The Catholic Church (and Catholic schools, in general, it seems) have been drawing ire after banning a 9-year-old girl from participating in her Holy Communion ceremony when she refused to wear a dress or skirt.
Cady Mansell, a 9-year-old living in Crown Point, Indiana, recently drew headlines when her mother posted on the Pantsuit Nation Facebook page saying her daughter would not be allowed to attend her Holy Communion if she wore the outfit she had planned— a snazzy, all-white suit.
Chris Mansell, Cady’s mother makes it very clear to the Washington Post that Cady’s fashion choices are not a matter of gender confusion.
Yes, the 9-year-old has short hair, but that’s because she has grown it out and donated it to cancer— twice. Most recently, she raised roughly $6,000 after pledging to shave her head. She also won a giant medal in return.
By all accounts, Cady loves fashion, painting her nails, and Chicago-based shopping trips with her mother. She has had a fondness for stylish suits since she discovered bow ties at the age of 4. So, when she told her family she wanted to wear a suit (like she had worn at previous school events), her parents weren’t concerned or surprised.
When the school got wind of the little girl’s upcoming fashion plans, however, they decided to ban her from attending the Communion all together, saying the outfit went against its dress code. Sammie Maletta, priest of the St. John the Evangelist church, also agreed, telling Chris that Cady could have the sacrament done in private— but if she refused to wear a dress or skirt, she would not be allowed to participate with her class.
Chris Mansell tells the Washington Post that this was unacceptable to her: “We would have to wait until all the kids left the building, then come in like a secret. No picture, no anything, like we were ashamed of her. I said, ‘That’s not an option.’”
Neither the school nor the Mansell family would budge on the issue, and the family has since enrolled Cady in a different school.
In an interview with Heavy, Chris explains, “The choice to fight for the suit came when I asked the Director of Religious Education, the person who was sent by the priest to speak with me, if another girl violated the dress code by having a sleeveless dress (I know most of Cady’s classmates DID plan on wearing sleeveless dresses), would that female student be forbidden to participate in the First Communion?
“The answer was NO.”
The Mansell family seems to be receiving quite a bit of support from the online community.
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Source: Pantsuit Nation- Public