Monday, 4 October 2010

Catholic Care appeals yet again

According to a report from Catholic News Service by Simon Caldwell English Catholic adoption agency appeals Charity Commission’s decision:

The last remaining Catholic adoption agency in England has filed an appeal against a decision by the Charity Commission for England and Wales forbidding it to turn away same-sex couples as potential adopters and foster parents.

Catholic Care lodged the appeal with the charity tribunal against a ruling by the commission rejecting its application to change its constitution so it could comply with church teaching prohibiting gay adoption and civil laws stopping it from discriminating against same-sex couples.

The agency, which serves the dioceses of Leeds, Middlesbrough and Hallam in northern England, had sought to continue its policy of assessing married heterosexuals and single people as potential adopters, which means it will not deal with gay couples.

But on July 21, the Charity Commission turned down its application on the grounds that it was discriminatory toward homosexuals and in breach of European and British equality and human rights laws.

Catholic Care lodged an appeal against the decision Sept. 28, arguing that commissioners ignored the opinion of a High Court judge, Sir Michael Briggs, who in March ruled in favor of the agency when it first appealed against the commission’s decision.

Benjamin James of London-based Bircham Dyson Bell Solicitors, representing Catholic Care, told Catholic News Service Oct. 4 that the “commission is wrong in its decision.”

He said, “We have lodged an appeal with the charity tribunal and the charity tribunal will request that the Charity Commission responds within 28 days.

“Once the commission has responded, there will be a directions hearing deciding how the case will be managed going forward,” he said.

“The actual appeal is whether the Charity Commission correctly interpreted Sir Michael’s (Briggs) judgment,” he added…

Previous TA reports on this subject are here and also here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 4 October 2010 at 10:05pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: equality legislation
Comments

And so it all begins again.

I thought the Commission read Mr Justice Briggs very well.

But it will be interesting to see the submissions in detail.

I think it's important to note that Adoption only forms 5% of the activity of Catholic Care.

The majority of its work is in residential homes for children and adults. I recently asked a friend who is a Leeds Councillor to enquire as to Catholic Care's adherence to the requirements imposed on caring agencies to positively help and encourage sexual development (with children) and facilitate intimate relationships (with adults) with particular regard to people who were gay or lesbian - I was assured that Catholic Care fully comply in their codes of practice.

So it does seem Catholic Care is willing in these cases to put the well being of those entrusted to their care above the requirements of their Roman Catholic social teaching.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 12:12am BST

IF at first you don't succeed......

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 1:28am BST

Of course, should the appeal be rejected again no doubt we will hear more squeals about aggressive secularism and the persecution of the religious.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 10:44am BST

"I was assured that Catholic Care fully comply in their codes of practice."

Well, what would you expect them to say?

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 12:31pm BST

Well, what would you expect them to say?

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Tuesday, 5 October

The truth ?

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 3:21pm BST

"...more squeals ..."

Some pigs are more equal than others.

Posted by: evensongjunkie on Tuesday, 5 October 2010 at 7:25pm BST

You have to give these people top marks for persistence - if nothing else.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 6 October 2010 at 2:22am BST

I wonder if there had been a UK Muslim adoption Agency that the the powers that be would have stood up to them.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 6 October 2010 at 7:18am BST

"I wonder if there had been a UK Muslim adoption Agency that the the powers that be would have stood up to them."

Eh... yes, it's the law, of course.

It;s not about "standing up to" people but about applying the law equally to everyone.


Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 7 October 2010 at 1:14pm BST

And not all laws should be obeyed if they are discriminatory...think of Rosa Parkes.... Miss Parkes broke the law and so did Nelson Mandela.

So did the Roman Catholics who kept the flame of the Faith burning in England during 300 years of persecution.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Friday, 8 October 2010 at 7:13am BST

That's just it, RIW.
It's the church that wants to discriminate, it's the anti-discrimination law that is applied equally to everyone.
And as you rightly point out, discrimination has to be resisted.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 8 October 2010 at 9:29am BST

"And not all laws should be obeyed if they are discriminatory...think of Rosa Parkes.... Miss Parkes broke the law and so did Nelson Mandela."

Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela fought for freedom and human dignity.

The Roman Catholic denomination seeks only to enslave and dehumanize.

You might as well compare the struggles of Lech Walesa and Josef Stalin. The Roman denomination has absolutely no right to speak as if they were fighting to help humanity, or indeed cared about humankind at all, outside of the degree to which they obey and pay.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Friday, 8 October 2010 at 10:47am BST

Erika, you fail to realise the Catholic Church distinguishes between just discrimination and unjust.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 7:00am BST

RIW
You still fail to realise the difference between what is the role of the church and what that of the State.

The State is responsible to ALL its members, it cannot ever discrimminate in favour of one of them.

And so, quite rightly, the church is allowed to do whatever it likes when it is involved in church business, to call just what it believes to be just and unjust what it believes to be unjust. But they're only that: one institution's individual beliefs. They are not binding for anyone who is not a member of that organisation.

And so minute it steps into the realm of civic activity it follows the rules of the State.

It really is not a difficult concept.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 11:29am BST

But, Robert, it is wrong in doing so according to UK law, thus it has to comply.

Personally, I think that given its record, the Catholic Church should not be allowed to have any connection with children at all, and its demise would be a benefit to society. Thus, I would support anything which contributed to that demise, though happily it is dying in the UK from natural atrophy, relying largely on immigrants to bolster its declining congregations.

Posted by: Merseymike on Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 12:38pm BST

I think if an organisation is not being subsidised with public money it should be able to determine its policy in line with its beliefs.The beliefs that Catholic Care represents were standard Christian views until 20 years ago.

MerseyMike your comments on the Catholic Church are ridiculous. The issue of paedophilia has been exaggerated by our enemies. The Catholic Church has no more paedophiles( per ratio ) than any other grouping.


Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 7:52am BST

"The issue of paedophilia has been exaggerated by our enemies. The Catholic Church has no more paedophiles( per ratio ) than any other grouping."

I wasn't aware that anyone was arguing to the contrary. I believe you'll find most people think the difference between the RCC and "other groupings" is how you have reacted to the pedophile scandal in the past (shielding the guilty, for instance).

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 2:18pm BST

RIW
It's not just about taking public money, it's much more about providing public services.

Adoption is something that is in the State's interest provided potentially to any needy child in that State's protection, and that is, quite rightly regulated by the State and not by each private adoption agency.
It therefore follows the impartial rules of the State, not the individual belief systems of the faciliators of the adoptions that count, however much the facilitators might feel superior about their own beliefs.

In this case, it is only right that the decision of what might be just and unjust discrimmination is made by the State who is answerable to all its citizens and not by the Church which is a reference point only for those who chose to be Catholic.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 4:21pm BST

"The Catholic Church has no more paedophiles( per ratio ) than any other grouping."

- Ropbert I Williams -

A very poor argument for a Roman Catholic to make surely, Robert? One would think that paedophilea in the Church (as distinct from the more neutral practice of homosexuality) should be - considering the Roman Church's official stance on gays - to be 'out of bounds' for them (and you).

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 12:52am BST
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