"Family Builders by Adoption" is a name familiar to Bay Area Catholics.
That article provoked this lengthy post.
From 2006: "In an adroit end-run against a Vatican ban on granting adoptions to same-sex couples, Catholic Charities of San Francisco will launch a new project in coming weeks that experts say will lead to the placement of hundreds of foster children around the state every year. . . Next month, the collaboration formally begins between Catholic Charities CYO and California Kids Connection, a statewide adoption exchange run by the Oakland-based nonprofit Family Builders by Adoption. . . . . '"
'When Catholic Charities first approached us, I was very hesitant. My organization has a long history of serving the gay, lesbian and transgender community. It was really ironic -- I had to make sure that our (!) integrity and values were not compromised.' -Jill Jacobs, Executive Director, Family Builders.
"There will be critics who say that kids will still be placed with same-sex couples,'' said (Brian) Cahill, (Executive Director, Catholic Charities CYO) who is planning "an aggressive recruitment'' of potential adoptive parents among the archdiocese's parishes. "That is true -- the largest potential number of adoptive parents in the foster care system are gay and lesbian couples. But this is what we are supposed to be doing. This is the work of the church."- Excerpts from "Catholic agency finds way out of adoption ban. Alliance with other groups gets around same-sex parent issue." San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, August 27, 2006. It should be mentioned that the Director of Services and Programs for Catholic Charities of San Francisco, Mr. Glenn Motola, also sits on the Board of Directors of Family Builders by Adoption.
The website "California Catholic Daily" followed up the May 21, 2007 story and the May 28 ad campaign, with a story of their own "An Act of Moral Violence" on May 28, 2007. Some excerpts:
"'I think Catholic Charities in San Francisco is very supportive of all our work, they're just restrained by church edicts," said Jill Jacobs, executive director of Family Builders.
Catholic Charities had no comment on the ad campaign, but praised Family Builders.
'We greatly admire the work of Family Builders by Adoption, and that is why we have partnered with them on the California Kids Connection Web site, to help find adoptive homes for the most vulnerable children in the foster care system,' stated Executive Director Brian Cahill in an e-mail….
The Archdiocese of San Francisco did not respond to requests for comment on the campaign.'"
This post is an attempt to chronicle how and why the Archdiocese of San Francisco found itself unable to comment on the city of San Francisco's aggressive push to have children adopted by homosexual couples.
The controversy over the Catholic Charities/CYO facilitating of adoptions by same-sex couples is only one in an ongoing series of events. Simple sustained attention shows that there has been a relentless advancing of a "gay" agenda in the Archdiocese. Each "compromise" made by the Archdiocese, no matter how well-intentioned, was in fact a retreat. Then the position retreated to became the new ground from which further "compromises" were demanded. The main protagonists in this are Catholic Charities, the University of San Francisco/the Jesuits, and a few Catholic parishes. A chronological sample:
On February 6, 1997, Archbishop William Levada grants domestic partnerships benefits to the gay employees of Catholic Charities. He does this in order to retain funding for Catholic Charities from the city of San Francisco. The Archbishop justifies this as part of a larger plan, one that will allow any non-married person to name another person with whom they live as a beneficiary. Since the Archbishop's generous plan was only announced after the threatened cancellation of funding, a reasonable person would conclude that the plan was developed as a response to the threat, not on its own merits. It is, in our opinion, a total cave-in to San Francisco's powerful gay lobby. San Francisco gay activist/Supervisor Tom Ammiano understands this perfectly well: "'I think this is a very positive step for the two entities -- the archdiocese and the city -- to try to coexist without devaluing each other's principles,'' Ammiano said." - SF Chronicle, 2/7/1997. Just how interested Supervisor Ammiano is in not "devaluing" the Church's principles will become evident in the years ahead.
"Gay Pride" in the Archdiocese:
Starting in the 1990s, things go on at Most Holy Redeemer Church in San Francisco that one would not normally expect in a Catholic Church... More than once, clergy and parishioners officially represent Most Holy Redeemer, with banners, t-shirts, and an official contingent, in San Francisco's "Gay Pride" parade. The video below shows the participation of Most Holy Redeemer Church and St. Agnes ' Church in the 2005 & 2006 parades.
We must warn you that parts of this video are obscene; nevertheless, we do not apologize for posting it.
Most Holy Redeemer will have a contingent at the parade again this year, on Sunday, June 24. Please follow this link to their webpage promoting the event.
One picture is worth 1,000 words (follow link) : Sunday Mass lets out at Most Holy Redeemer Church.
One picture is worth 1,000 words (follow link): Most Holy Redeemer Pastor and (at that time) Archdiocesan Chancellor Fr. Steven Meriwether blesses parishioners on their way to the 2006 "Gay Pride" parade.
St. Agnes Church in San Francisco, staffed by Jesuits, also has parishioners officially representing St. Agnes with an banner in the Gay Pride parade. Not only that, the Pastor himself, Fr. Cameron Ayers, attends the parade (see video link, above).
The University of San Francisco: Jesuit EducationOn February 12, 2006 the University of San Francisco's "Lesbian Bisexual Gay Transgender Caucus" sponsors a seminar hostile to the Church. The seminar is held at Most Holy Redeemer on February 12, 2006, and is entitled "Is it Ethical to be Catholic?" The University, a Jesuit Institution, funds this group. Information about the event, as well as a complete transcript, may be found here.
