Thinking Anglicans

more comment on the adoption agency case

Updated again Tuesday afternoon

Adam Wagner has written at the UK Human Rights Blog that the Catholic Care gay adoption rejection boosts equality protection.

The Charity Commission has rejected a bid by a Catholic organisation to amend its charitable objects in order to restrict its adoption services to heterosexuals. The case highlights the significant protections which have been put in place by recent equality law, and the policing role which the Charity Commission is required to play from a human rights perspective…

Martin Pendergast has written at Cif belief that the Catholic gay adoption ruling is a victory for vulnerable children

Neither the pope nor the bishop of Leeds are likely to go as far as Cardinal Sandoval, the Mexican who this week accused civic authorities of bribing the courts. But they will not be at all happy about the charity commission’s rejection of Leeds-based Catholic Care’s application to restrict adoption to heterosexual couples. Lesbian and gay Catholics and many other members of the church will be delighted that this attempt to institutionalise discrimination has been defeated.

Altering charitable objects to avoid compliance with legislation was deeply offensive to many Catholics, and not just lesbian and gay people. Catholic values dictate that a childcare service should do its utmost to find loving homes for the children it exists to serve. If a majority of other Catholic childcare agencies in England and Wales found it possible to comply with the law, why not Leeds? Other agencies lost neither financial nor moral support from their Catholic populations. There was never any evidence that Catholic Care would be any different…

Virginia Ironside has written in the Independent The Catholic Church should stay out of the gay adoption debate.

Sunday update

Paul Vallely has written in the Independent on Sunday Talking over the heads of children.

The Roman Catholic Church and the equality lobby are both wrong: the rights of would-be adopters do not come first.

Monday update

Neil Addison Catholic Care An attack on the idea of Charity

…Also the Commission has dealt a blow to the idea of Charity itself which is the free giving by individuals and organisations to help others. If the Catholic Church (or any other organisation or individual) wants to spend its own money in any way it pleases to help others why should an unelected quango, or indeed an elected Government interfere ? If individuals want to give money to adoption services that serve only heterosexuals, or adoption services for homosexuals, or disabled people or black or white people what right does the government have to interfere with that choice?

The provision of adoption services is a good thing in itself and a charitable purpose and for that reason alone should surely have been permitted even if the Commission felt that the services were provided on too limited a basis. The Commission seems to have regarded Charitable status as a favour granted by itself rather than as a good thing to be encouraged. This decision by the Charity Commission has, quite rightly been criticised as an attack on religious freedom but I would go further it is an attack on freedom itself. If individuals, churches and organisations do not even have the right to choose how to give away their own money then freedom itself ceases to exist.

Tuesday Update

Third Sector reports that Catholic Care considers appeal against Charity Commission over gay adoption

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chenier1
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chenier1

Following on from your previous piece, I imagine that the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi, will be one of the usual suspects falling over themselves in the rush to claim that the Charity Commission’s determination in the Catholic Care case reflects the desire of the ‘western elites’ to impose its allegedly ‘pro-gay’ views on others. Much high-flown rhetoric will no doubt come our way. So, whilst I do appreciate that I may be lowering the tone somewhat by mentioning money, it’s important to bear in mind that the generality of taxpayers, as a whole, foot the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Because the more the fuss the Church makes about gayness, a subject we should all be able to take for granted in an equal society, the more outdated, muddled and arcane the church appears.” – Virginia Ironside, The Independent on Sunday – Related to the Catholic Adoption Agency dispute, this remark by a secular journalist is indicative of most people’s attitude towards the Churches’ pronouncements against gays and women. The more public the squabbles about homosexuality become, the less the person in the street is inclined to take the mission of the Church – especially in its emphasis on human… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

It is striking that children receive little or no mention in this regard (or when the RC denomination speaks of child sexual abuse by church workers.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“”We are a church affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America, and it is their policy that we don’t provide services to individuals or families that do not behave properly. We’re going off our canons that say ‘The Anglican Church in North America affirms our Lord’s teaching that the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong of one man and one woman,” said Kenneth Monk, head of the school.” – excerpt from ‘virtueonline” – Thsi statement from the US site which refers to the non-admission of a child to an ‘Anglican’ school on… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

Paul Vallely reads this wrongly because he starts in the wrong place. Adoptions aren’t contracted by bishops and/or civil rights groups. Those at the cutting edge of this process are the highly skilled social workers who do in depth studies of the applicant – the social workers who know the children and the applicants. Before December 30 2005 – for the most part – those at the cutting edge were left very much to their own devices, including gay adopters prepared by Catholic agencies. But after that date unmarried couples were able to jointly adopt and Catholic charities were forced… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

I hope that TA readers can see that by the time Equality Regs for goods and services arrived the very private and highly confidential world of sifting and checking the lives of adoptive parents had become a matter for public comment. For those involved in this long and difficult process this public debate seemed like life on another planet. The divide between bishop and rights campaigner had little if anything to do with the practical day to day journey for prospective parents and children as social workers delved deep so as to find the better match. The debate around goods… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

Finally I think Paul Vallely has fallen into the trap of believing that the media have authentically captured this debate. As I believe I’ve explained this never was a black and white debate and the many shades of grey do not make good stories for the majority. So when we get a journalist like Paul who has a deeply nuanced take on most things – he reads only the superficial material his colleagues write and casts it as the battle between church and state. My understanding is that when the government took their own soundings – they were told by… Read more »

Craig nelson
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Craig nelson

I think Martin captures this very well. The primary concern for children is to have the chance of being placed with suitable and appropriate adopters. This creates a strong public policy presumption for equality of access to adoption services. Discrimination law serves a separate but nonetheless vital function of disallowing groups of people being subjected to discriminatory behaviours and categories (LGBT people can’t be trusted with children, can’t adopt, can’t parent) which are harmful to the whole of society – to the people concerned, those children that forego being fostered and adopted and to LGBT children and children of LGBT… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

I think a so called catholic charity that gave children up to unmarried couples, deserved to lose.