Comments: adoptions rumble on

Again, the last sentence of the Independent editorial is opportunistic and question-begging.

Posted by Fr Joseph O'Leary at Wednesday, 31 January 2007 at 10:01am GMT

I would not be surprised to see the RCs withdrawing from the San Francisco solution – and fairly soon.

I fear that their agenda may be seriously compromised by such a positive story as this. There is huge pressure to push this issue forward and if solutions can be offered that make their case weaker they will be swept away.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Wednesday, 31 January 2007 at 11:49am GMT

Again, the last sentence of the Independent editorial is opportunistic and question-begging.

Joseph O'Leary would you care to say how ? Just asserting it seems to ummm - beg the question. We have no way of knowing what you mean, if you do not say so.

Posted by laurence at Wednesday, 31 January 2007 at 12:54pm GMT

I explained my view amply on other threads.

The Independent overlooks the issue of freedom of conscience from State steamrolling, clearly stated by Rowan Williams and disentangled from the gay adoption issue.

The Independent fails to recognize that the gay adoption issue could be a bona fide question of conscience and not merely discrimination.

As to the Vatican's view that the refusal of an exemption represents the triumph of relativism, this is a misnomer. State imposition of morality is not relativism but something closer to the opposite: the intolerance of opposing views. There are logical parallels with the euthanasia and eugenics programs imposed by the Nazi State.

Personally I think gay civil unions are great and I do not object to gay couples adopting. But steamrolling the opposition with shoddy arguments (and these from a Government whose record on morality is one of the lowest ever reached in Britain -- I refect to cluster bombs, rendition flights, and sexed-up dossiers) ultimately does a disservice to the gay causes as well.

Posted by Fr Joseph O'Leary at Thursday, 1 February 2007 at 1:11am GMT

Jonathan Bartley's thought for the day also blurs the issue of conscience.

Posted by Fr Joseph O'Leary at Thursday, 1 February 2007 at 1:16am GMT

So Joseph, you would support the consciences of individuals who seek euthanasia for themselves; and the setting up of clinics for the practice of euthanasia,in accordance with people's consceinces, would you ?

Posted by laurence at Thursday, 1 February 2007 at 9:11am GMT

That's because, Joseph, it isn't an issue. There should be no right of conscience to discriminate in the public sphere. Simple as that.

Posted by Merseymike at Thursday, 1 February 2007 at 10:28am GMT

Fr Joseph O'Leary wrote: “… the issue of freedom of conscience from State steamrolling, clearly stated by Rowan Williams and disentangled from the gay adoption issue.”

Sorry, but wasn’t ++Rowan precisely the one who entangled them (admittedly with a little help from his friends)?

and further: “The Independent fails to recognize that the gay adoption issue could be a bona fide question of conscience and not merely discrimination.”

Sorry, but someone has to be able to show this in a decipherable manner

(anyone would do – it needn’t be an international scholar famous for interpreting himself)

lastly: “But steamrolling the opposition with shoddy arguments (and these from a Government whose record on morality is one of the lowest ever reached in Britain -- I refect to cluster bombs, rendition flights, and sexed-up dossiers) ultimately does a disservice to the gay causes as well.”

That wasn’t guilt by association?

Even a blind hen may pick a seed once in a while...

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 1 February 2007 at 5:43pm GMT

Well, basically I am grateful to the Labour government for creating such good conditions for gays in Britain. However, I also know that very many Catholics, thanks to past and present church teaching, would have genuine difficulties of conscience if asked to actively implement the new liberal policies. Does this have to be "shown"? Do we just blithely reject what the people themselves say about their conscience? Do we just presume they are bigots?

"There should be no right of conscience to discriminate in the public sphere. Simple as that". But is discrimination such a simple category? Do we not hear of publicly mandated "reverse discrimination"? To say that discrimination simply is what the State at any given time defines it to be is not a satisfactory answer from the moral point of view.

Posted by Fr Joseph O'Leary at Friday, 2 February 2007 at 3:30am GMT

The Spinmaster once famously said to his Master

We don't do religion.

Translate that as Most people do not "do" your "moral" point of view.

Try to connect!

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 2 February 2007 at 10:42am GMT

I don't agree. I think that the State is the appropriate arbiter in the public sphere - and that the church should have no influence outside its own walls.

As an institution, the Church is rotten to the core - and so I would support anything which minimised its influence until it is thoroughly changed.

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 2 February 2007 at 10:54am GMT

"As an institution, the Church is rotten to the core - and so I would support anything which minimised its influence until it is thoroughly changed."

You could equally argue that the State is rotten to the core. On what basis do you discern this rottenness? Would you say the Church was not rotten in 1950, 1900, 1850...? Or would you say the Church has always been rotten to the core? Certainly on gay-related issues the Church has never been as liberal and understanding as it is now.


Posted by Fr Joseph O'Leary at Saturday, 3 February 2007 at 1:22am GMT

I would agree with Fr Joe.

The adoption issue is a poor ground for the government and faith communities to debate the “conscience” issue. There is the need for a debate on the role of faith communities providing front line, state funded social service and how their “ethos” might be a determining factor in how that service is provided.

There are also broader issues like “forced marriages”, polygamy and sacrifice to name but a few, where debate needs to be more thorough and robust.

While Mike makes valid points from a firm ground there are a whole range of issues that are competing for more careful attention.

Fr Joe is careful to bring out the inconsistencies of all, and that is a good thing. The debate needs to be had, I am of the view that once this has begun in earnest many of us will find our pre-decided positions challenged.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Saturday, 3 February 2007 at 9:43am GMT
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