Virginia House advances bill repealing protections for faith-based adoption agencies

Richmond, Va., Feb 6, 2021 / 03:01 pm (CNA).- The Virginia House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill to remove conscience protections for child-placing agencies, prompting worry that the state’s Catholic adoption and foster care agencies could be forced to shut down because of their views on marriage.

HB 1932 would repeal a section of the Code of Virginia which reads, in part: “To the extent allowed by federal law, no private child-placing agency shall be required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.”

The current code also protects agencies from being denied an initial license or a renewal of their license, or from being denied a grant or contract because of their religious views about the definition of marriage. Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell signed the conscience protections into law in 2012.

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American seminary in Rome to defend itself against lawsuit alleging ‘predatory homosexuality’

Rome, Italy, Feb 6, 2021 / 12:31 pm (CNA).- The American seminary in Rome has said it will defend itself “vigorously” against a lawsuit filed by a former student who says he was blocked from continuing his studies there after he had witnessed inappropriate homosexual contact on the part of the vice rector.

The North American College (NAC), its Rector Fr. Peter Harman, Vice Rector Fr. Adam Park, and faculty member Fr. John McDonald were named as defendants in a Feb. 3 lawsuit filed in Richmond County, New York, by Anthony J. Gorgia.

Gorgia, a former seminarian for the Archdiocese of New York, began studies at the NAC in the summer of 2017. In the 58-page lawsuit, he claims to have witnessed and disapproved of Park initiating inappropriate physical contact with another seminarian.

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