San Francisco, Calif., Mar 22, 2006 / 22:00 pm
The City of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors issued a statement Tuesday, calling on the Vatican to change its directive against gay adoptions and urging the new archbishop of San Francisco, Archbishop George Niederauer, to defy the Vatican.
"It is an insult to all San Franciscans when a foreign country, like the Vatican, meddles with and attempts to negatively influence this great city's existing and established customs and traditions, such as the right of same-sex couples to adopt and care for children in need,” stated the nonbonding resolution, which was passed unanimously.
The Archdiocese of San Francisco has indicated that it will comply with the Vatican, but Catholic Charities of San Francisco’s executive director said Tuesday that the agency’s policies and procedures have not changed, reported the San Francisco Chronicle. Since 2000, the agency has placed only five children with same-sex couples.
In their resolution, the city’s elected officials called a 2003 Vatican document that addressed same-sex unions and gay adoptions "hateful and discriminatory rhetoric (that) is both insulting and callous, and shows a level of insensitivity and ignorance which has seldom been encountered by this Board of Supervisors,” reported the Chronicle.
The supervisors called Archbishop William Levada, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who reminded Catholics last week of the Vatican’s position against gay adoptions, a decidedly unqualified representative of his former home city and of the people of San Francisco and the values they hold dear.”
Supervisor Tom Ammiano, a gay Catholic, parent and grandparent who wrote the resolution, told the Chronicle that he believes Catholic Charities appears to be trying to find a creative solution to the situation.
At the same time, some fear a conflict of interests as Catholic Charities newly-hired director of programs is an openly gay man who has an adopted child together with his partner.
City Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, a married Catholic, said he believes the Church “made a mistake” in its position and voting for the resolution was the right thing to do.