The Catholic Charities of Buffalo announced yesterday that they would be shutting down their foster care and adoption services because promoting bigotry is more important to Catholics than helping children.
The organization had a contract with the Erie County Department of Social Services, but because New York prohibits discrimination against same-sex couples, including those who seek to adopt children, the Church decided to close down the agency rather than put a child in the loving home of a same-sex couple that was eager and qualified to adopt in every other way.
For a while, the Church was able to avoid this conflict. But after a same-sex couple recently reached out to them hoping to adopt a child, they were forced to make a decision.
They chose discrimination over love.
“We’re a Catholic organization, so we have to practice what we do consistent with the teaching of the church,” Dennis C. Walczyk, the chief executive officer of Catholic Charities, told The News.
The kids currently in their care will be transferred to a different organization that is more concerned with getting them placed in a loving home than avoiding gay people at all costs.
At least state officials aren’t joining in on some pity party.
“New York State law is clear,” said Children and Family Services spokeswoman Monica Mahaffey. “Discrimination of any kind is illegal and in this case OCFS will vigorously enforce the laws designed to protect the rights of children and same sex couples.
“In New York State, we welcome all families who are ready to provide loving and nurturing homes to foster or adoptive children. There is no place for providers that choose not to follow the law,” she said.
Good for her, and good for New York.
The Buffalo News editorial board agrees, calling this an “unfortunate but appropriate decision.”
It is a shame that the church cannot find a way to bridge this chasm, which will eventually open in every state. Does placing a child with a same-sex couple necessarily mean that the church endorses same-sex marriage? Surely there are differences between approving of such unions and simply acknowledging the fact of them. And isn’t any child better off with a loving family that wants to provide its support?
The answer seems obvious, but remember, the Catholic Church’s reputation is in tatters precisely because siding with children has long been an afterthought for them. They didn’t care when kids were victims of sexual abuse, and they don’t care for them now if it means making a gay couple’s family complete.
In case you’re wondering, this particular agency didn’t have a ton of traffic, helping arrange “five adoptions each year, most of which are cases in which children are released from foster care for adoption.” But shutting the place down out of spite will disrupt the lives of 34 children currently in their control who now have to go to a different location.
The Church doesn’t care. Better for the kids to suffer a little more than bringing joy to lesbians hoping to adopt.
Just like Jesus would’ve wanted.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)