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UK Bishops Support for Homosexualist Agenda Based on Vatican-Rejected 2005 Policy

LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews.com

By Hilary White

ROME, September 27, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Last Monday, when the head of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales (CBEW) told a BBC interviewer that the U.K. bishops had not opposed the creation of legal civil partnerships for homosexuals, he was speaking from a longstanding policy that was published in 2005. But a source close to the CBEW has told LifeSiteNews.com that that policy was rejected by the Vatican for not being in line with Catholic teaching. The UK bishops, however, have implemented it without change, ignoring Vatican-mandated corrections.

During last week’s panel discussion on BBC 2, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, head of the Westminster archdiocese and reportedly in line for a cardinal’s hat this year, denied that the English Catholic hierarchy is opposed to homosexualist political goals, saying, “We did not oppose gay civil partnerships. We recognized that in English law there might be a case for those.”

His remarks follow two other occasions when Nichols was asked by interviewers whether Catholic teaching could change on homosexuality; he replied, “I don’t know.”

The archbishop’s expressions of uncertainty clash strongly with statements by Pope Benedict, who said in the lead-up to his recent visit to the UK, “The Church cannot approve of legislative initiatives that involve a re-evaluation of alternative models of married life and family. They contribute to the weakening of the principles of natural law and so the relativization of all legislation and also the confusion about values in society.”

Nichols, however, is not the first or the only U.K. bishop who has set himself in opposition to Vatican and Catholic teaching on homosexuality. Earlier this year Bishop Malcolm McMahon told the liberal Catholic magazine The Tablet that the “backgrounds” of Catholic school employees are not the concern of the Church, and that it is up to the applicants themselves to decide whether they are able to live according to Church teaching.

The Tablet quoted McMahon defending the government’s civil partnership legislation and saying the Church is not opposed to homosexual civil partnerships. “Civil partnerships are precisely what they say they are. They’re not gay marriages or lesbian marriages. They’re simply a legal arrangement between two people so that they can pass on property and other rights in which they were discriminated against before,” he said.

McMahon boasted, “We have many gay people in education and a large number of gay people in the Church, at least the same as the national average … A civil partnership is not a marriage, it’s not a conjugal relationship.”

Both McMahon’s and Nichols’ statements reflect the contents of a 2005 CBEW document, published in response to the then-Labour government’s proposed Equalities Bill - which ultimately led to the notorious Sexual Orientation Regulations and forced the total dissolution of the Catholic Church’s work in adoptions – telling Catholics that they must comply with legislation on equal employment rights of male and female homosexuals, bisexuals and “transsexuals” in Catholic institutions and structures.

During last week’s BBC 2 television program, Nichols and the CBEW’s position on homosexuality was praised by a fellow panelist, Diarmaid MacCulloch, a homosexual Anglican and Oxford professor of church history, who agreed, saying that the English Catholic Church “has rather taken its own line on this, not the Vatican’s line.”

A source close to the CBEW has informed LifeSiteNews.com that MacCulloch was literally correct, and that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had not accepted CBEW’s Diversity and Equalities guidelines. The CDF, he said, had issued a list of changes to bring the document into conformity with Catholic teaching that “was ignored” by the document’s author, Archbishop Peter Smith.

In their document, the bishops said the first duty of Catholic organizations and institutions is to “to be inclusive, respectful of the human dignity of all and in tune with the spirit as well as the letter of the law.”

Using the language of the homosexualist political movement, the bishops suggested that Catholic institutions should create hiring quotas for homosexuals. It called on authorities “at all levels of the church” to “be more aware” of whether “different groups” are adequately represented in Catholic institutions such as schools, and said that “organisations, institutions and dioceses should consider appointing or entrusting someone with responsibility for diversity and equality.”

Despite allowing Catholic institutions to require applicants to “be broadly in sympathy with the vision, mission and values of the organisation,” the bishops’ policy does not require any private adherence to Catholic moral teaching. This would include requiring doctors or nurses to agree with the Church’s teaching on abortion and euthanasia, or teachers to live according to Catholic sexual teaching.

“In a society in which relationships are increasingly fractured and complicated, it is only to be expected that this may at times be reflected in the lifestyles of those who serve the Church,” the document says.

“Every applicant and employee has a right to his or her private and family life and all Catholic employers must respect that right.”

“As employers, subject to limited and narrow exceptions, Catholic organisations must ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment than another on the grounds of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. This is ‘direct discrimination’.”

So pleased was the Labour government with the document, that its publication and distribution was funded by the Department of Trade and Industry, the source told LSN.

Significantly, the document was later cited favorably by an EU document on the right to conscientious objection by health care workers that linked the “right” to abortion with similar putative “rights” to euthanasia and assisted suicide. The EU document agrees with the bishops that “subject to limited and narrow exceptions, Catholic organizations must ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment than another on the grounds of … sexual orientation”.

