In a few weeks Clinton teen Keaton Fuller will receive a $40,000 scholarship for work he’s done promoting tolerance at his Catholic high school – but now the church standing in the way.
“I’ve helped our school come a long way, and there’s still a longer way to go,” says Fuller.
Fuller can keep the money, but Bishop Martin Amos will not allow the Matthew Shepard Foundation to present Fuller with their scholarship, saying the Foundation’s teachings contradict the Catholic Church.
“They’ve instilled these values in me, of respect and dignity for all people because everybody’s created equal and then I’m not treated equally,” adds Fuller.
You may be surprised to hear it, but Keaton Fuller has a lot in common with Sister Mary Rehmann. This openly gay teen and this congregation leader both find themselves at odds with Catholic leadership.
“For example with regard to ordination of women that’s not even to be discussed. That’s not something I can concur with,” say Rehmann.
Last month Sister Mary and about 55,000 other nuns were told by the Vatican their group the Leadership Conference of Women Religious was essentially out of line on issues like, women’s ordination, birth control, and Affordable Healthcare Act.
“What’s going on with all of this? Well… change is a struggle,” laughs Rehmann.
Sister Mary’s convinced change will come for her nuns, and for others like Keaton Fuller, it just may not happen as quickly as some would like.
“It’s a long process from Rome for example, it’s going to be a long time coming.”