions, for us to choose. After all, if we based our opinions of articles like these, why would any of us stay/become a Catholic?

      I am glad Mr Nelson is here to teach us what it really means to be Catholic, and I sincerely hope that none of you are teachers.

    • Hello I am a freshman at Priory and yes we are taught the Catholic Faith through the beginning, from Hebrew Scriptures to Christian Scriptures as a requirement from freshman through sophomore year. After that we have 1 Theology class that is mandatory and slips my mind because this is my first year at priory. And I do believe that all of our classes are taught by catholic teachers.

  42. Priory Student: 7 years learning from Mr. Nelson says:

    Woah there! Before you start attacking this school and faculty member, first consider the good Matthew Nelson and the Woodside Priory School are doing. You say, and I quote, that Nelson is an “active enemy of the faith” referring to Christianity, but in reality, YOU are the active enemy. Nelson teaches acceptance, love, peace, and understanding: virtues attributed to God in the Bible, Christian literature, and common knowledge. Lets take a look at how you are reflecting the values of God. Acceptance: By writing this article, you are not accepting others, and thereby not supporting Christianity and upholding the values of the Christian God and faith. Love: You are spewing hate and causing ripples of distrust, thereby not supporting Christianity and upholding the values of the Christian God and faith. Peace: you are causing unrest and unwarranted scrutiny, and thereby not supporting Christianity and upholding the values of the Christian God and faith. Understanding: you have not taken one sentence to describe the good that Nelson has taught and lived, and thereby not supporting Christianity and upholding the values of the Christian God and faith. Before criticizing others, I suggest that you take a long hard moment to think about the values in your life, and whether God would smile on someone who spends their time spreading hate, or those who spread love, peace, and acceptance.

    Everyone else reading this, Believers in the Christian God, any other, or no god, Think about the values you place in your own life.

  43. Claire Halenback says:

    How can you, authors and commentors, claim to be a devout Christian if God tells you to love everyone, but you are judging and hating this man for the way God made him? If everyone is a child of God, then why would someone be “defying God” for having a characteristic that God gave him/her? It is immoral to publicly slander this man just because of the people that he loves. Love is something that is beyond any human’s control, and you cannot force yourself to love or to not love someone, it just comes naturally. How can you adhere to such immoral, truly disgusting actions against this man, all in the name of your religion? You don’t even know this man. You go against what you claim to believe by commenting these things. Honestly, the kinds of people that comment on and write this article, and these kinds of situations that are slandering and harming honorable, respectable, moral, and overall good people, are the reason that I identify as an Atheist.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you noticed how good all these “inclusive, loving” true Catholics are at putting other people down?

      • Claire Halenback says:

        I believe that these people use their religion as an excuse for putting other people down. They say horrible things “in the name of God”, while by saying these things they are not following anything that God recommends. News flash: Just because you are a Catholic does NOT mean you are a good person.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          No Claire people feel put down because they reject to look for the truth. The truth never puts down but of course, not many will embrace the truth. If you love this teacher, you will care to research for the truth in how to help him turn away from further sin and help him love Jesus by choosing to be chaste (or at least pray for him and not defend behaviors against what the church teaches) and by that also means to not display lifestyles that go against the natural law. So we have nothing against him but only of the scandalous picture from this article. This school did an injustice by permitting this teacher in their school not only did it scandalize the students but it is also condoning lifestyles that contradict Catholic ideals. You can’t teach the faith if you don’t live it and any school advocating that it is Catholic needs to lead by example not by scandal or heresy, only lead by truth.

          John 6:27
          Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

          • Anonymuus says:

            If your quote is so true (at the end), what of the story of the Prodigal Son?

          • Anonymous says:

            It is an independent school once again. It has no requirement to teach the Catechism. I’m sorry to prove your argument so invalid, but this school has the legal and social right to teach whatever they want to, and I assume that they teach very well, because people pay a lot of money to send their children to this school. Not only that, but it is considered one of the top schools in the country.

          • Ann Malley says:

            The story of the Prodigal Son shows the Father welcoming the son back into his house after the son repents, having learned the error of his ways, Anonymous. It is an excellent example as the father didn’t have the party when the son left, celebrating rebellious lifestyle choices as if they were great.

  44. I’m a recent graduate of the Priory who has been heavily involved in religious education my entire life, guest lecturing to younger students in theology classes about Jewish culture, teaching Sunday school and Hebrew on the weekends, and attending Bat Mitzvah and Confirmation classes extracurricularly. The recent attacks on Matthew Nelson make me sick to my stomach, and the idea that an academic will be labeled an extremist and a detriment to his students and community for providing a well-rounded, all-inclusive education to those he teaches worries me to no end. But most importantly, as someone who loves, respects, and appreciates Mr. Nelson, I am upset by these insults being directed at someone I consider a friend.

    If you object to the way the Priory educates its students, do not send your children there, but believe me when I say you will be doing them, and the community a disservice. The purpose of religious education is not indoctrination, but information and validation. The Priory gives its students choice among an array of religious education courses, and each and every one is academically sound and culturally relevant, but more important than the classes is the school’s culture of acceptance, which is in no small part due to Matthew Nelson. Nelson is loved by his students, admired by his colleagues, and respected by his academic community in a way that all teachers should aspire to. Students come to the Priory from all faith backgrounds, and in a truly inspiring way, the school nurtures and enhances each student’s understanding of their own faith, or lack thereof. Students attend Catholic mass, but also learn Arabic vocabulary and stories from the Quran in the course Radical Religion, analyze cult structure in the course Pop Goes Religion, and dissect the very nature of religion in the course Atheism and Faith. Talking these courses does not make students worse Catholics, it makes them better people.

    As for the rainbow flag in Nelson’s room that seems to have you running scared, I’d like to invite you to take three deep breaths and to grow up. Gay people exist, gay Catholic people exist, and I can assure you they are not the ones with the views that are detrimental to your children. Your antiquated, myopic, discriminatory views are the ones that are problematic. If you really want to make sure your kids are well informed and taken care of, send them to the Priory. God knows, it’ll do everyone some good.

