Brian Cahill, of San Francisco Catholic Charities CYO, couldn’t be more pleased now that his group has found a way to stay in the adoption business.
Earlier this year, the Vatican announced Catholic Charities could not longer pair children with adoptive same-sex parents.
"Fortunately though our new archbishop did not say shut it down," Cahill said. "He said find a way to continue to serve these children and at the same time not contravene church teaching."
So the solution approved by San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer was for Catholic Charities to team up with California Kids Connection, an Oakland-based adoption network.
Even though California Kids does work with same-sex couples, Catholic Charities feels it can help because that’s all it’s doing – helping – not actually finalizing the adoptions.
"We would see ourselves as educating, informing, linking, and then we’re going to try to recruit parents," Cahill said. "We simply will not be, for reasons that we mentioned, doing the direct work."
Jill Jacobs, California Kids Connection Executive Director, says the match will work: "We’re not being asked nor pushed to compromise any of our principles or values."
Next month, Catholic Charities will send three paid staff members to California Kids to work to match up families and foster children.
California Kids could use the help, according to Jacobs.
"Last year this program was responsible for 200 children finding permanent families and we hope the first year to double or triple that and we think after that it will be even greater," Jacobs said.
Something is quite backwards when it is the director of an adoption agency that works with same sex couples is the one to say "We’re not being asked nor pushed to compromise any of our principles or values" and the director of Catholic Charities in San Francisco is almost gleeful in finding a seeming loophole.
In contrast, San Francisco’s Catholic Charities will assign three staff members to work with California Kids Connection, a nonprofit statewide organization that compiles an Internet database of children available for adoption and assists with adoption referrals. The staff will help all prospective parents, including gays and lesbians, Cahill said. If that work ultimately leads to a match between a gay parent and a foster child, that is fine, he said.
“God loves them all," he said.
Not being a moral theologian I wonder what others might make of this statement?
When asked if the new plan still puts Catholic Charities in a position of assisting with gay adoptions, San Francisco Archbishop George H. Niederauer said he thought it was a form of potential “remote" cooperation that does not conflict with Catholic moral teaching. He said he has consulted his predecessor, Cardinal William Levada , the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, on this plan.
I am sure the question of whether this comes into the category of remote material cooperation is debatable. The German bishops use to be involved in a government program where they would give counseling for women considering abortion. They were not promoting abortion, but were involved in a process where a women could get an abortion. Then-Cardinal Ratzinger was finally able to end this process which it seems the majority of the German bishops endorsed. This situation seems similar to this situation and that the material cooperation is not just remote.
There is also another component of cooperation and that is moral cooperation. The current and passed statements of the Director of Catholic Charities in San Francisco show that he morally supports this grave sin. Even if an act truly entail remote cooperation it is still sinful if the person morally cooperates with the end. Mr. Cahill should be removed from Catholic Charities immediately. Since this has not been done it is hard to take seriously a good faith attitude by the diocese. It appears more like seeking a loophole than an attempt at diligently defending the faith.