Same-Sex Adoptions in England
One can't help but notice that the Church in England is going through the same problem as the Church in Massachusetts and some other American regions: the problem of same-sex adoption. As in Massachusetts, the law in England now states that same-sex couples applying for adoption are to be afforded the same opportunities as heterosexual couples. And as in Massachusetts, the Church has responded by threatening to get out of the adoption business.
I can see someone explaining this a generation from now. First, they said that we would have to place adoptive children with homosexual couples, so we stopped doing adoptions. Then they said we would have to teach that gay marriage is equivalent to true marriage, so we got out of education. Then they said that we would have to witness marriages between two women or two men, so we stopped doing weddings. Then they said we couldn't rightfully refuse communion to those living an openly gay lifestyle, so we stopped confecting the Eucharist. Then . . .
What's wrong with this picture is that it lacks a backbone. The Church cannot afford to pretend that Catholicism makes no public claims and has no public rights. She cannot pretend to have no authority over marriage and family. Right here, right now, the Church needs to continue to arrange adoptions on her own terms for anyone who will still seek her assistance in the face of government disapproval. The Church needs to challenge the State to shut her down, not voluntarily shut herself down. Her ministers need to risk the discomfort of resisting Caesar in the things that are God's.
There is a great virtue in drawing lines. It is the only way to make a picture clear.
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