THE BISHOPS of Massachusetts have agreed to create a committee that will review whether the adoption practices of Catholic institutions are in compliance with Church teaching.
The action comes after it was reported that Catholic charities of the Boston archdiocese had arranged for the adoption of 13 children by same-sex couples over the last 20 years. Two years ago the Vatican said allowing such adoptions was “gravely immoral”.
Fr Bryan Hehir, president of Catholic Charities of Boston, said no agency will be licensed to handle adoptions in Massachusetts unless it agrees not to discriminate against prospective adoptive parents on the basis of sexual orientation.
Massachusetts is the only American state that has legalised same-sex marriage.
Edward Saunders, executive director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference said that the committee’s full membership was not yet finalised, but it would include representatives of the state’s four Latin-rite dioceses, including Fr Hehir, long a nationally prominent figure in the field of religion, ethics and public policy.
Mr Saunders said that the committee will study the Church’s directives on adoption by same-sex couples and the requirements of Massachusetts state law.