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Friday, 10 October 2008

Loving Christianity, Catholic style

More good Christian love comes today via the pages of the Catholic Herald, which informs us that a Catholic bishop in the UK has threatened to evict an adoption agency from church premises because it doesn’t follow the narrow and distinctly senseless Catholic “teaching” on sexuality.

It’s about the new gay-rights laws, of course, and how services are now supposed to be provided irrespective of the sexuality of the person doing the seeking. The trustees of the agency have said they wish to comply with the law, but the bigoted bish feels, we’re left to assume, that his mindless superstitions are above the law and above common decency.

“Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue of Lancaster also warned the Catholic Caring Services that he would begin legal action to recover thousands of pounds left by Catholics in legacies and wills if it did not imminently change its position,” the paper says, and continues:

In a letter to the trustees, Bishop Donoghue said the agency could no longer consider itself to be Catholic if it assessed same-sex couples as potential adopters or foster parents.

“I find it unthinkable, indeed heart-breaking, that Catholic Caring Services, so linked to the Catholic Church since its inception, would abandon its position and capitulate to recent same-sex adoption legislation,” he said.

“As your bishop I cannot give permission to an agency of the Catholic Church to act in opposition to her teaching and her long and rich experience of the placement of children with adoptive parents.”

The bishop added, “On grounds of conscience, formed by faith, we believe that same-sex partnerships do not provide the essential characteristics necessary for the well-being and development of the child.”

Not conscience formed by compassion, you’ll note. It’s conscience “formed by faith”. And that says it all.

He’s given the agency a week to change its ways. Then he’ll apply to the Charity Commission for it to be stripped of its right to call itself Catholic, with all that that implies, including a review of leases on church-owned property.

The agency currently finds caring homes for some 25 kids a year in Lancashire and Cumbria. If it breaks from the Catholic Church, it will be the fifth to do so. The Herald story has all the details.

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