Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Catholic teaching on sexual morality too political for schools

Gosh! I never thought that would happen.

Catholic schools being opposed to gay marriage ought to be a dog bites man story as in “Pope still Catholic” or “Sun rises at dawn again.” In the wacky world of modern Britain’s metropolitan elite it is now a source of outrage. Pink News scooped the story with an exposé and the Guardian and the BBC report on the matter with ponderous solemnity.

Craziest of all, Michael Gove, the Secretary for Education, and a Conservative MP, has launched an investigation into the matter. The excuse for this ludicrous waste of public money is that some Catholic schools have promoted the C4M petition to uphold marriage, the wording of which states simply:
I support the legal definition of marriage which is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. I oppose any attempt to redefine it.
To promote this petition is deemed to be political. A spokesperson for the Department for Education said:
Schools have a responsibility under law to ensure children are insulated from political activity and campaigning in the classroom
Will we now see similar investigations into schools that have promoted political campaigns about climate change, FairTrade, homelessness or development aid? Of course not; it is only issues of sexual morality that the self-absorbed directors of public moral thinking deem too political for schools to touch.

I am honestly puzzled by the determination of David Cameron to push gay marriage. There was nothing on the subject in the Conservative manifesto, and the whole issue is really the concern of a tiny minority of people from interest groups that have been given clout precisely because of the enthusiastic support of people like David Cameron. Cui bono?

It seems that now some of his own people are getting cold feet about the whole idea. The Chief Whip is assuring voters that it will be kicked into the long grass, and many Tory MPs are getting worried about the size of their postbag and email inbox on the subject from angry Tory voters. They are questioning how a Government that wants to be re-elected can blithely ignore a petition that is now only a few thousand short of a half a million signatures.

Congratulations to the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales for encouraging schools to uphold Catholic teaching on the issue of gay marriage and to do so in a way that has impact in the public square. Congratulations too, to St Philomena’s School in Croydon, especially the Headteacher, Miss Noone, and the Chair of Governors, Dr Mary Howard for sticking to their guns despite hostile publicity in the national press. You might just send off an email in support of the school ( since it can be stressful to be caught in the firing line.
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