    Olivia Ives

    • Anonymous says:

      Every student that has posted here has validated our concern. You may consider the Catholic Faith antiquated, discriminatory and myopic, but that proves that you don’t really know it. Which is our point. My experience with religion courses like the ones that you describe is that they lesson people’s confidence in the Catholic Faith. It does not matter what religion the students are; they should be taught the Catholic Faith. They don’t have to attend the school if they don’t want to learn the Faith. One of the reasons for our concern is that as we pray and work at church we find that adults don’t know the Catholic Faith very well. And it is really difficult to convince adults who have been through Catholic schools that they are ignorant of the Faith. Ignorance costs them a lot and it costs our society a lot and it costs our church a lot. They harm themselves and their families and they don’t listen to anyone because they are people who are unlearned who believe they know it all.

      • I think that your argument is invalid. You are saying that ignorance causes people to do these things, but you are saying that they should not have to take courses, in which they learn REAL and LIABLE information about all religions, because it lessens their confidence in Catholicism? That just sounds like you believe people should be ignorant towards other religions. To me, it is important to be educated about all religions, Catholicism being one of them, in order to find what you believe in. These things contribute to one’s identity. It is one thing to be raised Catholic, which is fine, but I think that it is important to learn about ALL faiths. You say that these people act like they “know it all”, but that’s just because they actually do. They have taken courses about all different kinds of faiths. You are the ignorant one in this situation. You claim they are “unlearned”, but you say that they become this way because of these courses? That in itself is contradictory. You claim that people become ignorant by learning. Hm.

        • Ann Malley says:

          It is not a matter of being ignorant toward other religions, Rachel, but rather the odd notion of attending a Catholic school wherein one, and I may be jumping to conclusions here, is taught that Catholicism is just one of many viable ways to God. (It sounds very tolerant and inclusive and makes one feel magnanimous, but that is not Catholic teaching.)

          If one believes that Jesus Christ is Lord, the Way, the Truth, and the Light, and that He bid the Apostles to go out and baptize all nations at the risk of death, that person would logically hold that Catholicism is the only truth. Not to say that there aren’t natural aspects of kindness or meditation found in other practices. But if all religions are okay and one just needs to pick one to find ‘their’ identity, why did Our Lord put such emphasis on spreading the Faith? Why die for it? Why the Incarnation if everyone was okay in whatever they picked?

          What seems to be going on these days is a reverse-evangelization whereby Catholics are encouraged, under the guise of tolerance or so called education, to embrace that which is false. Namely, other religions. That is a house divided, Rachel. A house working against itself.

          By that way of thinking, the early Church should have just sacrificed to idols and done whatever the State required of them regardless of faith in Christ because, well, it doesn’t really matter. That’s the root of the issue here.

          This is the issue, Rachel.

          God bless.

          • Anonymuus says:

            Thanks for talking in a calm, sensible way (reason and passion rarely mix well, and I applaud you for this calm stance)

            Pluralism is honestly the thing that this school teaches. And maybe the name is misleading, but this school emphasized the benedictine values rather than the catholic faith (yes, they are different). As all of the faithful people have shown, decisive splits of faith make the evolution of the school’s first directive, benedictine values, impossible, so they have decided to pluralize the classes.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Thank God for calm. For that is nothing of me and how.

            God bless.

      • Anonymous says:

        In your responses, Anonymous, I see that you’re trying to tell us that the Priory is (or, should be) required to adhere strictly to certain tenants of Catholic education. In other words: the right way to teach the Catholic Faith. Unfortunately, if that’s your case, then this is a lost cause. The Priory is a Catholic school, but it is an independent school. The school is not bound to any rules or guidelines with respect to how religion is taught (or what religion, for that matter).

        This is why the Priory students are responding to this article with such united force: neither the author nor you have no position to judge the quality of the Priory’s “Catholic-ness”.

      • Anonymous says:

        The only reason they consider the Catholic Faith antiquated, discriminatory and myopic is because you have harmed their community and teacher. They think this because of the nasty comments on this article from people that claim to be from the Catholic Faith. In fact, your comment contributes to their opinion of the Catholic faith being discriminatory and myopic.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        They need to develop a personal relationship with Christ and when they do, they will reject all things that offend our Lord.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          Agreed, Abeca!

          But the question I would pose to you is why, then when gay people develop a personal relationship with Christ, do you then reject them?

        • I don’t believe in God or Christ, therefore I disagree. Especially in your word choice, the word “need” sounds like you assume that everyone should not have freedom of religion.

      • Yes some of us aren’t as educated as the people who dedicate their whole entire lives around their religion and religious culture, so that moves along with our teenager-ness. Also not everyone that goes to priory are Catholic so they’re still learning the basics of Catholicism in the Benedictine way.

  45. Father Karl says:

    A sin is a sin, no matter what. We are all sinners because we were born in original sin. Sin is evil; it is something that can prevent one from entering Heaven. But to rejoice in one’s sin, is horrible, and terrible. To want to make a sin a virtue is against Christianity. We must love the sinner, but hate the sin. The homosexual activists want us to accept their behavior as normal. That is the problem. They demand that their perverse actions be treated as something good, when it is shameful. Catholic morality will never change despite the efforts of those who wish to refashion Catholicism.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      AMEN Father Karl. God bless you!

    • What if I claimed it was shameful for you to love a woman in your life? There is no difference. Is it possible for you to put yourself into another’s perspective? You don’t choose who you love. By saying that it is wrong for a man to love another man, you are preaching and encouraging hate and oppressing love. Homosexual behavior is normal. The only reason people say that it isn’t is because someone wrote a book 3500 years ago, and for some reason, everyone listens to this book when it has no proven legitimacy. If Catholicism is not going to be “refashioned”, then I am sorry to say that it will probably not be around much longer. Through all of this, I respect your opinion, though it may sound like I don’t, and I accept that you are entitled to your own opinion.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is this what they teach at this school?

        • I do not attend this school because I graduated from high school long ago. However, I do not know if this is what they teach at this school, and neither do you, so I will politely ask you to stop making assumptions about it.

      • SandraD says:

        Oh, little soul, you are so lost and it is not your fault. Your first “teachers” and the teachers you have now have failed you. Dear Lord, please save these little ones from the wolves. We pray that our Catholic schools undergo a huge overhall or cease to be called Catholic.

