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 By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

LONDON, June 9, 2008 ( – The Westminster Catholic Children’s Society, founded in 1764 and whose current president is Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, will continue its policy of placing children only with married heterosexuals and single people, in defiance of the British government’s homosexual equality laws.

Advisers to the Cardinal, who is the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, say they have found a legal loophole that might allow the agency to continue its service while remaining faithful to the fundament truths of the Catholic Church.

The vague wording of Section 18 of the Sexual Orientation Regulations of the new Equality Act may enable the Society to confound the contentious rules by simply amending its constitution to refer directly to “married heterosexual couples” rather than its current reference to “couples who wish to adopt.”

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said he was in full agreement with the decision to challenge the new government policies.

“I fully support the decision of the trustees in their endeavours to continue the valuable work of the Society,” the Cardinal said.

As reported last week, other Catholic adoption agencies in Britain have either severed their links with the Church in order to comply with the new regulations or have simply closed their doors.

Jim Richards, the Westminster Catholic Children’s Society’s director, said this conflict need not have arisen if the Government had given an exemption to adoption agencies, as former Prime Minister Tony Blair had recommended, and as other EU countries have done.

“Other countries don’t see adoption as goods and services and therefore it doesn’t fall under their regulations,” he said in a Daily Mail report. “This is a problem of the Government’s making which has been foisted on us.”

He added, “We simply want to continue to do what we have been doing for many years reasonably successfully. Adoption is a very important part of the Church’s work with children who are extremely vulnerable.”

Neil Addison, a British lawyer and expert in religious discrimination, praised the Society’s determination to fight for their right to provide Catholic adoption services and said that the government could be severely embarrassed by a defeat in the courts if a suit is launched against the adoption agency.

“When you have such a cocktail of law and competing rights, you have ample scope for legal argument, negotiation and compromise,” Mr. Addison stated.

Saying that British law surrounding the Sexual Orientation Regulations was “untested” and any legal action against the adoption agency would have an “uncertain outcome,” Addison concluded, “The Church may not win, but if Catholic agencies are to be closed and deprived of their right to provide these services, let that be done – and be seen to be done – by the Government and not by the Church.”

Read previous coverage:

After 120 Years of Service UK Catholic Adoption Agency Forced to Close Doors Over Forced Gay Adoptions