Boston Archdiocese adopts policy that may end discrimination against kids with gay parents (or not)

Posted on 16 Jan 2011 at 12:14am

Seriously, the Archdiocese of Boston is the last institution that should want attention for how its treating children, given its prominent role in the child rape scandal. But, after a Hingham, Mass. Catholic school wouldn’t admit an 8-year old kid with gay parents, the Catholic leaders in Boston were once again thrust into the spotlight over how they were treating children. A new policy has been announced:

The Archdiocese of Boston, under fire from all sides after a parochial school withdrew an admissions offer to the child of a lesbian couple, yesterday released a new Catholic schools admissions policy that said parochial schools will not “discriminate against or exclude any categories of students.’’

However, the policy, which was distributed to pastors, parishes, and school administrators by e-mail, said school parents “must accept and understand that the teachings of the Catholic Church are an essential and required part of the curriculum.’’

Now, it’s unclear if that new policy would actually block the expulsion of kids with gay parents. And, one wonders if it means that kids would have to listen to their teachers rail against gay marriage and gay parenting.

In fact, it’s possible that the Hingham school could reach the same conclusion even under the new policy:

Because the new policy said admissions decisions should be based in part on “the best interest of the child,’’ it remains uncertain whether the Hingham episode would have occurred had the new policy been in place. The specifics of that case remain unclear because the pastor involved, the Rev. James F. Rafferty, has declined interviews.

“The situation at St. Paul’s in Hingham may have taken a different route, but it might have come to the same conclusion,’’ said the Rev. Richard M. Erikson, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Boston. “Father Rafferty still today has the authority to make these decisions as the pastor. But the expectations of the diocese and the guidance the diocese gives in those judgment calls is clearer today than it was then.’’

So, there you have it. The Catholic Church claims to be fixing a problem, but not exactly.




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