The favorable response from the EU prompted action from the Vatican, LSN’s source said. Last year, Pope Benedict’s two addresses to the UK bishops who were making their Ad Limina visit took a stern tone, with the pope warning them not to compromise on the life and family issues, or to take a soft approach to aggressive European secularism. Referring to the UK’s Equalities legislation, Pope Benedict urged the bishops to present Catholic moral teaching “in its entirety” and to defend it “convincingly.”

This was a direct rebuke, the source said, and was made after information on the Bishops’ Diversity and Equality guidelines had been delivered to the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone.

Currently, the CBEW, with the Scottish Catholic hierarchy, is formulating a response to the EU’s forthcoming Equal Treatment Directive that adheres to the same principles of “equality” as the UK legislation.

When it comes to the EU Directive, however, the bishops have issued a caution, warning that the Directive could be turned into “an instrument of oppression” against religious groups. Under the Directive’s conditions for equal treatment, they said, the EU “would effectively be dictating to religious bodies what their faith does or does not require: a wholly unacceptable position.”

Nevertheless, Archbishop Peter Smith, chair of the Department of Christian Responsibility and Citizenship, said, “The Catholic Church supports the underlying moral principle of the draft Directive.”

European Dignity Watch (EDW), a non-Catholic EU watchdog organization, has been more forthright, saying that the “moral principle” behind the draft Directive is in reality erasing traditional morality in favor of a “newly developed”“horizontal” concept of equality, that will “seriously imperil fundamental aspects of freedom of European citizens”.

The Directive, EDW says will “undermine freedom and self determination for all Europeans and subject the private life of citizens to legal uncertainty and the control of bureaucrats.”


Read related LSN coverage:

Archbishop Nichols's Comments on Gay Unions Endanger the Souls of My Children  
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/sep/10091302.html


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Quebec groups launch court challenge to euthanasia bill

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

As announced when the Quebec legislature adopted Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care, the citizen movement Living with Dignity and the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia, representing together over 650 physicians and 17,000 citizens, filed a lawsuit before the Superior Court of Quebec in the District of Montreal on Thursday.

The lawsuit requests that the Court declare invalid all the provisions of the Act that deal with “medical aid in dying”, a term the groups say is a euphemism for euthanasia. This Act not only allows certain patients to demand that a physician provoke their death, but also grants physicians the right to cause the death of these patients by the administration of a lethal substance.

The two organizations are challenging the constitutionality of those provisions in the Act which are aimed at decriminalizing euthanasia under the euphemism “medical aid in dying”. Euthanasia constitutes a culpable homicide under Canada’s Criminal Code, and the organizations maintain that it is at the core of the exclusive federal legislative power in relation to criminal law and Quebec therefore does not have the power to adopt these provisions.

The organizations also say the impugned provisions unjustifiably infringe the rights to life and to security of patients guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. They further infringe the right to the safeguard of the dignity of the person, which is also protected by the Quebec Charter.

In view of the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to protect all vulnerable persons in Quebec, they are requesting an accelerated management of the case in order to obtain a judgment before the Act is expected to come into force on December 10, 2015.


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Colorado baker appeals gvmt ‘re-education’ order

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By LifeSiteNews staff

A Colorado cake artist who declined to use his creative talents to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony appealed a May 30 order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to the Colorado Court of Appeals Wednesday.

The commission’s order requires cake artist Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop to create cakes for same-sex celebrations, forces him to re-educate his staff that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act means that artists must endorse all views, compels him to implement new policies to comply with the commission’s order, and requires him to file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years. The reports must include the number of patrons declined a wedding cake or any other product and state the reason for doing so to ensure he has fully eliminated his religious beliefs from his business.

“Americans should not be forced by the government – or by another citizen – to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” said the cake artist’s lead counsel Nicolle Martin, an attorney allied with Alliance Defending Freedom. “This is not about the people who asked for a cake; it’s about the message the cake communicates. Just as Jack doesn’t create baked works of art for other events with which he disagrees, he doesn’t create cake art for same-sex ceremonies regardless of who walks in the door to place the order.”

“In America, we don’t force artists to create expression that is contrary to their convictions,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “A paint artist who identifies as homosexual shouldn’t be intimidated into creating a painting that celebrates one-man, one-woman marriage. A pro-life photographer shouldn’t be forced to work a pro-abortion rally. And Christian cake artists shouldn’t be punished for declining to participate in a same-sex ceremony or promote its message.”

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In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to make a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted but that he could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith. Craig and Mullins, now represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. The case now goes to the Colorado Court of Appeals as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig.

“Jack, and other cake artists like him – such as those seen on TV shows like ‘Ace of Cakes’ and ‘Cake Boss’ – prepare unique creations that are inherently expressive,” Tedesco explained. “Jack invests many hours in the wedding cake creative process, which includes meeting the clients, designing and sketching the cake, and then baking, sculpting, and decorating it. The ACLU calls Jack a mere ‘retail service provider,’ but, in fact, he is an artist who uses his talents and abilities to create expression that the First Amendment fully protects."

