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Prefect says Catholic agencies should not allow gay adoptions, San Francisco reconsiders policy

.- The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has said Catholic social service agencies should not place children with same-sex couples.

In light of this, the Archdiocese of San Francisco is currently reviewing its practice of permitting homosexuals and lesbians to adopt children through its local Catholic Charities.  

Maurice Healy, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said the decision to review the policy came after Archbishop William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that bishops must not permit children to be adopted by same-sex couples.

Healy contacted Archbishop Levada at the Vatican after a Boston Globe journalist asked him if the former archbishop of San Francisco had permitted gay adoptions and if the archdiocese would continue to do so after the bishops of Massachusetts decided to forbid them.

The bishops of Massachusetts cited Church teaching in their recent decision to no longer permit Catholic social service agencies to place children with same-sex couples. They said they planned to seek an exemption from state anti-discrimination policy.

In his e-mail response to Healy, Archbishop Levada acknowledged that Catholic Charities San Francisco had allowed three “difficult to place” children to be placed with same-sex couples during his 10-year tenure there. He explained these placements involved “prudential judgments” about the children’s needs, Church teaching, and the agency’s mission.

He added, however, that a 2003 Vatican document clearly indicates that “Catholic agencies should not place children for adoption in homosexual households.”

“The reasons given in the document, as well as the potential scandal for the faithful should an archdiocesan agency act contrary to the clear teaching of the Church's Magisterium, require that a Catholic bishop follow this clear guidance from the Holy See in his oversight of Catholic diocesan agencies,” he wrote.

Prior to receiving the archbishop’s e-mail, Healy had defended the practice of allowing gay adoptions in a Globe interview.


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