        • But… I didn’t go to a Catholic school, my teachers never taught me anything about religion. I found it out all from the Catholic church itself, and still decided to lean away from it. So you are claiming that the church failed me? Please stop viewing me as inferior to you because of my religious preferences and because of your assumptions that I am a high school student. I would prefer if you didn’t pray for my soul. Thank you.

      • Canisius says:

        Rachel… If Catholicism is not going to be “refashioned”, then I am sorry to say that it will probably not be around much longer…. so we refashion to what you want it to be… Not to what Christ commands… no Rachel the Church has survived far worse conditions and came out stronger than before…

    • The Roman Catholic church has changed its moral positions over time so that to say it won’t again is beyond naive. Clerical celebacy (largely a failure) has not been around since the Church’s beginning. I cannot find one place in the Bible that Jesus Christ even mentions homosexualiy? I believe there is one mention in one of Paul’s letters. I wouldn’t expect anything to soon, but His Holiness Francis has reminded us not to get caught up in doctrinal details and miss Christ’s message. That said the Church is rife with hypocrisy; millions of Catholics practising birth control (Italy’s birthrate among the lowest in the word) Clergy sex scandals that have largely victimized children, Cardinals living like princes….and the list goes on. It would seem that a well thought of teacher at a high school should be the least of the Church’s worries.

      • Canisius says:

        “The Roman Catholic church has changed its moral positions over time” Complete and total, clerical celibacy is not a moral position….this assertion is wrong…

  46. Former student of the Priory, Oliva –
    Did you use as a required text the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” in your Junior and Senior years?
    If not why not? This text allows everyone to be taught the Faith accurately and without human error.
    Tolerating Mortal Sin is not loving your neighbor. If you love your neighbors you will want them to get to Heaven.

    “ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg 5)

    Regarding homosexuality: CCC 2357, 2358, 2359, 2396.
    Bible: Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:9-10; 1 Tim 1:10.
    If you did not cover these in your classes of Theology, you were not taught correctly – either accidentally or purposely.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Someone above said that Catholocism has changed a disturbing amount in the past 2000 years. This, in a sense, is true. Slavery is sanctioned in Exodus, but is no longer practiced and I think we can all agree that this change is for the better as slavery is morally reprehensible. Working on Sunday is no longer punishable by death, people are no longer stoned for planting different crops next to eachother, nor do we encourage burning people if they wear different threads. Those who say that changes in the Christian faith are disturbing, I sincerely hope you do not still argue for slavery and public stoning. Christianity is not stagnant, but develops and adapts with society. To be honest, many bible verses come from public health issues- eating pigs was not safe, homosexuality did not produce children. But in the 21st century, we live in an overpopulated world and respect the personal choices made by heterosexuals not to have children. If we now feel that it is not the duty of every person to produce offspring, there is no reason other than ignorance to continue to preach hatred towards homosexuals. How can you defend a drunk driver who put other people’s lives at risk but not accept a teacher who is full of love and reflects the true values of the Christian faith. I ask you not to use Jesus Christ to defend your ignorance and negativity, as the words I have read today would never have been condoned by our lord and savior.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is much that is of error in your post. We all really need a better education in Catholicism and Christianity. It is a never ending process through prayer, reading and listening to the authority of the Church. I am glad that you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Are you a student of this school?

    • Anonymous, Christ’s Catholic Church did not exist prior to Christ’s ministry.
      Exodus is in the OLD TESTAMENT.
      The Catholic Church did not come into existence until the NEW TESTAMENT.
      Do you know what you are talking about ?

  48. These bright, well informed Priory students and alumni put all of you CCD “regulars” to shame. Such a refreshing and clear perspective on someone and something truly good. “Light of the world” finally makes sense to me.

  49. Daughter of the Lord says:

    I have been a nun for 20+ years, and I can truly say with all my heart that Mr. Nelson is a good person. All of you should be ashamed to speak so low about such a warm hearted, generous man that you have never even met before. Shame on you all, you people are the ones who are the true sinners..

    Sister Wendy

    • Anonymous says:

      Shaming isn’t a real loving behavior, Sister Wendy, and yes, we are all sinners. And I don’t see one single comment that speaks low of the teacher. The issue is -when you send your kid to Catholic School, do they get the Catholic education that you are expecting them to get? No one said he isn’t nice, warm-hearted or generous. It is irrelevant although I am always glad to hear of a person who is such. The issue is-he has publicly posted things that are contrary to Catholic morality while he is teaching a class in Morality at a Catholic School!!!!!

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Let me guess…you are probably a troll out to destroy the truth and you don’t love this Mr. Nelson enough to help him get out of that mentality away from God! Or you are a nun who is disobedient to holy church.

    • Wendy, if your school is teaching 100% according to the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” – then you have nothing to worry about.

      If not, get with the accurate program.

    • Ann Malley says:

      God bless you, Sister Wendy, but being a nun for 20+ years does not immunize one from error. That said, being warm hearted and generous are wonderful qualities to be sure. But being warm hearted and generous when combined with the embracing of and/or transmission of grave error, especially when addressing impressionable youth is spiritually dangerous. Much like a fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookie, the whole will be gobbled up. Yum. Yum. Yum.

      If error were presented as a dirty ugly piece of rejected gum off the underside of a restaurant table, there’d be no worry as most wouldn’t even want to touch it let alone put it in their mouth. So no wonder there is the fantastic response to such warmth and kindness. But then temptations are designed to be appealing, even when that temptation is to seemingly learn a new brand of Catholicism that suddenly breaks away all barriers so we don’t have to think of ‘ourselves’ as mean.

      With regard to your asserted credentials, I would be more interested to know your particular views on same sex marriage, same sex attraction/actions, and the actual teachings of the Catholic Church. Do you hold with Church teaching? Do you follow doctrine? Do you believe that matters in the equation? It does, you know.

      Sorry, but I was educated in a Catholic school, hugely expensive too, where a nun, very eager to be perceived as with-it, told my Freshman class, ripe with hormones and eager to learn, that fornication isn’t a mortal sin. Many, because Sister was a nun, gobbled up that lie and opened themselves to a world of hurt, although it sounded really broad minded and loving at the time. It wasn’t.

    • Anonymous says:

      I feel sorry for you that all of these people have replied these negative things to your comment. I know that what you are saying is true, and you especially do not deserve to be accused of being a nun who is disobedient to holy church.