Celebrity cake artists have written publicly about their art and the significant expressive work that goes into the artistic design process for wedding cakes.


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Prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner appeals her conviction

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By Tony Gosgnach

TORONTO -- As promised, Mary Wagner has, through her counsel Dr. Charles Lugosi, filed a formal notice of appeal on numerous points regarding her recent, almost two-year-long court case that ended on June 12.

Justice Fergus O’Donnell of the Ontario Court of Justice rejected every application made by the defence – including for access to abortion center records, public funding, standing for a constitutional challenge and for expert witnesses to be heard – before he found Wagner guilty and sentenced her to five months in jail on a charge of mischief and four months on four counts of failing to comply with probation orders.

He further levied two years of probation, with terms that she stay at least 100 metres away from any abortion site. However, because Wagner had spent a greater time in jail than the sentence, she was freed immediately. She had been arrested at the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site on Lawrence Avenue West in Toronto on August 15, 2012 after attempting to speak to abortion-bound women there. She then spent the duration of the trial in prison for refusing to sign bail conditions requiring her to stay away from abortion sites.

Wagner is using the matter as a test case to challenge the current definition of a human being in Canadian law – that is, that a human being is legally recognized as such only after he or she has fully emerged from the birth canal in a breathing state.

Wagner’s notice states the appeal is regarding:

  • Her conviction and sentence on a single count of mischief (interference with property),
  • Her conviction and sentence on four counts of breach of probation,
  • The order denying public funding,
  • The order denying the disclosure of third-party records,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts on the applicant’s constitutional challenge concerning the constitutional validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts concerning the construction of Section 37 of the Criminal Code,
  • The probation order denying Wagner her constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion on all public sidewalks and public areas within 100 metres of places where abortions are committed,
  • And each conviction and sentence and all orders and rulings made by O’Donnell.

In the notice of appeal, Lugosi cites numerous points on which O’Donnell erred:

  • He denied Wagner her constitutional right to make full answer and defence.
  • He denied Wagner her right to rely on Section 37 of the Criminal Code, which permits “everyone” to come to the third-party defence and rescue of any human being (in this case, the preborn) facing imminent assault.
  • He decided the factual basis of Wagner’s constitutional arguments was a waste of the court’s time and that no purpose would have been served by having an evidentiary hearing on her Charter application because, in the current state of Canadian law, it had no possibility of success.
  • He misapplied case law and prejudged the case, “giving rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias and impeding the legal evolution of the law to adapt to new circumstances, knowledge and changed societal values and morals.”
  • He accepted the Crown’s submission that it is beyond the jurisdiction of the courts to question the jurisdiction of Parliament legally to define “human being” in any manner Parliament sees fit.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code is not beyond the powers of Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code does not violate the Preamble to, as well as Sections 7, 11(d), 15 and 26, of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • He denied Wagner standing to raise a constitutional challenge to the validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code.
  • He ruled that Section 223 of the Criminal Code applied generally throughout the entire Criminal Code and used it to deny unborn human beings the benefit of equal protection as born human beings under Section 37 of the Criminal Code.
  • He denied the production and disclosure of third-party records in the possession of the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site, although the records were required to prove Wagner was justified in using reasonable force in the form of oral and written words to try to persuade pregnant mothers from killing their unborn children by abortion.
  • He denied Wagner the defence of Section 37 of the Criminal Code by ruling unborn children did not come within the scope of human beings eligible to be protected by a third party.
  • He ruled Wagner did not come within the scope of Section 37 because she was found to be non-violent (in that she did not use physical force).
  • He ruled the unborn children Wagner was trying to rescue were not under her protection.
  • He denied Wagner the common-law defences of necessity and the rescue of third parties in need of protection.
  • He denied Wagner public funding to make full answer and defence for a constitutional test case of great public importance and national significance.
  • He imposed an unconstitutional sentence upon Wagner by, in effect, imposing an injunction as a condition of probation, contrary to her constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

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Among the orders Lugosi is seeking are:

  • That an appeal be allowed against conviction on all counts and that a verdict of acquittal be entered on all counts,
  • That Section 223 of the Criminal Code be found unconstitutional  and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as the unwritten constitution of Canada,
  • That the sentence be declared unconstitutional and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and the unwritten constitution of Canada or that a new trial be conducted, with Wagner permitted to make full answer and defence, be given standing to make a constitutional attack on Section 223 of the Criminal Code, with the admission of expert witnesses,
  • That the Women’s Care Clinic abortion site be made to produce third-party records pertaining to patients seen on August 15, 2012 (when Wagner entered the site),
  • And that there be public funding for two defence counsels at any retrial and for any appeal related to the case.

No date has yet been established for a decision on the appeal or hearings.

A defence fund for Wagner’s case is still raising money. Details on how to contribute to it can be found here.


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