Fr CFNews: The Bishop of Motherwell has fired a warning shot across the bows of the Labour Party - just weeks before the Scottish Parliament elections get underway. The Rt Rev Joseph Devine has called on all of Lanarkshire's candidates 'to support and promote the Christian institutions of marriage and the traditional family.' This appeared to be a thinly-veiled reference to Labour's recent introduction of civil partnerships and adoption for same sex couples. Bishop Devine has continually criticised the policies and said his vote would go to a party which supported the traditional family unit.
His statement comes just a few weeks after Cambusnethan councillor Tom Selfridge quit the Labour Party to stand for the Scottish Christian Party in protest at Labour's policy towards civil partnership and same-sex adoption. The Bishop said it was now time to 'challenge' the government on their policy.
He said: 'Our governments in Holyrood and Westminster have signed up to the dangerous fiction that all lifestyles are equal and that all types of family are equally good in bringing up children. It is time to challenge this government to change the direction of their social and family policies and question the other political parties about social and family policy intentions. With the Scottish parliamentary elections looming, the political parties are thinking hard about their policies. Voters need to impress on them the need to promote family stability through strategies which incentivise and support marriage as well as a socially just, wide-ranging package of policies dealing with poverty reduction, deprivation and social exclusion. My vote will go to the party which commits itself to detailed, credible, and concrete policies that will place marriage, committed parenthood and the family at the heart of their social manifesto. And my public criticism will remain focussed on those who do not.'Bishop Devine added: 'A year ago the Scottish Catholic bishops publicly condemned the government criticising their policies for diminishing the importance of family life and contribution to the general well-being of our society. Families matter because of almost every social problem that we face - soaring teenage pregnancies and abortions, teenage single mums, juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, binge drinking, vandalism, violent behaviour and crime, the burgeoning of mental illness and sexually transmitted diseases among the young, educational failure, the breakdown in civility, increasing harassment and contempt for the elderly, the vulnerable and the weakest members of our communities - all come down, in part at least, to the dismemberment of the traditional family.' Added Bishop Devine: 'Nor can Conservative politicians take the high moral ground given their earlier opposition to measures aimed at tackling poverty such as the minimum wage, maternity leave and flexible working.'
See earlier post on Bishop Devine, here.