      • Ann Malley says:

        Why does she not deserve to be accused of being a nun who is disobedient to Holy Church when she states the things she does? Being a nun doesn’t give one license to reinvent things, Anonymous. In fact, being a nun holds one to a higher standard of speaking the truth as the potential to give scandal and mislead is greater because of her position as a religious.

        • Anonymous says:

          What do you mean by “she states the things she does”? All that she does is love this man. Does that go against the church?

          • Ann Malley says:

            What goes against the Church, Anonymous, is ignoring the public endorsement of anti-Catholic, not anti-Conservative, ideology on Facebook and a public blog posted by the Theology Chair at a school that advertises itself as Catholic.

            Nobody is judging the man himself. That is God’s job. But we as Catholics and as human beings must judge actions… and agendas.

            That’s why posters on CCD question Sister Wendy’s loyalties.

  50. When I read the students’ comments, sadly, I think of the term “useful idiots”.
    Mr. Nelson has done a great job. Not a single student knows the true teaching of the Catholic Church.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you explain why you think this?

    • So you want slavery, women to wear veils and not speak and to kill your children if they upset you? No you don’t even though that was all written within the bible using hatred. By perpetrating hatred you are no better than Christian who blow up abortion clinics. That is you do when you go against love, tolerance, etc.

      • Anon, please read the NEW TESTAMENT. This is when the Catholic Church was formed – at the time of Christ, not prior.
        You are very confused.

        • Anonymuus says:

          So if we are just going from Jesus’s perspective, with deeds over titles (and no mentions of homosexuality), where exactly does this fit in?

      • Ann Malley says:

        Regarding Christians who blow up abortion clinics – how might you react on a natural level Anonymous if you knew your daughters or granddaughters were being used like cattle and having their uteruses invaded and violated on a daily basis so someone could make money off of them? And/or the guys who have no taste for commitment, could keep getting off with them?

        That is what goes on at these clinics, Anonymous. Not love. Not care. But rather, animal husbandry. Instead of veal, the product is the money gained by butchering people, and psychologically scarring endless women. Is that empowerment? (But hey fetal stem cell research will open a new MARKET. Accent on market. Like cows, Anonymous, or pigs.)

        What abortion clinics really do is divide women from the feminine, from true self respect (that is love of one’s body as a beautiful thing), and anyone who can truly help/guide them so that they will end up with a ‘problem’ that needs to be solved.

        How Christian is it to countenance such a ‘business?’ As yet, I haven’t heard of any mercy abortion clinics – have you?

    • Abeca Christian says:

      I agree with you Janet. Their comments bare no reasoning.

  51. For all of you champions of tolerance, acceptance, love, peace, understanding, and diversity, I give you a quote from my favorite teacher.

    “You children of serpents! How can you say anything good when you are evil? The mouth speaks about what overflows from the heart.”
    — Jesus Matt. 12: 34

    Read the entire Gospels and you might be surprised what else you find there. You are all in my prayers.

    • Your quote only works as an argument if we were “children of serpents.” I’d like to repeat the quote to the author of this article and the supporters:

      “You children of serpents! How can you say anything good when you are evil? The mouth speaks about what overflows from the heart.”
      – Jesus Matt. 12: 34

      • Richy, now that you repeated the quote to the author of this article and his supporters, does this mean that you have now violated your own cause which is to eradicate the worst evil known to man “hate speech” and “intolerance”? Anyway, per your thinking, “your quote only works as an argument” if the author and his supporters “were children of serpents”.

        But back to the quote. Do you think that Jesus really believed that the people He was talking to were actually born of serpents? Of course not! It was an allegory which He often repeated throughout the Gospels where He pointed out to the Pharisees and Sadducees that they were deceivers and hypocrites by thinking that they were following God’s statutes when in fact they were actually following the statutes of Satan. (in some places, Jesus does tell them that they are from their father the devil)

        If you were even a casual reader of the Gospels, you would know that there are many instances where Jesus is intolerant and outspoken. By the way, the ultimate hypocrite claims to be a follower of Jesus while at the same time rejects His Gospel.

  52. Wow. The responses by all the ignorant priory students and faculty members demonstrate one thing clearly: they have no idea what Catholicism is. They subscribe wholly to Moralistic Therapeutic Deism and confuse that with the teachings of Jesus Christ. As “educated” as they believe they are, they are woefully unlearned and throw out all the same tired leftist cliches and buzzwords: “hate”, “bigotry”, “judge not lest ye be judged”, “acceptance”, “tolerance”, “love”. Have any expressed concern for the truth of what God has revealed as part of his infinite love, or does love mean “anything goes”? What about the truth of human nature as created male and female with finalities ordered properly to their opposites? The truth of the diorderedness of homosexuality? The truth that it is a grave contradiction to have a religion teacher who openly defies and rejects the doctrines of the Church that his school is affiliated with? Can a house divided on itself stand? Do any of them understand what the purpose of a Catholic school is? Do they not see the contradiction? Of course they don’t, because they have not been taught the truth. They have been taught lies, which they believe are the truth. They are blind, some of them willingly so. The priory is a failure of a Catholic school, and its “theology” department is a front for leftist claptrap, as clearly evidenced by the drivel that these naive kids have written about something they purport to have been instructed well about.

    • Woodside Priory Senior says:

      Reminder, the Woodside Priory does stand. We are not divided. Mr. Nelson has not asked me to write on his behalf. No one has. I come here because as an 18 year old man, recognized as an adult in the United States government, am capable of making my own descisions and choice. I chose to be baptized, I chose to attend Woodside Priory, and I chose to take 3 electives with Mr. Nelson. Not once has Mr. Nelson told me that his sexuality is the “right choice” or that Catholicism is the “right choice”. I chose and I still choose to defend a man worthy of defending. The faculty stand behind Mr. Nelson, and we, the students, stand in front.

      Dismissing us as kids only further reminds us that age doesn’t determine intelligence, as evidenced by comments above.

    • Where did you go to college?

