Boston Archdiocese Retreats from School’s Rejection of Lesbian Guardians

The Archdiocese of Boston has said that it will help find a Catholic school for the ward of two lesbian parents, whose boy was rejected from a Catholic school after school administrators discovered that they were lesbian.

The ward of the lesbian guardians had been admitted to St. Paul’s elementary school, but the acceptance was withdrawn after the lesbians’ relationship was discovered.

One of the boy’s guardians told the AP that they knew the Church opposed homosexual relationships, but both wrote their names on the admission forms anyway. “We weren’t hiding,” she said.

The case mirrors the March refusal of a Boulder, Colorado school to allow a child with lesbian guardians to re-enroll in kindergarten; in the former case, however, the diocese supported rather than distanced itself from the local school’s decision.

“We want kids to come to Catholic schools,” said archdiocesan spokesman Terry Donilon, who told the Boston Globe that the archdiocese does not prohibit homosexual couples from enrolling children in Catholic schools.

Fr. James Rafferty, pastor of St. Paul’s church, and Cynthia Duggan, the school’s principal, had not responded to LifeSiteNews’ attempts to contact them at press time.

Catholics United, a left-leaning lobbying that actively promoted the health reform bill, gathered more than 2,500 signatures asking Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley to ensure all children are allowed to enter Catholic schools.

On Thursday evening, Dr. Mary Grassa O’Neill, the Archdiocesan Secretary for Education and Superintendent of Catholic schools, released a statement saying that “every parent who wishes to send their child to a Catholic school should have the opportunity to pursue that dream.”

“The Archdiocese does not prohibit children of same sex parents from attending Catholic schools,” she continued. “We will work in the coming weeks to develop a policy to eliminate any misunderstandings in the future.”

O’Neill has offered to help enroll the child in another Catholic school in the Archdiocese; the child’s guardian, O’Neill said, was appreciative of and open to the suggestion.

The reaction is far different from that of Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput after the parish school of Sacred Heart Church in Boulder told a lesbian couple that their two children would not be allowed to re-enroll for the same reason.

“Most parents who send their children to Catholic schools want an environment where the Catholic faith is fully taught and practiced,” said Chaput. “That simply can’t be done if teachers need to worry about wounding the feelings of their students or about alienating students from their parents.”

“That isn’t fair to anyone—including the wider school community.”

Because the parents reject or fail to respect the Church’s teachings, he explained, the situation puts “unfair stress on the children, who find themselves caught in the middle, and on their teachers, who have an obligation to teach the authentic faith of the Church.”

See related stories on

Boulder School Refuses Entry to Child in Care of Lesbian ‘Couple’

Abp Chaput Weighs In Catholic School’s Battle with Lesbian Couple

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  • I respect Abp. Chaput’s impeccable judgment but my inclination is to say that we have to witness to these kids and the schools need to find a way to do it.

  • This is a matter of prudential judgment, and both decisions have their merits. But I think that if such children are to attend, you want them to attend a school where the faculty are very sensitive and can teach these doctrines with great love. Doing so is made far more difficult with these children present.

  • Kathryn

    I would wager that a large chunk of the heterosexual parents who are sending their kids to parochial school are using contraception or are sterilzed, but no one seems to be complaining about that, or refusing to allow entry of their children (the ones not contracepted away) into the Catholic School system. It would not surprise me if many of the teachers were using it as well.

    So I don’t see how one can rightfully exclude the children of lesbian or homosexual couples (or children from polygamous marriage…it’s coming, don’t worry.)

    If the Church wants to stop this nonsense, they have to come down on everybody, not selected groups.

  • kirbys

    And the Church and local parish determines that couples contracept by…???!!! The Church is proposing the truth. The assumption ought to be that parents are living their lives in good faith; should there be a quiz or something? ALso, with a mother and father, there is always a chance at reconciliation–whether divorced or separated, or contraceptive–there is no union between two women to reconcile.

    By openly declaring that they were a “couple” by writing both of their names down on the parent form, the women involved were daring the school/Archdiocese to do something. That untruth–a woman can NOT be a father-could have been caught at the beginning of the enrollment process and perhaps spared a lot of grief. That could have been a time of witness and explanation, too–it is a shame that the charitable explanation did not start then.

