Saturday, December 20, 2008

Don't fund formerly Catholic adoption agencies

Action: watch out in Clifton, Southwark, Arundel and Brighton and Portsmouth: they will be asking for your money at the back of church for adoption agencies that no longer follow the teaching of the Church. As Cardinal O'Brien said, the adoption of children by homosexuals makes them "guinea pigs in some distorted social experiment" (see here). But the bishops in these dioceses actually want you to fund this experiment. Letters from locals to the bishops and the CDF would be good to.

From the Catholic Herald (via CFNews): Parishioners' money to fund lost adoption agencies. Four dioceses are planning to hold collections to raise money for former Catholic adoption agencies which have cut ties with the Church to comply with new homosexual rights laws, it emerged this week.

The dioceses of Southwark, Arundel and Brighton and Portsmouth will continue to support the Cabrini Children's Society, formerly their joint Catholic Children's Society, despite having cut ties with it earlier this year.

Clifton diocese will also seek to support its adoption agency in spite of a split with the Church.

The adoption agencies severed ties so they could conform to the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs) which will come into effect on New Year's Day. The law requires the agencies to assess same-sex couples as adopters or foster parents.

The bishops resigned as trustees and relinquished control of the society earlier this year.

The Cabrini Children's Society is listed in the 2009 Catholic Directory and also appears under the diocesan collections section of Southwark's directory for the next year. Both the Lenten alms collection and the crib collection at Christmas will go to the society, which is described as "a regional social care agency".

The directory says "the society relies almost entirely on the generosity of our Catholic supporters for voluntary income".

Clarifying the diocesan position, the directory said that no Catholic funds would be used for adoption work.

Canon Martin Lee, the Southwark diocesan financial secretary, said: "The bishops decided that they would put the interest of the children first before all other considerations, so rather than close down the children's society they wanted it to continue to provide services to children with disabilities, in schools and for people with other needs which we want to see continued.

"There are also the many Catholic families which have contributed to the society and have adopted children and who use the services it provides who have an interest in keeping the society alive."

Canon Lee said he would continue to sit on the advisory committee of the agency and be able to safeguard funds for non-adoption services.

The Clifton Children's Society, formerly the Catholic Children's Society, also continues to be advertised in churches around the diocese after Bishop Declan Lang and Mgr Gabriel Leyden resigned as trustees in 2006. Although the agency had cut ties with the diocese when the SORs were passed two years ago, the diocese has continued including it in the diocesan directory.

A spokesman for the diocese said: "Clifton Children's Society remains a separate charity to the Clifton diocese. The society continues to function with the paramount best interests of children at its core. The bishop has had no role on the board of trustees of the Clifton Children's Society for several years."

The cases are likely to cause anger among some Catholics who object to the Church surrendering control of the adoption agencies and then continuing to fund them.

According to the religious discrimination lawyer Neil Addison, a diocese can legally collect for any charity as long as it does not wrongly suggest that it is collecting for a Catholic charity.

Mr Addison has been critical of the apparent willingness of some agencies to break from the Church. He has argued that there is a legal route which would allow the agencies to remain Catholic and conform with the law. He has also questioned the legality of such agencies using funds donated for Catholic purposes. [Catholic Herald]

1 comment:

Simon Platt said...

In contrast, Bp. O'Donoghue has forbidden (I think "forbidden" is a fair interpretation) the church in Lancaster diocese to fund its former catholic caring services, is setting up a new organisation to do similar work with an authentic catholic ethos, and will take steps to recover assets. Hurrah! See

Now where's that gift aid form?

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