Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor writes in today’s Telegraph that Regulation must not trump conscience.
This is presumably the first step in the campaign reported by Jonathan Petre Church to fight to defend role in public life.
As Ekklesia reports in Church accused of getting its facts wrong on faith-based welfare the National Secular Society is ready to respond.
The leader column in the Independent Leading article: New morality? If only… is unequivocal in its summary of the position:
… The affair has also shown how social attitudes have changed in most of Britain. A few decades ago, the prospect of officially sanctioned gay adoption would have caused outrage. But few people today take the view that gay couples should not be allowed to adopt. The debate has focused instead on whether Catholic[s] agencies have a right to exempt themselves from the law of the land.
But perhaps most significantly, the affair has shown the limits of organised religions to influence political power. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the head of Catholics in England and Wales, wrote to every Cabinet minister to demand an exception for Catholic agencies. He was supported by the Church of England and the Muslim Council of Britain. It was a formidable coalition. But it failed.
Now the Cardinal accuses ministers of trying to impose a “new morality” in Britain. If this new morality means it will henceforth be impossible for religious groups to discriminate against people simply because they happen to be homosexual, we fail to see the problem with that.
Two links to the past that may be helpful to put all this in context:
First, this solution to the RC adoption agency problem is not original: see this report dated August 2006 from the San Francisco Chronicle SAN FRANCISCO Catholic agency finds way out of adoption ban Alliance with other groups gets around same-sex parent issue.
Second, this July 2006 Ekklesia report: Redeeming Religion in the Public Square.
Addition: Jonathan Bartley had this Thought for the Day on the radio this morning.