Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cardinal O'Malley Supports Pastor...Kind Of

Boston's Sean Cardinal O' Malley has come out in support of Father Rafferty of St. Paul's Church in Hingham, MA. From the blog of His Eminence:

"As you might know, St. Paul School in Hingham has been at the center of a matter that was widely reported on recently, involving a child of same sex parents who wanted their child to attend the school. One of the very unfortunate results of the public reporting on the issue was undue criticism of Father James Rafferty who is pastor at St. Paul Parish, and who I consider one of our finest pastors. He made a decision about the admission of the child to St. Paul School based on his pastoral concern for the child. I can attest personally that Father Rafferty would never exclude a child to sanction the child’s parents. After consulting with the school principal, exercising his rights as pastor, he made a decision based on an assessment of what he felt would be in the best interests of the child. I have great admiration for Fr. Rafferty; he has my full confidence and support.

While His Eminence supports Fr. Rafferty, he does not say, yet, that he will support Rafferty's decision:

In Boston we are beginning to formulate policies and practices to deal with these complex pastoral matters. In all of our decision making, our first concern is the welfare of the children involved. With that in mind, the essence of what we are looking at is the question of how do we make Catholic schools available to children who come from diverse, often unconventional households, while ensuring the moral theology and teachings of the Church are not compromised?"

The Cardinal also said this about the identical situation in Denver:

"The Archdiocese of Denver has formulated a policy that calls into question the appropriateness of admitting the children of same-sex couples. It is clear that all of their school policies are intended to foster the welfare of the children and fidelity to the mission of the Church. Their positions and rationale must be seriously considered."

His Excellency Archbishop Charles Chaput has shown himself to be a leader who will make a tough decision. Cardinal O'Malley made a similarly tough decision when he caused Catholic Charities of Boston to close their adoption service rather than be forced to place children in same-sex households. He is going to have to make a tough decision here, too. As we mentioned in our last post on this subject:

"The Catholic Schools Foundation, an independent funding group that provides $60 million in support for Boston's parochial schools, has announced that it will cut scholarship aid to any school that denies equal treatment for same-sex couples."

Years ago, some one asked Fr. Malloy what he would do in a similar situation. The question, and his response are here, about halfway down the post.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

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