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Thou shalt discriminate against us

BOULDER, Colo. – The Roman Catholic Church needs a new marketing executive. The one they have is bungling the job, because it appears that the messages they put out on their Web sites do not match the actions they are taking in the public eye.

This week, the Archdiocese of Denver has expelled a 4-year-old boy from one of its area pre-schools because he has two mommies. This is just one more in a burgeoning list of blatantly bigoted acts by the Catholic Church, in response to same-sex relationships and legal marriage.

A decision was made Friday that the boy will not be allowed to re-enroll next year, because the parents are “living in open discord with Catholic teaching.” To support their ruling, they have posted an Admissions Statement on their Web site

This is the most recent act of blatant discrimination on behalf of the Catholic Church nationwide, and it comes right on the heels of the anti-gay policies recently adapted by their brothers of the cloth in Washington, D.C.

“… Building a just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people.” - excerpt from Catholic Charities Boston's Mission Statement, published on their Web site.

In 2006, the Archdiocese of Boston stunned local officials when they chose to abandon a century’s worth of work in foster care and adoption programs run by their Catholic Charities, after the passage of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

In mid-February, following the lead of their Boston colleagues- the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., ended their own Catholic Charities’ adoptive and foster care programs after 80 years. Same-sex marriage was passed for the District of Columbia in December but the law was just made official this week.

The new law requires that they consider same-sex couples seeking adoption in the same light as they do heterosexual couples and make placements accordingly. The archdiocese decided they were unable to continue placing children if that were the case.

This month that same archdiocese ended spousal benefits to all Catholic Charities employees – taking away existing benefits from heterosexual couples in order to avoid offering those same benefits to gay couples.

These acts are in direct opposition to the messages they appear to be otherwise living by on their Web site:

“We will be recognized as an advocate for social justice.
We affirm the sacredness and dignity of all human life.
We cherish the racial and cultural diversity of our staff and those we serve.
We pledge service to those in need regardless of background, belief, or circumstances.”
- Excerpts from the Catholic Charities of Washington’s Mission Statement.

The Catholic Charities were started after the turn of the century, when the Archdiocese in Boston recognized the overwhelming number of Catholic, immigrant children losing parents to death or abandonment. Now, over a century later, it is easier to abandon the programs than deal with placing children in the homes of prospective same-sex parents.

Last fall, as passage of the law expanding marriage to include same-sex couples in D.C. loomed, Archbishop Donald W. Wuer threatened to close down Catholic Charities altogether if they could not be guaranteed exemptive status. Although he did not get it, it should be noted that he was requesting exemption status from the U.S. government in order to actively discriminate. They eliminated the programs instead of being forced to uphold the law themselves, basically creating their own active exemption.

Interestingly enough, the Archiocese of Denver is actually more in keeping with the Vision Statement published on their Web site, but the message is not any less disturbing:

“We will continue to anticipate and stimulate support for our services, provide those services, and seek to influence the political, social and cultural environments in which we serve.

When was influencing the political or social or cultural up to the church? Whatever happened to separation of church and state?

Morgan Hurley is the Copy Editor for SDGLN (and a recovering Catholic). She can be reached at (877) 727-5446 x710 or morgan@sdgln.com.