    • Anonymous says:

      If you think we don’t know what Catholicism is, why don’t you explain it to us rather than publicly slandering us? I would argue that that proves that YOU don’t know what Catholicism is.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ok lets start. God is Three Persons, the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Tere is only One God. God created all things. Man, his creation that was made in His own Image and Likeness, rebelled against God at the temptation of a fallen angel. The entire earth suffered from the consequences of this sin. Death entered the world. In order to save man from death, the Son of God became man. He was conceived in the womb of a Virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit. His foster father and his Mother were Hebrews. God had prepared for the coming of His Son by establishing His Chosen People and after a long history of their repeated rebellion and God’s forgiveness, the Redeemer of Man was born. He is God and Man. At the appointed time, He was betrayed, tortured and crucified. He accepted this because it was how man would be redeemed. On the third day after His death, He rose from the dead and 40 days after that, He ascended into Heaven. He sent the Holy Spirit upon His Apostles (those of His followers who were chosen to begin His Church.) The redemption of man did not remove bodily death but permitted man to enter Heaven. But it is not guaranteed that when one dies one will enter Heaven. One must believe in the Son of God and accept baptism. One must cooperate with the individual plan of salvation which God has given to each person. One can enter Hell when one dies, the abode of the fallen angels, if one commits serious sin and does not repent. One can only be sure of salvation by following the Will of God.

    • From an objective standpoint, your argument makes no sense. You may claim we are uneducated or taught lies, but how do you know you weren’t taught lies? Your opinions, just as ours, are completely based on your upbringing. Therefore, like “Anonymous” said, don’t bother spouting your useless opinions and start “teaching” what Catholicism actually is.

    • You my dear are using ad hominem. You clearly attack these innocent kids but give no evidence why. Sure Catholicism teaches hate within parts of the bible but if you look at the whole it is about love and acceptance not hatred.

  53. Elizabeth says:

    Very Sad! From some of the coments from a few of the students at Woodside Priory…..sounds like they have already been brain washed!

    Young people, you think you know everything at your age, but have a news flash for you….you don’t!!! Having a teacher who is not in ‘full communion’ with the teaching of the Catholic Church in a ‘Catholic’ school is WRONG! What is the point of going to a ‘Catholic’ school and not being taught the Catholic faith by teachers who are in full union with the correct teaching? You might as well go to a private secular school.

    May the Holy Spirit enlighten you!

    • Anonymous says:

      I would argue that you are brainwashed by a book that was written 3500 years ago(the bible).

    • Like “Anonymous” implies, what makes us brainwashed? Are we not simply pushing our so called “brainwashed” ideas? Just as you are pushing your ideas. But, you’re going further than that. You are publicly slandering an institution full of happy children, an amazing teacher who you most likely don’t even know, and the very idea of Christianity, as you preach hate and intolerance.

      We respect your ideas. We acknowledge we may or may not be brainwashed, but no matter what, Mr Nelson has done nothing deserving of hate. He has simply been a great teacher, and if nothing else, he can make our days much better than a hateful article or a hateful person ever can.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        People in hell thought they were happy.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          they did? if folks in hell thought they were happy, why is hell such a bad place?

          Look, these kids adore their teacher. You all, who do not know him, pretend him to be the devil. Get to know him as these kids do, and if you still have your criticisms, express them. Until them, stop your drivel, which amounts to GOSSIP, a prohibited form a speech according to CCC!

      • Richy, where do you see any “hate” being touted in the article about Mr. Nelson and Woodside? Is it the following statement which has you and your fellow classmates upset? “…….teachers who not only do not adhere to, but are active enemies of the faith”?

        I guess it all boils down to the obvious: “The closer to the truth, the closer to the nerve” 🙁

        • Hugh James says:

          Really? Don’t see any hate? You’re kidding, right?

          Let’s see: The article cyber stalks, then publicly exposes with the intent to incite an angry mob against a teacher, who by all accounts is respected and admired by his school community and students, whose only apparent “crime” is being open about his sexual orientation. In the Bay Area. In 2014.

          At the very least, the intent is to get him fired from his job, but more expressly, it aims to manipulate the school that employs him, through shame, outrage, or conciliatory action by the Church political establishment into forced conformity with some medieval ideal of orthodoxy that the author (and most of the readership here) endorses. If CCD were a theocracy, he be run up the gallows.

          You may see that as compassion and charity, but most anyone else will see bigotry and hate.

    • From an insecure freshman’s point of view, yes I don’t know everything about myself. I don’t know whats wrong with me sometimes and if it’s genetics due to my adoption, I don’t know the answer to every action I make or any other teenager makes. I also would like to state, yes I have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit and the Bible, however I am not converted because I have no religion, I am agnostic. I am trying to find the balance between everything currently, and being in a diverse school like Priory accompanies my goal of balance. I don’t know if I have been brainwashed by anything, I mean the brainwasher must have “deleted” those memories, but I do know that Priory has taught me more about different religions and how to be Religiously Pluralistic and so we know what we say in case we make a fool of ourselves in front of people of different religions. I am sorry the Priory does not live up to your expectations, but this is how we are taught and this is how we live, we don’t have to go straight by the book, we have the right for life, liberty, and happiness, the right of speech thanks to the 1st Amendment, and we are in the land of the free. We shall be no slaves to any strict rules or statements that are interpreted through other people, yet said by a different being.

  54. Woodside Priory Sophomore says:

    Without directly addressing the moral issue at hand, I see on this website an article without a listed author. Is he or she ashamed of their words and afraid of backing their convictions? I also see many responses by varied Priory students, parents, and staff and a similar number of responses by a limited number of outsiders. The vast majority of comments defending Matthew Nelson are written with civil language and proper grammar. On the other hand, many responses defending the article’s convictions are poorly written and full of accusatory statements, mainly about the student authors’ naivety, ignorance, or irreverence.
    I am extremely proud of my fellow students for using the written word to respectfully be upstanders of inappropriate libel.

  55. Woodside Priory Sophomore says:

    Accusing Matthew Nelson of being “an active enemy of the faith” is wholly inappropriate and is contrary to this website’s mission statement, which I assume that the author stands by, given that they wrote for this website.

    The mission statement states that “The Christian communicator,” that is, the authors and some of the commentators on the site, “has a prophetic task” to support “unconditional respect for all human life.” It goes without saying that the article does not show “unconditional respect” for Mr. Nelson, who indubitably falls under the category of “all human life.” No respect is present. In fact, the article’s position denies “unconditional respect” to anybody; respect is, as based in the article, always conditional on sexuality.

