.- The Archdiocese of Boston countered the decision of a local Catholic elementary school that denied admission to the 8-year-old child of a lesbian couple. Although the elementary school acted on the grounds that the parents' relationship is in âdiscordâ with Church teachings, the Archdiocese of Boston, in the absence of Cardinal Sean O'Malley, said on Thursday that the archdiocese âdoes not prohibit children of same sex parents from attending Catholic schools,â and that it would help the couple find another Catholic school for their child.
On Monday, one of the child's parents, who remained anonymous, told the Associated Press that St. Paul Elementary school in Hingham, Mass. rescinded her son's application to attend third grade in the fall. Principal Cynthia Duggen and parish priest Fr. James Rafferty told the woman during a conference call that the boy could not attend as the parents' relationship âwas in discord with the teachings of the Catholic Churchâ which state that marriage can only take place between one man and one woman.
However, in a statement on Thursday, Dr. Mary Grassa O'Neill, superintendent of Catholic schools in Boston, countered St. Paul's decision, saying that the âArchdiocese does not prohibit children of same sex parents from attending Catholic schools.â
âWe will work in the coming weeks to develop a policy to eliminate any misunderstandings in the future,â she noted.
The archdiocesan decision was reportedly made during the absence of Cardinal Sean O'Malley, who this week was in Fatima, Portugal for the Holy Father's apostolic visit.
âThe Archdiocese of Boston is committed to providing quality Catholic education, grounded in academic excellence and the teachings of the Catholic Church, to the students at all of our schools,â O'Neill continued.
âWe believe that every parent who wishes to send their child to a Catholic school should have the opportunity to pursue that dream,â she added. âOur schools welcome children based on their parentâs understanding that the teachings of the Church are an important component of the curriculum and are part of the studentsâ educational experience.â
âSince the issue involving St. Paul School in Hingham was brought to our attention on Tuesday of this week, we have met with the pastor and principal to learn more about their decision,â O'Neill explained. âEarlier today I contacted the studentâs parent and expressed my concern for the welfare of her child.
âI offered to help enroll her child in another Catholic school in the Archdiocese,â the superintendent added. âShe was gracious and appreciative of the suggestion and indicated that she would look forward to considering some other Catholic schools that would welcome her child for the next academic year.â
âAcademic rigor, faith formation, Gospel values, strong character development, respect, and support are hallmarks of our schools,â O'Neill concluded.