RC Bishop hits out at adoption agency over gay couples rule
Posted on December 21, 2008
Filed Under Uncategorized
A Catholic bishop is attempting to disown an adoption agency because it is to comply with new laws that require it to consider gay couples as potential foster parents. Catholic Caring Services, one of 11 Catholic adoption agencies in Britain, has signalled that it will abide by the Sexual Orientation Regulations that come into force on 1 January 2009, which prohibit fostering agencies from discriminating against lesbian and homosexual couples.
But Patrick O’Donoghue, the bishop of Lancaster, said the decision marked an “irretrievable breakdown” between the diocese and the agency and accused it of “capitulation” with “no attempt at resistance”. In a pastoral letter issued to clergy and lay people, the bishop said the charity was no longer Catholic and could not operate in the name of the Lancaster diocese: “All churches, parishes, schools and other Catholic organisations or societies are to have no formal associations with Catholic Caring Services and the new charity is no longer entitled to have access to diocesan collections.”The agency occupies four properties in Preston and the terms of their leases are to be reviewed according to the bishop’s letter. The bishop also suggested the agency might be asked to repay legacies and bequests left by Catholics.
Of Britain’s 11 Catholic adoption agencies, five are complying with the new regulations and one is closing its adoption service. The remaining five have yet to reveal their decision although two charities that were refused permission by the Charity Commission to raise objections to the new law have appealed to the Charity Tribunal.
The agencies find new homes for hundreds of children a year but a refusal to comply with the new laws would mean legal action or loss of funding from local authorities. However, the agencies believe accepting the new legislation involves violating church teaching.
See Bishop hits out at adoption agency over gay couples rule
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