    I support the Catholicism that is manifested in the need for “unconditional respect for all human life,” but I cannot back those whose claims are contrary to this teaching of loving kindness.

  56. Woodside Priory Senior says:

    I read the article here and just have to laugh. To try to humiliate and degrade my teacher, who I truly believe is a good teacher, is laughable. Ignorance and anonymity do not change that this article has only reinvigorated our love from Mr. Mathew Nelson, and reminded us what an asset he is to our school. The Catholic faith, as it turns out, is not hurt by Mr. Nelson, an acredited theologian and well versed. His class “Radical Religion”, which I am taking, has taught me more about religion than the hateful and bigoted comments in this article. If you are intolerant and bigoted, remember that is not the Catholic faith, that is your own personal choice. You can believe what you may, but Mr. Nelson, myself, and my school can do so as well. The only difference is that our school didn’t publicly humiliate and degrade the people of this website, they come here in throngs to defend the teacher we love.

    I am Will Galloway, author of the above post by Will Galloway, signing off. May God bless each one of you, regardless of your opinion of this article.

    • Woodside Priory Senior, are you suggesting that CCD photoshopped the picture of Mr. Nelson and lied about him posting on his blog the following; “I’m a queer bohemian living in San Francisco Bay area”?

      Since when has repeating the truth now become hateful?

      def: Truth –
      1. conformity to knowledge, fact, or actuality; veracity.
      2. something that is the case; the real state of affairs.
      3. reality; actuality.
      4. a statement proven to be or accepted as true.
      5. sincerity; honesty.

      Follow Mr. Nelson if you must, but please be honest with yourself and others that you are following Mr. Nelson’s teachings and not that of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Jesus was completely intolerant of hypocrites. Read the Holy Gospels!

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Tracy, did you actually READ the post by this student? Where does he or she allege photoshopping a picture? Your own post is the only one in which “photoshop” appears. And nowhere, so far as I can find, did he/she make any kind of accusation that photos were altered. Are you really as engaged with “truth” as you claim?

        Per your own post:

        def: Truth –
        1. conformity to knowledge, fact, or actuality; veracity.
        2. something that is the case; the real state of affairs.
        3. reality; actuality.
        4. a statement proven to be or accepted as true.
        5. sincerity; honesty.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Thank you, Will Galloway, for your witness to truth.

  57. Michael McDermott says:

    So do please enlighten us oh Woodenly Sophomoric one – What are we ‘Vanilla’ Catholics to make of the male drag queens draped over your fearless leader?

    Are they Holy Icons of education too – or does good grammar grace their grotesque mockery with the same type tolerance you preach – and tolerance for what, pray tell?

  58. Anonymous says:

    If my son’s school found out students had posted comments online like those posted here by the Priory’s students, they would be suspended or expelled. He goes to a Christian school and they stress that the way the kids behave outside of school reflects on the school. I hope someone from the school will instruct these students in proper behavior toward others and especially to adults. They have really made the school look bad.

    • Priory Student says:

      To be perfectly honest, I have never been prouder of my school and my community.

      All the comments posted here have been 100% respectful. Just because we disagree with you, does not mean we are being disrespectful or deserve punishment.

      • Priory Student, …..My school and My community”? So you are a proud member of the herd eh? Have you ever seen a herd of sheep being led to the slaughter? Jesus talked about it in the Gospels. Read them.

        • Anonymuus says:

          So better to take the way of Peter, denying Jesus thrice? Is that what you would rather us do, desert our comrades in their times of need?

        • Anonymous5 says:

          I agree with my fellow students. As students of a Catholic school, we do read many stories in the Bible. There are many teachers and parents in support of are actions. It is our school, no one is singled out. And I do not, and I believe many other students have my back in saying this, think that we are “being led to the slaughter” just because of our personal views or the fact that we are a community. We are very proud of our school and have no problem confessing that fact.

        • The people who are teaching these students have not died yet, and have not known if they are going to heaven and hell. I am assuming that you mean slaughtering as in hell, so in this case you are wrong because the teachers would have no idea that they are leading these students to hell.

    • How does it look bad when students stick up for a beloved teacher? Think of it from the students perspective. They come from a very small area. The school being 6-12 is only 375 students. A wonderful teacher who has helped and nurtured these students is violently attacked online because of his sexual orientation. The common response for anyone would be to defend that person who is greatly hurt by what is being said. The students are perfectly justified in what they are doing.

      • Anonymous says:

        I understand that you love your teacher. But yes, comments made by the students have been disrespectful. Can we really look at this objectively? I thought the “enemy of the faith” remark was hyperbolic. But that is the only thing in the article that is even slightly insulting to him. Everything else is a quote from him. I am sorry if he is hurt. (I looked for his facebook to try to see whether what they said he said was true or taken out of context or misappropriated. He took it down. So if it was, no one will ever know and the CCD version is the one everyone will believe.) The comments were not about him, but about the state of Catholic schools. (One commenter did insult him by calling him vile and that WAS a reference to his being openly gay.) I admit that I do not like this kind of “expose” without contacting the person being written about for their side of the story. And I think they sandbagged your teacher and I worried that he might lose his job. But the comments by the students have been disrespectful. The most common insult is accusations of hate or bigotry. You can stick up for your teacher without verbally abusing someone who honestly just cares about whether you are being told the truth or being sold a pig in a poke. This is an long-standing issue in Catholic education or education that claims to be Catholic. You are entitled to know the truth. Many students have said how accepting your school is, but they don’t seem very accepting of Catholics who accept the Church’s teachings. My concern is that in no comment from the students does it say “We have been taught the Catholic Faith. We know and accept the fullness of the Catholic Faith.” My concern now is that you are being taught humanism, possibly even secular humanism, and being told that it is Christianity. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Read the Bible, which is infallible. Visit the Blessed Sacrament and pray the Rosary daily. Place yourself under the protection of St. Michael and St. Joseph. (Even if you are not Catholic.) Peace and Love

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          What if the accusations of hate an bigotry are, actually, true? Can we please delve into that? maybe the students who make these accusations are right? and if they are not, why not? Let’s not squelch discussion about bigotry, but let us ask ourselves truthfully whether bigotry and hate are actually present?

