Compare and Contrast
Another child of lesbian parents, another rejection from a Catholic school. But a different archdiocese — Boston, this time, rather than Denver, where Archbishop Chaput supported the pastor in rejecting the child of a lesbian couple, as discussed here.
In Boston, Cardinal O’Malley and his staff took a different approach, affirming that their schools would welcome any child. The archdiocese did not force the pastor of the Hingham parochial school to reverse himself, though it seems unlikely the parents would have wanted their third-grade son to return there.
I wrote up the saga at PoliticsDaily. An excerpt:
One of the mothers, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of concerns about the effect of publicity on her son, said she and her partner had planned to send the boy to third grade at St. Paul Elementary School in the fall.
But she said that in a conference call with the priest, Father James Rafferty, and the school principal, Cynthia Duggan, Rafferty told her that her relationship was “was in discord with the teachings of the Catholic Church.” Duggan told her teachers would be in an awkward position by having to answer student questions about the boy’s two mommies.
“I’m accustomed to discrimination, I suppose, at my age and my experience as a gay woman,” the mother told the AP. “But I didn’t expect it against my child.”
The decision by Rafferty and Duggan also seemed to take the Archdiocese of Boston by surprise. A spokesman for Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley and other church officials said there is no policy barring the children of gay parents from Catholic schools.
“The Archdiocese does not prohibit children of same sex parents from attending Catholic schools,” Mary Grassa O’Neill, secretary for education and superintendent of schools for the archdiocese, said in a statement on Thursday. “We will work in the coming weeks to develop a policy to eliminate any misunderstandings in the future,”
O’Neill added that Catholic schools “welcome children based on their parent’s understanding that the teachings of the Church are an important component of the curriculum and are part of the students’ educational experience.” As long as they understand that, they are free to enroll their children.
On Thursday, O’Neill contacted the student’s parent and “expressed my concern for the welfare of her child” and offered to help her find a place for the youngster in another Catholic school. The mother said she would consider the possibility.
Read the rest here.