Friday, February 02, 2007

More on SORs

Background briefing: of note below: Ruth Kelly, supposedly a member of Opus Dei, clearly has no intention of following her conscience and resigning, rather than implement this iniquitous law. She hails the two-year transitional period as a 'breakthrough', although the only purpose this appears to serve is to delay the fall-out from the legislation until she and Tony Blair are in different jobs.
The observation by an unnamed cabinet minister that a more 'hard-line' position by the Church would be easier to defend, and that the Church has 'sold the pass', is also significant. If the Church recognises that homosexual couples are not suitable adoptive parents for children, then it is simply immoral to refer enquiries from such couples to adoption agencies where they may be given children to look after. Such compromises undermine the position the bishops are taking.

From CFNews: Tony Blair ruled out any exemption from the rules for churches on Monday night in an attempt to draw a line under a row believed to have caused bitter divisions within the Cabinet. In what he called a 'sensible compromise', the Prime Minister said faith-run agencies would be given nearly two years to adjust to the new rules - due to be voted on by MPs next month. Ruth Kelly, the Secretary for Communities, hailed that agreement as 'a breakthrough that should be welcomed by everyone'. Kelly, who will be responsible for implementing the anti-discrimination policy, had lobbied vigorously for an exemption for Catholic agencies-- leading some critics to say that she should be required to step down because she is committed to upholding the principles of Catholicism. But Kelly has said that she will carry out her duties under the new law. The 21-month period before full implementation of the policy, Kelly said, should give Church agencies 'time to adapt' to the anti-discrimination rules. It is not clear, however, how Catholic institutions could adapt their policies to allow adoptions by same-sex couples-- which the Vatican has described as a form of child abuse.

On Tuesday, January 23rd , the Newsnight programme on BBC carried an interview in which Jeremy Paxman spoke with Archbishop Vincent Nichols. In it the Archbishop clearly stated his opposition to Catholic agencies providing children to homosexual 'couples', admitted and defended the fact that Catholic adoption agencies had allowed single homosexuals to adopt children in their care, stated that Catholic adoption agencies referred homosexual couples to other agencies where their adoption application might be considered. Three days later Mary Ann Sieghart wrote about this interview in the Times.' Oddly, had the Catholic position been more hardline, it might have stood more of a chance. But once Vincent Nichols (admitted) that his agencies were happy to place children with single gay people, but not couples, his argument fell apart … The widespread view was that he couldn't have it both ways: either homosexuality was wrong or it wasn't. Equally, Catholic agencies are prepared to place children with cohabiting heterosexual couples, even though the Church disapproves of sex before marriage. As one Cabinet minister put it: 'If there was a religious principle at stake here, they sold the pass several years ago'. According to 'The Times', Vatican officials are said to be deeply concerned over the unfolding events. One Rome insider said that the Vatican regarded the refusal to grant an exemption a 'real manifestation of the dictatorship of relativism' that had been predicted by the Pope. May Mary Immaculate, Queen of our families -- our children's only protection -- pray for us. [Compiled from agency reports]

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen