By Hilary White
LEEDS, UK, July 27, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Catholic Care, a leading British Catholic adoption agency announced this week that it will cease operations in light of the recently imposed requirement that they must allow children to be adopted by homosexual partners. Catholic Care is the first of the religious social agencies to announce that it can no longer operate under the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SOR’s) that proponents claimed would put an end to “discrimination” in the UK.
According to the Daily Mail, the agency, in operation for a century, announced that a vote of its trustees decided to end its services that had placed about 20 children a year into new families.
The decision from Catholic Care came a week after the Catholic bishop of Lancaster, Patrick O’Donoghue wrote a letter to Catholic Caring Services, an adoption charity in his diocese, saying that the needs of the child must come before the desire for parenthood.
The Daily Mail quotes him saying, “I favour rejection, thus withdrawal from adoption and fostering from December 2008 if all else fails.”
“We know that what is best for children is to live with married couples. Dilution of that harms children… Children who stay with married parents do by far the best, whilst those with same-sex couples often fare badly, and certainly never as well as a child with a married couple.”
In April, when the Labour government passed the SOR’s, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims and other religious and ethics groups were united in condemning the move, calling it a means of imposing state-sanctioned secularist doctrine on religious groups orchestrated by the gay lobby.
In the weeks leading up to the passage of the secondary legislation, the media was in an uproar over the possibility that adoption agencies run by the Catholic Church might or might not be granted an exception to the law on religious conscience grounds.
Cormac Cardinal Murphy O’Connor, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales warned that the Church would be forced to end its involvement in adopting children rather than comply with what he saw as a law that suppressed religious freedom. A similar decision was taken earlier by Boston Catholic Charities that ended its adoption services in March 2006 when the state of Massachusetts tried to force them to adopt children to homosexual partners.
In the end, Tony Blair, who was said to have been waffling on the issue, decreed that the Church, or any other group, would not be granted any exemptions but that an “adjustment period” would be granted for such bodies to come to terms with the new order.
Homosexual partners have been eligible to adopt children in Britain since 2002 and most non-religious agencies allow it. But the SOR’s took the issue to the next phase in forcing religious agencies to allow it against their stated religious principles. Catholic Care served both Catholic and non-Catholic couples.
In comments to the BBC in the spring, Murphy O’Connor said the SOR’s were part of a movement to force Christians out of public life in Britain. “Here the Catholic Church and its adoption services are wishing to act according to its principles and conscience and the government is saying: ‘No, we won’t allow you to … you have no space, you have no place in the public life of this country.’”
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
British Churches Respond: Government Using Orwellian Tactics in Catholic Adoption Row
Homosexual Adoption Ends 100 Years of Adoption Services by Boston Catholic Charities