          • Anonymous says:

            I do not think the people here are haters. Even the one who says he hates gay people, does not hate the people who are gay and who live the Church’s teaching. (And you know that he has a history of being physically, mentally and emotionally abused by lesbians, so we give him our time and our prayers.) I know the bigotry that has occurred on this website. Some of it is ignorance but I can say that it is never directed at the gay people who accept the Church’s teachings. The issue for people is not homosexuality but fidelity. The reason we desire fidelity to the Church’s teaching is that the Word we have from the Church which is infallible is that there are serious consequence spiritually for not being faithful. We do not want people to suffer and we do not want kids to be tricked into thinking that there are no consequences to their thoughts, words and deeds.
            They have told us over and over that they are the good ones who love and welcome all. We are the bad ones, the haters because we think that a Catholic school should teach the Catholic Faith in its entirety by people who live it. I am sure though that even though we are so bad, they will welcome us and love us and accept us. I wish they had been more understanding of a stranger’s love and concern for them. When I was a teenager, I quit the Church. No one in my family or parish tried to stop me. The results were disastrous-my sins mounted to the skies. Even though I went to confession, I could not possibly remember all of the sins I committed during those years. We are not allowed to confess “I am sin.” but that is how I felt. May God convert these young people to the Truth. YFC, you are a teacher. Teachers have a duty to teach the Truth.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            Thank youAnonymous for your post, and for the respect you showed me in your answer.

            What you post is complex. Let’s start at the beginning, when you say, “Even the one who says he hates gay people, does not hate the people who are gay and who live the Church’s teaching. ”

            How is it that a young person, trying to figure out his or her way in the world, can discern the difference between those who claim to hate gay people and really DO hate gay people, and those like the person you refer to who claims to hate gay people but does not, as you say, actually hate gay people? Is there some code those young tender individuals need to consult to discern the difference between those who claim to be haters and are haters …. and those who claim to be haters but aren’t really haters. Where can we find this code?

          • Ann Malley says:

            Well said, Anonymous. Especially that last line.

            God bless.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            There are many anonymous persons here, its hard to keep up on who is who and who is saying what and who is etc

      • Mortal Sin should never be approved, praised or tolerated.

        Any School that advertises itself “Catholic” is committing FRAUD if it does not teach 100% according to the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”.

        It is fraudulent to take tuition money under one pretense and then do something contrary.

        • A couple of good lawsuits for FRAUD against the Diocese, and dishonest practices would stop. (The Diocese Bishop has full authority within his own Diocese.)
          Again those schools that advertise themselves as “Catholic” must teach 100% according to the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition”.

        • Anonymous says:

          Except, the Priory is an independent school, meaning that they are under no requirement to teach the Catechism.

      • sandrad says:

        his SSA (same sex attraction) is not at issue here, it’s his committing sin by “acting” on his SSA–living a homosexual lifestyle. btw, he is not “orientated” to “act/sin”, he chooses to “act/sin” on his feelings. just like those co-habitators who live in sin.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous at 9:03:

      Your age does not provide you a pass for being ignorant. These students have been educated well and they have many thoughtful things to say. They have attacked no one’s character, merely the unsupported accusations against this teacher. Your children will be lead astray if they cannot think for themselves and do not recognize foolishness when they encounter it. The Woodside Priory students can already recognize foolishness and character attacks based on two pictures.

    • “The Pope should excommunicate you for making the Church look bad.” That is what I imagine you saying if you were in our position. Yes, we do reflect the school. No, we do not make the school look bad. We have every right to defend our ideas and faith (just as you do), and yes, even to adults.

      Dr King Jr did not hesitate to project his ideas, at a time when people of other races were looked down upon, just as you look down on children full of ideas. We have every right to respectfully disagree, and no, not even Catholics have the right to publicly slander a great man like Mr Nelson.

      • Richy, I am in full agreement with you that you have the right to defend your ideas and faith. I do hope you realize, however, that so far you have demonstrated that “your ideas” and “your faith” are not the same as those of the Holy Catholic Church. Jesus was intolerant of hypocrites. Read the Gospels.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          Tracy, with all due respect, neither are your ideas those of the Holy Catholic Church. Our Holy Father is leading us in an understanding of compassion and mercy. Please follow the lesson.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Then why is the Holy Father encouraging folks to go to confession, YFC? To confess non-sins?

        • He never said that he was a follower of the Holy Catholic Church… so how is he a hypocrite?

      • Anonymous says:

        The Pope should excommunicate you for making the Church look bad?
        I guess you have not been taught what excommunication is, or why it is done.
        Stop projecting things onto people.
        You don’t have to demonize people. You don’t have to attribute motivations and personality characteristics to people.
        I think your school should have a course in non-violent communication.

        • Of course that class would be an elective that no one would go to. We have the right of speech, 1st amendment in the U.S. Constitution. Of course that does not relate to the Bible and Catholic teachings, it does relate our modern being. I know most of the people debating with us students are adults, probably with more knowledge than us, because we are only teenagers (unless super smart advanced students), but we are courageous, we have no fear to stand up for the beliefs that we have, whether they are from a catholic student’s point of view, or an atheist’s.

    • Hugh James says:

      I could not disagree more. The students responses are thoughtful and articulate, and coming to the defense of their teacher is admirable.

      Frankly, the kinds of attitudes coming from the adults here are the reason large numbers of people from my generation left the Church, and not for other faiths, generally, but to disavow religion entirely. Reading their responses is inspiring.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is the point.
        If people leave the Church because they don’t accept the teachings of the Catholic Church, they have free will. They can do that.
        The concern here is that the teachings of the Catholic Church are mis-represented or watered down or just not taught to make them more acceptable and people accept the Catholic Faith thinking it is something it is not. There is no new improved Catholic Church. It is the same Church founded on the Apostles by Jesus Christ.
        A lot of people leave the Church because they don’t like something. Jesus Christ is present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in Catholic tabernacles. The Catholic Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary made present. That is a lot to leave.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          True, you phrase it very well, when you say “it is a lot to leave”. We who are gay choose not to leave it.

          But those who would cast asunder those who want to “stay”, have an additional burden, a completely solemn burden, to not cast asunder those who would approach that altar.

