A "deal" on SORs?

A student yesterday drew my attention to an article in the Daily Telegraph: Falconer refuses to exempt Catholics from new gay laws. Lord Falconer refuses to acknowledge the obvious conflict of "rights" that is at the heart of the widespread Christian opposition to these regulations. His approach seems to be deliberately confrontational and, if pursued, will place good and upright members of society on the wrong side of the law. All quite predictable so far.

However, I have just realised that there is a "deal" being brokered. The Telegraph reports:
"Downing Street has proposed a possible compromise under which Catholic agencies could refuse to accept gay couples but would have a duty to refer them to agencies that would accept them."
Yesterday, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor sent a letter to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. Here is the text of the letter. The Cardinal says that the Church is opposed to any unjust discrimination, summarises the relevant Catholic teaching on marriage, and says that it would be "unreasonable, unnecessary and unjust discrimination against Catholics" if Catholic adoption agencies were required to place children with homosexual couples. Then comes the crucial paragraph:
"Catholic adoption agencies have readily accepted their responsibility to provide an informative, sympathetic and helpful service to all those who enquire about adoption, whether or not they meet the agency's criteria for acceptance for assessment. Catholic adoption agencies welcome adoptive applicants from any or no religious background. Homosexual couples are referred to other agencies where their adoption application may be considered. This "sign-posting" responsibility is taken very seriously by all Catholic adoption agencies."
I have grave misgivings about the Church accepting this utterly unnecessary and pointless compromise. If Catholic adoption agencies are exempted from the Regulations, and it is publicly known that they do not place children with homosexual couples, that is a clear enough "sign-post" and no homosexual couple would bother with them. They will know of other adoption agencies without having to be "sign-posted" by the Catholic Children's Society.

I cannot see that the compromise is anything other than an attempt by the Government to humiliate the Church by forcing it to be involved in material co-operation with homosexual adoption. If the argument is made that homosexual couples would in some cases not be able to find an adoption agency without the help of the Catholic Children's Society, then it would be formal co-operation and illicit in any case.

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