    In my neighborhood, there is a house with two women and children–I have no idea if they are lesbians or not. If I were a single mother, it would make sense to me to live with another single mother and help each other out financially, etc. THough some in the neighborhood “KNOW” (wink, wink), we have never asked, and they have never volunteered any info. It’s not our business, and we think the best. THis was NOT the case in these instances.

    If there was a couple who not only contracepted, but were extreme pro-artificial contraceptive activists in the community, the school would have the right to say no. If the parents were abortionists, same thing. There have been a few instances where some schools have bravely asked teachers to leave if they were openly defying Church teachings. Why should the other parents have to explain to their 5 year old about “two mommies?”

    I agree with Prairie Hawk, that these children should be ministered to somehow, but that is the case with all the rest of the children who are not Catholics in this country,too. These women seem to be obstinate in their lifestyle at this point and they need a conversion–through prayer, fasting, a good witness. SO do the contracepting parents–but many of them really do not know the fullness of living their life in the teachings of the faith, and it is our job to pray, fast, and witness to them that joy. 🙂

  • kirbys
  • Kathryn

    I suppose it would be hard to know if a couple is contracepting. We have a small family compared to a lot of other non-contracepting families I know, so it certainly looks like we’ve done what most others have done, which is to have ourselves sterilzed. But we haven’t. And it is possible a much larger family resorts to barrier methods every so often.

    I speak as a convert. The Church’s teaching on it’s “Family life issues” really only make sense when one steps back and sees the ENTIRE

  • Kathryn

    Oops, wasn’t done there.

    entire picture. “Family Life” is a package deal.

    The Church (heirarchy and laity) cannot have it both ways: if they choose to ignore marital contraception, sooner or later they will have to deal with fornication, abortion, divorce/remarriage, homosexaul behavior/marriage/adoption and polygamy/polyandry…and having the children of those parents wanting to send their children to the local Catholic School, either due to the quality educational experience or else to score political points.

    I don’t suggest making heterosexual parents take a blood test to determine contraceptive use, or make medical records available. I do suggest the local parishes start the process of making it crystal clear that contraception is sinful, and not simply sinful but “intrinsically evil and vicious” (as noted in Castii canubii).

    If the laity want holy priests, nuns to teach at “for free,” and a world where they don’t have to explain to their 5 year old why his new school mate has “two mommies,” then they have to avoid certain destructive behaviors.

  • wgsullivan

    Difference between two intrinsic evils is that a married couple contracepting can reverse their decision (whether sterilized or via other methods) and receive reconciliation through the Church. A gay couple can not remain as a couple and can never be reconciled to His Church as a couple.
    We’re talking apples and oranges when comparing gay issues with contraception.

  • wgsullivan

    Difference between two intrinsic evils is that a married couple contracepting can reverse their decision (whether sterilized or via other methods) and receive reconciliation through the Church. A gay couple can not remain as a couple and can never be reconciled to His Church as a couple.
    We’re talking apples and oranges when comparing gay issues with contraception.
    It also drives me crazy when we misuse very important words concerning these problems. Gay couples cannot have “their kids”. The couple cannot apply to a school on behalf of “their kids”. The two cannot become one.

  • plowshare

    Another difference will come to light when the “parents” attend PTA meetings, and also Open House in school, when almost all the children in the class actually see the “parents”. The use of contraception is not something open to view on such occasions.

  • Kathryn

    So…we just ignore the secret sin of contraception and hope we don’t have to worry about all the negative consequences we face, in what it does to the individual families and then spreading out to society at large? I am not sure that will work in the long run.

    Jesus does not exactly say to ignore another’s sin (Matt 7), but first to take the beam from our eyes.

    And I suggest we have to do just that. I’m dealing with reality here, not what people would wish. The Church has been protesting homosexual behavior and “marriage” quite a bit recently, but the homosexual activity continues and there is a lot of sympathy for it in the mainstream media. There is a lot of sexual perversion out there. I would not be comforted by the push to codify the illegality of “homosexual marriage.” Who would have thought we would even be discussing this seriously 20 years ago? Maybe even 10? And here we are.

    Interestingly enough, Boston appears to have capitulated and is allowing the child of the lesbian “parents” into the school system.