April 18, 2007

ENGLAND OUTLAWS CATHOLIC TEACHING

I am posting here some excerpts from the complete article.
-- Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.



NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER
April 8-14, 2007 Issue

ENGLAND OUTLAWS CATHOLIC TEACHING
Catholic teachers in Britain won’t be able to present Catholic dogma in Catholic schools anymore because of a new non-discrimination law.


By Joanna Bogle
Register Correspondent

LONDON — Britain has a new law banning Catholic schools from teaching Catholic morals [...].

Under the new Sexual Orientation Regulations, it will be illegal for a teacher in any school, including a Catholic school, to state that homosexual activity is morally wrong, and that this is a teaching that should be accepted as true. A teacher could be prosecuted if a pupil were able to claim that, by teaching the sinfulness of homosexual activity, the teacher had discriminated against him and caused him to feel hurt or humiliated.

[....]

The legislation also affects a whole range of other activities, and will force Catholic adoption agencies to offer children for adoption by homosexual couples. A plea by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales that Catholic adoption societies be exempt from the new laws was rejected by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Also affected are all private businesses that offer goods and services of any kind. Thus, a photographer or wedding caterer who declined to do business with a lesbian or homosexual couple’s planned “wedding” could also be prosecuted, as could the owner of a bed-and-breakfast business who declined to offer a double bed to two homosexuals.

[...] the legislation was passed and will take effect April 30. Catholic adoption agencies have been given two years in which to make arrangements to comply with the new laws. It could mean that they are forced to close.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, archbishop of Westminster, has accused the government of abusing Parliamentary democracy.

“During the House of Commons committee meeting, opportunity for serious debate was denied,” he said. He issued a statement after the House of Commons was not given an opportunity to have a full debate on the regulations but only a single vote late one night when few members of Parliament were able to be present. “Profound public concern about aspects of these regulations has not been heard,” he said.

[....] ... a law, which will have the effect of making it illegal for a Catholic teacher in a Catholic school to present the Catholic teaching as true, and of forcing businesses and organizations to accept a homosexual civil union as equivalent to a male/female marriage. [....]

[....] Debate in the upper chamber focused on how the law would curtail freedom of religion. [....]

Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist, published March 13, specifically deals with the position of Catholics in politics who support legislation of this type.

The Pope states in Sacramentum Caritatis that: “Worship pleasing to God can never be a purely private matter, without consequences for our relationships with others: It demands a public witness to our faith. Evidently, this is true for all the baptized, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defense from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms. These values are not negotiable. Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws grounded in human nature. There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist (1 Corinthians 11:27-29). Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them.”

The original text is even stronger, since it says that “Bishops are bound to affrim constantly these precepts…”

[....]

Like Hunting Laws?

The Catholic Education Office has not issued any formal statement on the way in which the new laws will be handled by schools. It affects both those schools that receive support from public funds, and those for which parents pay fees and are wholly independent.

A Catholic member of a pro-life group who regularly visits Catholic schools to speak on issues of faith and morals said, “I think people are just hoping that it will be like the laws banning hunting — which effectively have been ignored. You will see huntsmen in their traditional costumes, and packs of hounds, regularly out and about, and it all seems to be just as popular as ever. But it would be foolish to imagine that the massive homosexual lobby — which is well-funded and enjoys influential support — will let this happen with regard to the sexual orientation regulations.”

The person did not want her name used for fear that her being involved in this controversy might lead to her not being invited to speak in schools.

[....]

All schools, including Catholic schools, already receive much official material on homosexuality and denouncing “homophobia.” [....] Catholic teachers, fearing prosecution, will be likely to obey the new laws unless they receive direction from the bishops’ conference.


- - - -

Joanna Bogle, the author of the article, also discusses this turn of events on her blog.
Click HERE for it.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I read something as disturbing and frightening as this, I always think of the saying that sometimes things have to hit rock bottom before people are willing to take a stand or something like that. I am constantly reading articles that describe the Church's failing influence. Perhaps when people are finally forced to make a choice, we shall truly see. More and more, the Church is being pushed into the proverbial corner with things like this legislation. I pray that the Church leaders and, more importantly perhaps, the Faithful, will be brave enough to take a stand. Jesus once drew a line in the sand. I think we are seeing a time that will force the rest of us to do the same. If we don't, our failure to protect the children who are adversely affected by things like this will weigh on our own souls. May the Holy Spirit give us the strength we will need in these times of outright persecution.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question. Was there always laws in the UK that made teaching Catholicism illegal and they just decided to enforce it, or is this something new?

Eve Marie

11:23 AM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

Something new.

At the end of the post, I have placed a link to the blog of the Catholic journalist who wrote the article.

1:12 PM  

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