Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Caesar's and God's Laws Revisited - the BBC

Possibly just my imagination but when Catholic adoption agencies  policies of selecting mothers and fathers to be adoptive parents were outlawed as contravening secular laws  on equal treatment irrespective of sexual orientation, the news made the headlines. Today the High Court's decision supporting the one English   Catholic Diocese with the courage of its religious  convictions in this area - The Diocese of Leeds- can only be found by drilling deep within the BBC news website, where the relevant extract from the report reads:

Leeds-based Catholic charity wins gay adoption ruling Leeds-based Catholic Care had warned it would be forced to give up its work finding homes for children if it had to comply with the legislation. Its plea to be allowed an exemption was opposed by the Charity Commission. However, Mr Justice Briggs has allowed Catholic Care's appeal and ordered the commission to reconsider the case in the light of his judgement
The Arcdiocese of Glasgow took a similar line I recall but  all the remaining Catholic adoption agencies and dioceses seemed,  in common parlance to "wimp out".

That homosexual people should not be discriminated against on account of sexual orientation is a laudable aim but two points arise in adoption cases. The first is that surely adoption is a service mainly for the children and where the welfare of the child is or should be paramount? Adoption is not primarily a service for adults seeking to adopt children. Secondly in our society, should long held and well known religious views on morality always be trumped by very recent secular views of morality?

Those who do not accept the Catholic view as regards adoptive parents can always avoid Catholic agencies and visit secular ones. Where was the freedom in compeling the former to become like the latter?


  1. Your point re adoption being about the needs of children rather than adults seems so obvious that it hardly needs to be made - and yet it has been entirely missed in the public debate about the Catholic agencies as far as I can see.

    Good for the Bishop of Leeds in seeing this through. However it does throw into rather sharp relief the actions of other English bishops in rolling over and giving up without much of a struggle at all.

    If Labour continue in governemnt following the election, we can expect further attacks on the ability of churches to order their affairs according to their own teachings. We haven't reached the Tyburn stage yet, but a bit of prophetic witness on the part of our pastors would be very welcome. We might yet get this from Abp Nichols who seems to be shaping up well, but some of the others...

  2. Thanks anonymous for your post.

    Secularism at least has the advantage of keeping some fanantical religious adherents out of direct government- thankfully there are as yet, no religious police prowling the streets - but the increasing divergence between secular and religious notions of morality is worrying.


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