By Terry Vanderheyden

BOSTON, February 20, 2006 ( – Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and a top government leader have told a group of bishops that their request that Catholic institutions be exempt from placing foster children with same-sex parents will be denied.

“My understanding is that any exemption would require legislation and would not be something I would be authorized to do on a personal basis,” Romney said, according to a Boston Globe report. He has in the past indicated that he is opposed to same-sex “marriage.”

House chairman of the joint committee on the judiciary, Eugene O’Flaherty, said he opposes the Bishop’s request. He claimed there is little support among legislators for the move, insisting that lawmakers already have more than enough work to do. “This is a very divisive issue that I don’t see making it onto the agenda for debate,” O’Flaherty stated. “We have enough on our plate already. I would say there would not be an appetite to entertain that,” he added.

In compliance with the commonwealth’s so-called antidiscrimination laws, the Catholic adoption agency, Catholic Charities of Boston, has already placed children with same-sex couples over the past 20 years.

The bishops’ request was in stark contrast to the wishes of the agency itself, which voted unanimously in December to uphold the practice of placing children in homosexual homes.

Board members expressed “shock” to learn that a potential legal challenge of the antidiscrimination law from the bishop’s would be paid for from the budget of the agency. “I’m shocked,” said board member Donna DePrisco. “I find it hard to believe.” In what may appear to be an ulterior motive on the part of the bishop’s group, one anonymous board member said many on the board would resign if the bishop’s go ahead with their plan.

Catholic Charities of Boston said it has placed 13 of 720 adopted children with same-sex couples in the past 20 years.

Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, Vatican head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, told Fides news service in May that allowing same sex couples to adopt children, “would destroy the child’s future, it would be an act of moral violence against the child.”

See related coverage:
Top Vatican Cardinal: Gay Marriage is “A Crime Which represents the Destruction of the World”
Experts Worldwide Find Gay Adoption Harmful for Children
Scot Cardinal: Gay Adoption Makes Children “Guinea Pigs in Some Distorted Social Experiment”

Contact the archdiocese:

Contact Catholic Charities Greater Boston:
Labouré Center
275 West Broadway
South Boston, MA 02127
P: 617.268.9670
F: 617.268.3088
e-mail: [email protected]