by Hilary White

SAN FRANCISCO, March 10, 2006 ( – Archbishop William Levada, the current Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has announced that no bishop should allow homosexual partners to adopt children through their charitable agencies.

The statement was sent in an email to the Archdiocese of San Francisco Catholic Charities citing recent documents from the CDF published under then-Cardinal Ratzinger. “Catholic agencies should not place children for adoption in homosexual households,” Levada wrote.

“The reasons given in the document, as well as the potential scandal for the faithful should an archdiocesan agency act contrary to the clear teaching of the church’s magisterium, require that a Catholic bishop follow this clear guidance from the Holy See in his oversight of Catholic diocesan agencies,” he wrote.

The Archdiocese, of which Levada was recently Archbishop, has responded that it would ‘review’ Levada’s “request.”

Levada admitted that while he was archbishop, to his knowledge, three children were allowed to be adopted by homosexuals. He cited “prudential judgments” about the needs of the children, Catholic teaching and the ‘mission of the agency” in those cases, saying the children had been “difficult to place”.

Just hours before the email arrived from Levada, the director of SF Catholic Charities, Brian Cahill, had told the Boston Globe that the San Francisco Archdiocese had no problem allowing homosexual partners to adopt children. He said that in the past five years, of the 136 children adopted through his agency, five were placed with gay or lesbian parents.

Cahill said he was aware of the Vatican pronouncement but believed that the gay adoptions were appropriate, given the agency’s religious mission to “serve the needs of vulnerable children.”

The announcement from Levada coincides with an announcement by Boston Catholic Charities that it will no longer be involved in adopting children. The state law of Massachusetts requires homosexuals be allowed to adopt children, a position that is directly at odds with Catholic teaching. The Massachusetts Bishops’ Conference was attempting to obtain a legal exception to the law, but the announcement from Boston Catholic Charities said the differences between Catholic teaching and the new values espoused in Massachusetts highly secularized society are “insoluble”.

The members who resigned were Geri Denterlein, president of Denterlein Worldwide Public Affairs (who openly stated she supports gay marriage), Donna Gittens, chief executive officer, Causemedia; Paul LaCamera, general manager, the WBUR group; Brian Leary, partner, Gadsby Hannah; Peter Meade, executive vice president, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; Colette Phillips, president and CEO, Colette Phillips Communications; Micho Spring, chairman, Weber Shandwick New England.