The recommendation was from Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo Higuera, the papal nuncio in Washington, the Boston Herald reported. As he has does not have direct authority over Boston's Archbishop Sean O'Malley, the letter did not constitute an order, sources told the newspaper. But it carries weight as a message from the Holy See.
Only a small fraction of the hundreds of adoptions coordinated by Catholic Charities are to same-sex couples and none are being planned now, the newspaper said.
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts Executive Director C.J. Doyle, welcomed news of the letter.
"You can't defend Catholic teaching in society unless you follow it yourself," Doyle said. "No religious agency should be forced to act against its principles in the name of charity."
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