The Hypocricy of Catholic Charities

March 13, 2006 ·

Boston Catholic Charities decision to close it’s adoption services rather
than comply with state guidelines that require them to consider all good
people as equal when placing children is yet another reminder of the
remorseless attitude of this Pope and his Curia toward the Lesbian and
Gay community. It is not the old “love the sinner” sort of thing that
they parroted in the past, it is an insistence that we be marginalized,
considered disordered and unfit. The Church’s specious arguement that it
must adhere to it’s teachings could be considered valid if they actually
did strictly adhere. They will place children with couples who are
divorced and remarried, a union that the Church does not recognize and in
their eyes constitutes an adulterous relationship. “Adultery,” by the
Church’s definition, in the Church’s curious vision, is a less sinful and
less harmful thing to be exposed to than to a same-sex couple that is
loving and stable.

Both, according to the Catechism, are grave moral offences in the minds
of the heirarchy. Divorced and remarried Catholics can be and on occasion
have been denied Church burials. When I was studying Catholicism a “grave
offence” was a “grave offence.” One was not better or worse than another.

However, the denial of children to divorced and remairried individuals
would create a loud howl of protest from 50% of the people in the United
States, who are divorced or divorced and remarried. It would cut off
contributions; it would cost them money. Gays and Lesbians, a minority,
number too few to generate the kind of effect that would frighten the
Bishops with the spectre of lighter purses.

The rationale will be raised that exposing the children to the “gay
lifestyle” is harmful. I have yet to see a “gay lifestyle” defined. I am
a single Lesbian parent; two of my daughters were at or near the top of
their high school classes when they graduated and now find their names on
the Dean’s List(Honours List) of their Universities. My son, a bright
young man possessed of a high degree of civic duty and love for his
country, is preparing to serve in the Army. I raised them, their talents,
skillls, and beliefs, while their own, are partly shaped by the
experience of living with me. My “gay lifestyle” was running children to
drama practice at school, helping with homework, being a marching band
mom, being hostess and favourite “aunt” to many of the kids in the school
district, contributing funds to school activities, picking up my eldest
at her University and bringing her home to do laundry for herelf. My “gay
lifestyle” was discussing current issues, politics, religion, music, arts
and sports sitting with my kids. My “gay lifestyle” was standing at
soccer practices watching my eldest daughter.My “gay lifestyle” was
holding my middle daughter’s and my son’s hands while they cried when
relationships ended or agonized over friends they were arguing with.

What “violence,” to use Pope Benedict’s term when discussing the effects
of gay parents on children, was done to my children? How was my being a
Lesbian deleterious to my children, except to make them opponents of the
Church’s policy of exclusion of those like me? My son intends to use his
pay from the Army to resume his studies and to go into public health as a
physician, obviously his desire to serve others is a patholigy since it
was shaped by the “violence” of being raised by a Lesbian. My daughters,
straight like my son, excell in their studies and are popular at their
schools with professors and students.

In the end, as any gay or Lesbian could tell you, there is no “gay
lifestyle.” There are only gays and Lesbians, living lives as richly
varied as you would find among straight couples.

The arguement will be raised that being in an environment where
homosexuality is accepted as normal will leave the children predisposed
to accept that as a choice for themselves. The lie is given to this
position by the fact that the children of gays and Lesbians have a lower
rate of homosexuality than do the children of straight couples. Most gays
and Lesbians living now, nearly all, in fact, are the children of
straight couples.

So, statistics indicate that gays and Lesbians do not raise their
children to be homosexual. It just happens, as any of us could have told

Same -sex couples do not make children gay, they do not live some kind of
mythical “homosexual lifestyle,” they do not have an adverse effect upon
children. Why is it that the Church, then, will permit children to be
placed with couples living in, according to their moral beliefs,
adulterous relationships and yet insist upon denying them to gay or
Lesbian couples and lobby governments to do the same?

Money. The decision is based upon pragmatic practicalities rather than
morality. It is in, the end, hypocrisy at it’s most rank. If the Church
states that it actually intends to enforce it’s morality when placing
children, then let it do so uniformly, not based upon which groups might
have the largest financial and political impact upon it if angered. They
cannot claim the “moral highground” when they do not follow their own
morality. In the end, it is all about scapegoating and prejudice. Let the
Bishops truly be bound by their teachings and I will at least respect
them as opponents. But, for now, they are no different than any
homophobic group, magrinalizing us just as Catholics themselves were
marginalized for “moral” reasons in many countries.

One wonders what the Bishops would feel if faced with Hannah Arendt’s
observation: ” The hypocrite’s crime is that he bears false witness
against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is
the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of
all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true,
confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite
is really rotten to the core.” Sadly, they would probably not recognize
it as applying to them….

C. Maureen McMahon

Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Alliance
11 March 2006

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