          Those of us who are gay often experience those of you who lay a claim to that altar as casting us aside without so much as a hearing. You cast us aside as though we are chaff. As though we are dispensable.

          Yet WE know that Christ himself welcomes us, encourages us, brings us in. All are called to the altar. We are all welcome to the mercy of Christ Jesus who offers himself for EACH of us.

          • Ann Malley says:

            YFC, you seem to come from the belief that SSA is the only temptation under the sun that is castigated. Would it be horrible in your mind if Catholics spoke out against a heterosexual woman who brought her two love-slaves to the altar. Neither of them are her husband, but hey, unwed menage a trois shouldn’t be judged. All are called. Kids could ask questions and we should just smile and say it’s love.

            Christ Himself does welcome and encourage, but we have to correspond. That is put on the garment of Grace, not just crash the wedding as is.

        • At public schools, they are not taught any religious curriculum, but there are still many Catholics there. How do they know the truth about Catholicism? Probably from their own church. Everyone who practices Catholicism is most likely a member of a Catholic church, meaning that the Catholic students at Priory attend their own Catholic church. With that being said, even if the school is misrepresenting Catholicism, which you have no proof that it is, they probably still learn it at their church. If they aren’t Catholic, then let them be and don’t force religion on them (I am not accusing you of this, I’m just saying).

  59. Anonymous says:

    When I read the responses to this article I can barely hold back laughter. Between the ignorant indefatigable Catholic reprobates and the overreacting hypercritical biased students of the Priory, there seems to a complete absence of logical analysis of the article as well as impartial discussion of the topic. While I hold a viewpoint in regards to the issue I will put it aside in order to give an unprejudiced interpretation. The article itself is merely factual with less biases than the comments below it. While I understand that the students of the Priory are trying to protect a member of the community, coming across as naive children will not only be unproductive, but it will be detrimental to their argument. The obnoxious Catholic advocates are just as ridiculous as the students. Being extremely religiously literal in regards to a book over 2000 years old is not reasonable. It is widely accepted among Catholics that the significance of the Bible is not its literal text, but the ideas surrounding it. Using your logic and the passage from Leviticus 24:16, if any person speaks the name of the Lord, they must be stoned to death by their community. This passage among hundreds shows that the Bible is not meant to be taken literally. In conclusion, both the students of the Priory as well as the Catholics who commented need to think critically in order to make any progress or understand the issue itself.

    • Anonymous says:

      No one knows the Name of the Lord. It is unpronounceable. We do know the name of Jesus Christ, who is Lord and we are allowed to speak it. The Holy Name of Jesus has power over unclean spirits.
      It is true that one cannot take every sentence of the Bible out of context extremely literally. One must always listen to the Church. The Holy Spirit is the interpreter of Scripture and the guide of the Catholic Church.

  60. Neither the Nun nor any of the students have stated that they use as a required text the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition” for juniors and seniors.

    On the net see: “What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE”

  61. JoAnn Catholic says:

    First–who is the writer “anonymous”? And what is their address? We should be able to write them. Second Jesus wandered in the dessert for 10 years with 12 men–just sayin’. Third I was raised Catholic and I have been more than horrified by the tolerance of this church to support pedophile Priests and my church donations going to pay off the billions of dollars these Priests have cost the church. How can any of you comment on the church and sexual conduct without acknowledging how much the church has harbored pedophiles. How hypocritical. This man is an adult in an adult relationship–all parents at the Priory should breathe a sigh of relief.

    • I believe some “Anonymous” people are students that do not want to reveal their name. i know i used the name “Anonymous” once, before switching to my nickname Rayn so some people won’t google me. Also some students want to be smart online and not give out their emails to strangers, and especially the people who are criticizing one of the best teachers in the world. So Anonymous may be one person, or many people accidentally using the same pseudonym

    • sandrad says:

      you are lost JoAnn–really–Jesus wandered in the dessert for 10 years with 12 men? That statement is wrong as is the rest of your spew.

    • Matthew Chipman says:

      I personally experienced such pedophilia. Thankfully I was strong enough to ward off advances that DID find purchase with other boys in my school. One of the more striking cases of hypocrisy that can be found is the shuttling of sexually perverted priests from precinct to precinct…

    • Ann Malley says:

      JoAnn “Not Catholic” writes:

      “… Second Jesus wandered in the dessert for 10 years with 12 men–just sayin’.”

      What is your agenda? And what do you constitute as ‘being raised Catholic?’

  62. Janey Ward says:

    I am so proud to be part of a community that stands up to Gay Bashing!!!!!!!!!!
    We had an incident that proved I am sharing my life with the right people. Thank you for this lesson in tolerance. May the people of this world evolve to love each other unconditionally!

    • Ann Malley says:

      I’m sorry if posts on CCD have led you to believe that anyone is out to attack Mr. Nelson as a person. As for loving unconditionally, love does not mean always agreeing or accepting those behaviors that will harm the beloved.

      Loving someone is often intensely painful as we watch those we care about go down roads we know from experience and/or Faith lead to bad places. Speaking up is what’s required, even when others try to label it as ‘gay bashing’ to garner popular opinion to drown out any attempt at a warning.

  63. Matthew Chipman says:

    One of the more refreshing aspects of leaving the States for more than a vacation is to witness the day-to-day workings of other cultures (note how I stress “more than a vacation” or a resort holiday packed with facebook photo-ops of you “conquering” a mtn peak or “savoring” a cultural experience). Here in Thailand (and Cambodia from what I’ve seen), Buddhist philosophy is so deeply entrenched that gays, transvestites, or anyone sexually ambivalent are easily woven into society and accepted as who they are. Tolerance is more than a buzzword here–it is the WAY of LIFE. Live and let live, for when it comes right down to it, sexuality is both biological and social, and if our genes were designed by God and we are all God’s children, then sexual diversity and choice is a God-given dictum (no pun intended).

    • This is OK if you do not believe in Christ, or the Catholic Church.

      Teaching that there s no right or wrong is called ‘relativism’.

      Any school, university or other organization that publically advertises itself as “Catholic” should adhere to and teach the Catholic Faith. Just as a Lutheran school should teach according to the Lutheran Faith, Muslims according to the Muslim Faith, etc., etc., etc.
      If they don’t, we should all agree that they are committing FRAUD.
      False advertising is fraud.


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