On March 26, 2006 the University of San Francisco’s LGBTQ Caucus sponsors a seminar at St. Agnes Parish: “Alienated Catholics: Establishing the Groundwork for Dialogue.” A sample:
“Thus, despite coming up against Magisterial teachings to the contrary, the alienation which homosexual catholics experience is not rooted in that which they believe to be intrinsic to Christian tradition itself, but rather, is associated with an erroneous interpretation of tradition imposed by the teaching authorities of the church. To put it plainly, we simply disagree with the church’s interpretation of Scripture and Tradition which we otherwise experience as affirming.” -Dr. Vincent A. Pizzuto, Assistant Professor Theology and Religious Studies, USF
In 2005 it is revealed that branches of "Catholic Charities," including those in Boston and San Francisco, have been facilitating the adoption of children by same-sex couples. In 2003, the Vatican had insisted such adoptions stop, but that order had been ignored. In 2005-6, the Archdiocese of Boston finally complies. By doing this, it loses funding from the state of Massachusetts. In early 2006, the Archdiocese of San Francisco also says it will comply.
On March 21, 2006, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors issue a non-binding resolution, authored by Supervisor Tom Ammiano. It reads, in part: "It is an insult to all San Franciscans when a foreign country, like the Vatican, meddles with and attempts to negatively influence this great city's existing and established customs and traditions, such as the right of same-sex couples to adopt and care for children in need." (Supervisors Slam Vatican on Adoptions; San Francisco Chronicle, March 22, 2006) The article continues: "'It appears that Catholic Charities is trying to find a creative solution such as that one [the domestic partners "compromise" of 1997] when it comes to adoptions', said Supervisor Tom Ammiano, a gay Catholic, parent and grandparent who wrote the resolution adopted Tuesday." Once again, Supervisor Ammiano proves to have an admirably clear understanding of the dynamic situation.
In 2006, San Francisco gets a new Archbishop, George Niederauer. He is now faced with a similar challenge to the one faced by Archbishop Levada back in 1997: either allow Catholic Charities to allow adoptions by same-sex couples, or Catholic Charities will lose city and state funding. His response is similar to Levada's. On August 3, 2006, the San Francisco Chronicle reports: "Catholic Charities plans to collaborate with both California Kids Connection, a network provided by the nonprofit Oakland-based Family Builders by Adoption, and the state Social Services department, which oversees the welfare of 82,000 foster children. Archbishop George Niederauer said that the new partnership would still allow children to be placed with gay and lesbian couples. 'That would be a decision that would be made by the adoption agency,' Niederauer said. 'We can no longer run an agency that makes those decisions.'"
In fact, Catholic Charities, an arm of the Archdiocese, will actually supply staffing to "Family Builders." And who are "Family Builders"? "We're about the gayest adoption agency in the country," Jill Jacobs, director of Family Builders by Adoption (which runs the network California Kids Connection), told the Bay Area Reporter, a homosexual newspaper. Jacobs confidently said that the new partnership poses no risk to its pro-homosexual policies since she had made it clear to Catholic Charities "who we were, and that in our own adoption program more than half the families we serve are LGBT families." -"A Distinction without a Difference", Catholic World Report. Again, it is probably worthy of mention that the Director of Services and Programs for Catholic Charities of San Francisco, Mr. Glenn Motola, also sits on the Board of Directors of Family Builders by Adoption.
On February 9, 2007, Archbishop Niederauer is interviewed on KCBS radio. Among other things, he comments on the adoptions "compromise": "… and I'm really very happy with the decision made by the Catholic Charities CEO, on that, was to work with the program on the Internet for finding homes for children, posting their pictures and being able to guide people who would be interested in this particular child to an adoption agency which could handle the situation." The transcript of the interview may be read here.
Beginning in October, 2006, Most Holy Redeemer Church begins hosting "Revival Bingo" on the first Thursday of the month in their basement hall. "Revival Bingo" is hosted by a group called the "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence." This group has been around for many years. Their chosen identity consists in the mockery of Catholic Sisters. The "Bingo" offers prizes such as spankings for the lucky winners. The November 2, 2006 bingo is MC'd by a person named "Peaches Christ," who claims to be a direct descendant of Jesus. The "Bingo" takes place in the same building that houses the Blessed Sacrament.
One Picture is worth 1,000 words (follow link): Fun on Bingo NightNews of this event sparked nationwide outrage among Catholics. Various Catholic blogs publicized this, and, as a result, the Archdiocese directs Most Holy Redeemer to discontinue the Bingo. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence issued a press release expressing "shock and surprise" at this: "The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence believe that our commitment to giving is in alignment with the philosophy of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which represents a cross-section of the San Francisco population. It is unfortunate and extremely disappointing that this appears not to be the case, and that our shared values cannot overcome our differences of opinion when it comes to how we serve the community."
MHR Goes Global:
On April 29, 2007, the BBC World Service airs a "Gay Service" from Most Holy Redeemer. A transcript can be read here. As this is on the BBC's website, it has worldwide circulation. The Archdiocese issues a statement saying it did not know of the event, and had not approved it.
And this brings us back to where we began, and what provoked this post:
On Monday, May 21, 2007 the San Francisco Chronicle runs a long story on same-sex adoptions:Excerpt: "Today, the San Francisco Department of Human Services is starting a campaign to recruit more people like the VanGundy's (two gay men) to adopt foster kids, especially teens, who are among the hardest to place. The agency sees gays and lesbians as an underutilized pool of potential parents. . . . Aiding San Francisco with its recruitment effort is Family Builders, an Oakland nonprofit adoption agency with which the city contracted to match parents with kids."
"The Archdiocese of San Francisco did not respond to requests for comment on the campaign."
If you'd like to share your feelings about this:
Archbishop Pietro Sambi
3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W,
Washington, DC, USA
Telephone: (202) 333-7121Fax: (202) 337-4036
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Piazza del S. Uffizio,
Telephone: 06.69.88.33.57 or 06.69.88.34.13 Fax: 06.69.88.34.09
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco
One Peter Yorke Way
San Francisco, CA 94109
Telephone: (415) 614-5500