Couple Rejected: Will Christians Be Allowed to Provide Foster Care in England?
The ruling is part of a trend in England since the passage in 2007 of the 'Equality Act Sexual Orientation Regulations'
What happened to Eunice and Owen Johns this past week concerning their participation in foster care is ominous. What is next for Catholics and other Christians if this trend continues? We are in the throes of a Cultural Revolution involving two competing visions of the human person, human flourishing, the true nature of marriage - the family and society founded upon it - and the definition of the common good. These two visions of the human person and human freedom are in conflict.
Dear Prime Minister and Members of the Cabinet, "It has always been the wish of the Catholic Church in this country to work with the government for the common good of its people. We believe we do this in matters of social care, education and in many other ways. Catholic teaching urges us to do this, and we do it gladly in a spirit of cooperation. We would, however, have a serious difficulty with the proposed regulations on discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services if they required our adoption agencies to consider homosexual couples as potential adoptive parents. "The Catholic Church utterly condemns all forms of unjust discrimination, violence, harassment or abuse directed against people who are homosexual. Indeed the Church teaches that they must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. We, therefore, recognize many elements of recent legislation -- including much in the Northern Ireland regulations -- that takes steps to ensure that no such discrimination takes place. "What, then, is the problem? It is that to oblige our agencies in law to consider adoption applications from homosexual couples as potential adoptive parents would require them to act against the principles of Catholic teaching. We require our agencies to recruit and approve appropriate married and single people to meet the needs of children in local authority care for whom adoption has been identified as being in their best interest. "We place significant emphasis on marriage, as it is from the personal union of a man and a woman that new life is born and it is within the loving context of such a relationship that a child can be welcomed and nurtured. Marital love involves an essential complementarity of male and female. We recognize that some children, particularly those who have suffered abuse and neglect, may well benefit from placement with a single adoptive parent. "However, Catholic teaching about the foundations of family life, a teaching shared not only by other Christian Churches but also other faiths, means that Catholic adoption agencies would not be able to recruit and consider homosexual couples as potential adoptive parents. We believe it would be unreasonable, unnecessary and unjust discrimination against Catholics for the government to insist that if they wish to continue to work with local authorities, Catholic adoption agencies must act against the teaching of the Church and their own consciences by being obliged in law to provide such a service...." *****
The Cardinal's letter was reasonable. But reason seems to be losing its persuasive power as tyranny is released from its moral restraints and now masquerades as tolerance. Now, it is not only a matter of squeezing the Church out of providing adoption services, it is a wholesale effort to deny Christian couples a right to be foster parents. Perhaps this will soon lead to denying Christians the right to adopt as well. This Court decision against Eunice and Owen Johns is ominous and calls for a focused response of prayer and Catholic Action.
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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