what about the kids?

D.C.’s Catholic Church Blames the Gays For Abandoning Its Foster Care Program

Don Wuerl

After threatening to end its adoption and homeless services programs in Washington D.C. if the City Council approved gay marriage there, the Catholic Church’s charities unit is indeed dismantling its foster care program — even after the Church said it would back off its own promise to do so.

Claiming it cannot operate its 80-year-old foster-care program if the city somehow “forces” the Church to officiate gay unions and recognize same-sex partners of employees, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is getting out of the foster care business before the M-word comes to the nation’s capital. The church’s Catholic Charities unit, which receives $20 million annually from the city (read: taxpayers), on Feb. 1 transferred its 43 children, 35 families and seven staff members to the National Center for Children and Families, another foster care provider, reports the Washington Post.

“Now we’re in a position where we need to scrutinize everything,” says Catholic Charities chief Edward Orzechowski. “From our point of view, it’s important that we don’t in any way compromise our religious teaching.” It’s unclear whether Catholic Charities will also dismantle its homeless services program.

This is all silly. D.C.’s gay marriage law includes, however narrow, exemptions for religious institutions. Catholic priests do not have to oversee same-sex ceremonies if they claim religious beliefs preclude them from doing so. (Depending on who you ask, the marriage law will require any employer to recognize same-sex partners if benefits are provided to staffers’ spouses.) All of which sends this message: It’s less important for the Catholic Church, led by Archbishop Donald Wuerl (pictured), to be directly involved in the well-being of parent-less children than it is for them to acknowledge gay men and women should have equal marriage rights.

However, maybe this has turned out for the best. The children, their families, and even the program’s semployees have found a new home — at the National Center for Children and Families, which as far as we can tell, is not affiliated with any religious institution. Which means these children will still have the services they very much need, without the intervention of a church that abandoned them to uphold discrimination.

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  • Richard in DC

    Good Riddance, who needs ’em.

  • John K.

    I second that! Good Riddance! Come back when you grow up!

  • eagledancer

    Perhaps they need to redirect the money they used to spend on charity to pay their legal fees for having sexually abused so many children. I’m based in Arizona, where the “second in command” Bishopy-type just got defrocked for getting caught with various body parts in the cookie jar…

  • Pete

    Archbishop Donaled Wuerl has made a career of bashing gays. He was a Vatican-appointed snitch, to look over the shoulder of Seattle’s Archbishop Ray Hunthausen when Hunthausen was accused of being too friendly with gays, and letting Gays and lesbian organizations use churches and other properties for meetings and prayer services. Wuerl is on his anti-gay rampage because he is soon approaching mandatory retirement, and may not get to become a cardinal unless he starts getting really more outrageous against gays. This self-loathing Arch-Queen will burn in hell one day for all that he has done against so many human beings.

  • PADude

    So…they decided to stop doing this because (surprise) they have trouble obeying the law. And somehow that inability to obey the law is somebody else’s fault.

    Sure. Whatever. Maybe they should take responsibility for their own actions?

  • tom

    Fewer children in the hands of the RCC can only be a good thing.

  • Jon

    Good. . .I can think of 20 million other causes more worthy of tax dollars.

  • X

    Woohoo for the National Center for Children and Families! No compromising on being good to all people!

  • Pittsburgher

    @Pete: You speak the truth. It’s worse than people know.
    How he has e$caped scrutiny, e$pecially for his early adulthood, amaze$ me.

  • terrwill

    Because everyone knows how well the Catholic Church “handles” little boys……………….

  • Latebrosus

    1. The Catholic Church knows darn well they’ll never have to officiate gay weddings, which will most likely only ever be marriages in a civil sense.
    2. Yes, this will make gay marriage advocates look bad and the knee-jerk wingnuts will, well, jerk their knees.
    3. But I also hope this makes people realize that the Catholic Church is willing to put politics before charity, and not only that, but over an issue which has a “religious” aspect that is solely of their own conjuring (see #1).

  • alan brickman

    religion has always used children to protect their hatred…when they weren’t sleeping with them…

  • PADude

    One of the best comments I’ve seen, roughly, is “Archdiocese in DC gives up helping children for Lent.”

  • BobN

    At least they had the decency to transfer the operation to another charity. I don’t think they did that in Boston or SF.

  • Daniel

    So why was (Roman) Catholic Charities taking $20 million from taxpayers if they don’t want to compromise their principles? They are going to stop taking the money right? If not, they are hypocrites, and Jesus said hypocrites and pharisees cannot enter heaven (hypocrites, you know, like saying Jesus died for everyone’s sins and then targeting some so-called “sinners” for persecution, but not others – notice they don’t spend millions trying to take away rights from divorced people or adulters… a.k.a. from heteros. They are just gay-bashers in robes, pathetic and evil). Best to convert to another religion/denomination.

  • ossurworld

    A church built upon scapegoats does it again.

  • sayadina

    The church receives $20 million anually from DC to take care of 43 children. That is $465,000 per child per year. I want that contract, and why did the catholic church ever have it? This is ridiculous. How can it cost so much per child?

  • newyorker

    The catholic church is obvously pushing their agenda rather than pushing for the well being of the children. There are many studies showing that homosexuals make equal parents to straight parents. Another option would be to stop taken tax payers money, but then how would they pay to kepp their large churches and pay legal fees?

  • Norman

    Truly despicbale is the fact that divrocees are sinful per the Bible, but there is no crackdown on putting children with divorced people

    why single out gays?

    beacsue the RCC hates them and uses them for politcial reason..

    Now it is very clear to most that the RCC hates gays and hate is of the devil..

    Shame on them

  • ewe

    They sexually abuse kids. Lets all be grateful we are being honored as the reason the church is abandoning foster care. Placement of children should be left to more competent people.

  • Rob Moore

    @Pete: In my experience just about all the bishops and 75% of the priests could share that hellish environment. John Paul II would be there now, if the place was not just a myth. He is the one who really started it by decreeing that no gay accepting groups could use church facilities. The current pope reserved his space when he was a member of the Nazi Youth movement in Hitler’s Germany.

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