After the pro-Obama group Catholics United started an email petition to put pressure on Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley to allow the enrollment of a lesbian couple's adopted child in one of Boston's Catholic schools, archdiocesan officials said they never received it.
Catholics United launched the petition after a Catholic elementary school in Hingham, Mass. decided to withdraw the acceptance of an 8-year-old boy's enrollment when the principal and pastor learned the child's parents were a lesbian couple. Catholics United reported collecting 5,000 electronic signatures in their petition drive.
Authorities at St. Paul Elementary School explained that the decision was aimed at protecting the boy, since the teachings of the Church on same-sex marriage are at odds with the lesbian couple's lifestyle.
Catholics United reportedly took issue with the school's decision and, citing discrimination, composed a letter to the archdiocese that they then urged their supporters to sign. At the time of the letter, Cardinal Sean O'Malley had not yet responded to the situation because he was overseas in Fatima, Portugal.
“We still have an opportunity to put a stop to this,” the statement read. “Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley has yet to take a position on the school's action. If he hears from enough of us, we think he could be convinced to do the right thing and reverse the decision.”
“Discrimination has no place in our nation's Catholic schools,” the letter added. “Help us send a message that every child is worthy of a Catholic education, regardless of his or her family composition.”
The Boston Archdiocesan paper The Pilot reported on Friday that although Catholics United organizer James Salt said his group's 42,000 members had collected nearly 5,000 electronic signatures, officials from the archdiocese had not yet received them.
On May 19, Cardinal O'Malley issued a statement citing his support for the priest who made the initial decision to cancel admission to the child, and addressed the need for the Boston archdiocese to begin working towards establishing clearer archdiocesan school guidelines on admission to children of same-sex couples.