not up to commonwealth standards

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 01, 2006

Know anyone with the Italian surname of Esposito or Innocenti? Most of them are descended from an orphan taken care of by the Catholic Church. For centuries, Italian cities had hospitals where abandoned babies (espositi, innocenti) were taken in and cared for, and a number of them married and passed on to their own children a family name reflecting the foundling hospital in which they grew up. Nor was it always a grim existence; a good part of Vivaldi's music was composed to be performed by girls at the Catholic orphanage in Venice where, in the early 1700s, he was a music teacher. The circumstances of orphans raised under the auspices of the Church's charity varied considerably, no doubt, but her impulse to care for parentless children was such an obvious good that her liberty to do so was taken for granted.

Until now.

Maggie Gallagher writes that Massachusetts's decision to impose anti-Chrstian ideological restrictions on adoption services represents a first step toward putting the Church out of the Corporal Works of Mercy business:

The question in Boston is not whether gays are going to be allowed legally to adopt. It is whether religious people who morally object to gay adoption will be allowed to help children find homes. This is not about gay adoption—it is about our fundamental commitment to religious liberty in this country.

It is a crime to run an adoption agency in Massachusetts without a license from the state. To get a license you have to agree to place children with same-sex couples. For the first time in America, Christians are being told by their government that they are not good citizens, not worthy enough to be permitted to help abandoned babies find good homes.

The Catholic Church has been tending to orphans centuries before there was such a thing as a secular state. Yet now the secular state has determined, in its wisdom, that it is the Church that risks harming the orphan by refusing to submit to gay adoption. So when this latest social experiment crashes ten or twenty years from now, who's going to be there post-disaster to pick up the pieces -- the human beings collaterally damaged in the cause of political gain? The Harvard Committee on Gender Studies? The Rainbow Sash Movement? The Lambda Legal Defence crowd?

Think again.

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  • Posted by: - Jun. 02, 2006 8:17 PM ET USA

    The saddest thing of all is that good lawyers were ready to fight this pro bono, yet the diocese gave up without a fight. The pro-life movement in the diocese is completely demoralized. In effect, we now say to a woman with a problem pregnancy, "Yes, we'll help with the pregnancy, but as to the alternative we encourage, adoption, you're on your own." I'm ashamed of the craven cowardice displayed by our "leaders." Priest in Boston

  • Posted by: rpp - Jun. 02, 2006 7:04 PM ET USA

    Very soon, if you do not support the entires sexualization of civilization, what the "gay" agenda wants, you will not be permitted to even be an adoptive parent. I give it about 30 years 40 tops, before the first children are removed from parents because they believe in Catholic moral teachings.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 01, 2006 8:10 PM ET USA

    Cupertino, to your own excellent point, I can only say this: As everyone might have known, "free money" is never free.

  • Posted by: Cupertino - Jun. 01, 2006 6:03 PM ET USA

    Excellent points. Let us not forget that the Church decided to take the state's dollar year's ago and thus came under its umbrella. I've never understood why. The Boston Church was in the adoption business from the beginning and was especially known for finding homes for disabled and "troubled" children. When assessing Boston one has to look back many years to understand how today's disaster began.

  • Posted by: parochus - Jun. 01, 2006 4:50 PM ET USA

    That is your most profoundedly poignant entry to date. Amor vincit omnia.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Jun. 01, 2006 1:48 PM ET USA

    Great blog, Diogenes. Yes, the Missionaries of Charity will be there to clean up the failed experiment. And the attack on the Roman Catholic Church in Boston continues,.& the children will again suffer, this time not at the hands of a few homosexual priests who should have been removed from ministry years ago. No, now it will be at the hands of same-sex ambivalent couples who "legally" sodomize each other, & have a "license" from the state that supports their behavior. Jesus, have mercy on us.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 01, 2006 12:41 PM ET USA

    To me it is so sad that this situation has occurred in a Commonwealth that has for years had a significant Catholic population. Don't they vote? or don't they care?

  • Posted by: - Jun. 01, 2006 11:56 AM ET USA

    Yeah, God forbid the Church should follow God's law or its own doctrine. Let's just follow the lead of the secular world.