Catholics Ask Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley to Intervene in Catholic School Discrimination Case

Posted May 13, 2010

More than 2,500 Catholics United Members Call for Acceptance of Student Denied Entrance over Parents' Same-sex Relationship

Catholics United today collected more than 2,500 petition signatures asking Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley to ensure that Catholic schools in his diocese allow all children to have access to a Catholic education. The move comes a day after news reports that an 8-year-old boy's acceptance to St. Paul Elementary School in Hingham, Massachusetts was rescinded by school officials, allegedly because the boy's parents are in a same-sex relationship.

“We humbly ask Cardinal O'Malley to intervene in this matter and allow this child to attend St. Paul Elementary School,” said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United. “In making this request, we do not intend to challenge the church's teaching on marriage and relationships. Rather, we simply believe that no one should be denied the benefits of a Catholic education on the basis of their parents' background.”

On Thursday morning, the Boston Globe reported that the archdiocese does not have a policy prohibiting discrimination against children of same-sex partners. A statement released later in the day by Dr. Mary Grassa O'Neill, the archdiocese's Secretary for Education and Superintendent of Catholic Schools indicated support for the boy and his family, and announced the archdiocese's intention to formulate a policy governing such issues "in the coming weeks."

"We welcome Dr. O'Neill's statement, and look forward to a final decision regarding this matter," Korzen said in response.

Catholics United, an organization of some 42,000 members nationwide, collected the signatures in just a few hours on Thursday before delivering them to Cardinal O'Malley's office via electronic mail. The group will continue to circulate its petition until the issue is successfully resolved.