Thursday, February 08, 2007

Strong-arming Britain's Catholics
IAN HUNTER, Special to the National Post
Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Canadian Catholics, particularly those involved with child adoption, should be keeping a close eye on recent events in Britain.

The Labour government has proposed new human rights legislation (bearing the Orwellian title Sexual Orientation Regulations), to become effective April, 2007; the new regulations make it illegal to discriminate against homosexuals in the provision of any public service. Fines range from $2,000 for a first offence to $50,000 for second or subsequent offences.

The issue is: Where does this leave Catholic adoption agencies? And the answer to date is: up a creek without a paddle.

In 2003, when Pope Benedict XVI was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he was principal author of a Vatican document (issued from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) which stated unequivocally that it would be "gravely immoral" for Catholic agencies to allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

But that is just what the new British Regulations will require Catholic adoption agencies to do. So the most senior Catholic prelate in England, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor wrote to Prime Minister Tony Blair, and to each member of his Cabinet, proposing an exemption for Catholic agencies.
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