Friday May 14, 2010

Boston Archdiocese Retreats from School’s Rejection of Lesbian Guardians

By James Tillman

BOSTON, Massachusetts, May 14, 2010 ( — The Archdiocese of Boston has said that it will help find a Catholic school for the ward of two lesbian parents, whose boy was rejected from a Catholic school after school administrators discovered that they were lesbian.

The ward of the lesbian guardians had been admitted to St. Paul’s elementary school, but the acceptance was withdrawn after the lesbians’ relationship was discovered.

One of the boy’s guardians told the AP that they knew the Church opposed homosexual relationships, but both wrote their names on the admission forms anyway. “We weren’t hiding,” she said.

The case mirrors the March refusal of a Boulder, Colorado school to allow a child with lesbian guardians to re-enroll in kindergarten; in the former case, however, the diocese supported rather than distanced itself from the local school’s decision.

“We want kids to come to Catholic schools,” said archdiocesan spokesman Terry Donilon, who told the Boston Globe that the archdiocese does not prohibit homosexual couples from enrolling children in Catholic schools.

Fr. James Rafferty, pastor of St. Paul’s church, and Cynthia Duggan, the school’s principal, had not responded to LifeSiteNews’ attempts to contact them at press time.

Catholics United, a left-leaning lobbying that actively promoted the health reform bill, gathered more than 2,500 signatures asking Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley to ensure all children are allowed to enter Catholic schools.

On Thursday evening, Dr. Mary Grassa O’Neill, the Archdiocesan Secretary for Education and Superintendent of Catholic schools, released a statement saying that “every parent who wishes to send their child to a Catholic school should have the opportunity to pursue that dream.”

“The Archdiocese does not prohibit children of same sex parents from attending Catholic schools,” she continued. “We will work in the coming weeks to develop a policy to eliminate any misunderstandings in the future.”

O’Neill has offered to help enroll the child in another Catholic school in the Archdiocese; the child’s guardian, O’Neill said, was appreciative of and open to the suggestion.

The reaction is far different from that of Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput after the parish school of Sacred Heart Church in Boulder told a lesbian couple that their two children would not be allowed to re-enroll for the same reason.

“Most parents who send their children to Catholic schools want an environment where the Catholic faith is fully taught and practiced,” said Chaput. “That simply can’t be done if teachers need to worry about wounding the feelings of their students or about alienating students from their parents.”

“That isn’t fair to anyone—including the wider school community.”

Because the parents reject or fail to respect the Church’s teachings, he explained, the situation puts “unfair stress on the children, who find themselves caught in the middle, and on their teachers, who have an obligation to teach the authentic faith of the Church.”

See related stories on

Boulder School Refuses Entry to Child in Care of Lesbian ‘Couple’

Abp Chaput Weighs In Catholic School’s Battle with Lesbian Couple


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