Massachusetts Catholic Church in turmoil over adoption issue

Resignations follow bishops' request to be exempt from antidiscrimination law regarding adoptions by gays.

BY admin

March 03 2006 12:00 AM ET

In protest of the
Massachusetts Roman Catholic bishops' recent request to
not place adoptive children with gay parents, seven members
of the Catholic Charities Board resigned their
positions Wednesday.

“The
course the bishops have charted threatens the very essence
of our Christian mission,” the seven board
members wrote in a statement. “For the sake of
the poor we serve, we pray they will reconsider.”

The seven board
members described being “deeply troubled” by
the bishops' request, which asks that Catholic
Charities be exempt from a state law preventing groups
from refusing to place adoptive children with gay
parents; the request is supported by the state's
ultraconservative governor, Mitt Romney.

Romney met with
church leaders on Wednesday, saying religious beliefs
should trump antidiscrimination laws, though he admitted
that state law would have to be changed to fulfill
that wish. “Ultimately, legislation may need to
be filed to provide an exemption based on religious
principles,” Romney said in a statement.

The chairman and
president of the Catholic Charities Board, Jeff Kaneb
and the Reverend J. Bryan Hehir, released a statement saying
they were “saddened” by the board
members' decision to step down.

The Vatican's
labeling of adoptions by gays as “gravely
immoral” led the Massachusetts bishops on
Tuesday to declare that state law compromised their
religious beliefs by requiring them to include gays as
potential adoptive parents. (Advocate.com)

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