Catholics fight move to deny schooling to children of lesbians, gays
Progressive Catholic groups decried recently the decision of a Catholic school in Massachusetts to deny the readmission of an 8-year-old student because they learned that his parents are lesbians, according to CNN.
The child had been accepted to
, Massachusetts for the fall, but afterwards was told that he could not enroll because of his parents’ sexuality.
Patrick Whelan, president of Catholic Democrats, issued a statement saying that the action of the school is “antithetical to notions of Christian charity and Catholic social justice,” CNN reported.
The Catholic Democrats was joined in by other liberal Catholic and gay groups with similar sentiments. Boston’s moneyed and powerful Catholic laity joined in, causing Boston’s archdiocese to back down, according to the Boston Herald.
According to the Boston Herald, the Catholic Schools Foundation, Boston’s biggest scholarship provider, sent notice to other Catholic schools that scholarship money would be denied to schools that showed discrimination similar to that of Hingham.
Also, power broker Jack Connors, who had secured some $2 million more (from EMC and Liberty Mutual) for his $60 million Campaign for Catholic Schools, expressed dismay at Hingham’s move and said it was “embarrassing” the Boston Herald reported.
Progressive Catholic activists expressed hope that the Archdiocese of Boston, which includes the Hingham school, would set a precedent for how the American church treats students with gay parents, CNN reported.
This would contrast a move last March by the Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado, which supported a Catholic school’s decision in Boulder to block two students with gay parents from re-enrolling, according to CNN.
When asked to comment on the matter, Conservative Catholic activist Deal Hudson said, “I don’t really have a strong opinion on this one. It’s a matter of the individual bishop’s discretion,” CNN reported.
O’Malley has not publicly commented, but Mary Grassa O’ Neill, secretary of the Boston Archdiocese for education said, “The archdiocese does not prohibit children of same-sex parents from attending Catholic schools. We will work in the coming weeks to develop a policy to eliminate any misunderstandings in the future,” according to CNN
O’Neill said the Boston Archdiocese met with one of the child’s parents on Thursday and offered to help enroll the child in another Catholic school within the archdiocese. The parents have insisted on anonymity for them and their son, the CNN said.