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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Monday, January 29, 2007
THE GOVERNMENT versus CATHOLIC ADOPTION AGENCIES


We interrupt our normal broadcast! For the continuation of our series of questions and answers on the Mass watch this space. A significant issue has come up very prominently in the press. It has placed the Catholic Church in serious conflict with the government of our day and needs an attempt at clarification. Before going into a little detail it is worth remembering that we should expect such clashes. From Christ’s crucifixion onwards, this has been the pattern of His Church’s life. She has well survived all the previous conflicts.

The government intends, through its new "Sexual Orientation Regulations" (SOR), to force Catholic adoption agencies to place children with homosexual ‘couples’. This anti-Catholic discrimination is just the most obvious and immediate of these ‘anti-discrimination’ regulations. From this April, they will make it illegal to discriminate against someone on the grounds of their sexual orientation when offering "goods, facilities or services". This may sound well intentioned but next week we will look at the frightening wider implication of these regulations, and political and prayerful responses that can be made.
Forcing Catholic adoption agencies to act in this way would be to force them to go against the Catholic understanding of love and sexuality handed down to us from Christ through Christian tradition, and argued in favour of in parish leaflets in 2005 which are available on request. We believe that any sex outside marriage, and in marriage when artificially frustrated in its orienta-tion to new life, undermines growth in true self-less love in the image of Christ and so is morally wrong. The Church then cannot in any way cooperate publicly with such undermining of love.

This is not to deny that there are other good things in loving relationships where the physical relationship is not truly supporting the Christian growth of that love, i.e. immoral. Nor would we deny that a homosexual couples will very probably be involved in many truly loving actions towards others, even children they look after.

But the Church of Christ is convinced that a sexual relationship outside of marriage is a negative phenomenon. Where such a relationship is made a public institution with legal rights, the Church cannot recognize those rights. To formally and publicly cooperate with such an institution (as distinct from the individuals involved) will always be a negative thing for all of society. We have argued this from reason before, but we know also from our Christian faith that this must be true. If Christian morality is not the key to gaining the fullness of life and love then it is of little value, and Christianity itself will, rightly, wither on the vine.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:31 am