Friday, May 21, 2010

Pastoral Shame

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston last week wrote in his blog that "the good of the child must always be our primary concern". Unfortunately, he was referring to the recent situation in South Shore town of Hingham, where a young boy was denied entrance into a Catholic elementary school there, because his parents are both female. Apparently, this fact is so untenable to the administration of the St. Paul's School in Hingham, that this dangerous child cannot be admitted into the school community.

The Cardinal supported the Father Rafferty, the parish priest, in his decision to exclude the child. He stresses was not made as a punitive decision, but was based on his pastoral concern for the child, and was in the child's best interests.

It's hard to imagine what this pastoral concern might stem from. Is the parish priest concerned that the child might be in some sort of danger from the other students if they learn this nine year old boy has two women for parents? I can't imagine that this child is the only one who has gay parents or family members. Or, that all the other parents of all the other children are strictly adherent to all Church prohibitions. Are they all against the death penalty? Do none of them practice birth control? Are none of them divorced? Or living with a partner without the benefit of marriage? Are they all even Catholic?

I find this whole episode just the latest in a long line of shameful and wholly un-Christian acts by the Archdiocese.

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