Bishop Kevin Manning
A homosexual couple whose daughter was originally rejected by a school in far northwestern NSW has turned down an offer of enrolment, after the acting head of the Wilcannia-Forbes diocese, Bishop Kevin Manning (pic), instructed the school to offer the child a position, reports the ABC and the Australian.
Bishop Manning described as "absolutely appalling" the decision by the Sacred Heart Primary School in Broken Hill not to offer the young girl a place, the Australian said.
"There's no way in the world one can penalise a child for what his or her parents do. And in this case, to penalise a five-year-old child because her parents are living in a homosexual relationship is just quite wrong," he told the ABC.
"The thing that worried me initially was the fact that they hadn't come to me to discuss the matter at all.
"It was only after this business exploded that I became aware of it and I have been in touch with both the school principal and the parish priests."
The mothers have since turned down the offer of enrolment.
Bishop Manning has called on the national bishops conference to make a statement about the church's position on the enrolment of children of same-sex couples.
New South Wales Greens education spokesperson John Kaye says there is nothing to prevent a similar incident happening again.
He says there is a loophole that allows religious schools to discriminate against children on the basis of their parents' sexuality.
A spokesman for the Catholic Education Office in Sydney told the Australian the church adopted a "very inclusive approach to enrolment".
FULL STORY AND RELATED COVERAGE
Lesbian couple turn down enrolment offer (ABC)
Lesbian parents reject Catholic primary school (The Australian)
Bishop 'appalled' by school's snub to gay couple's daughter (ABC Broken Hill)