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English Catholic Church Surrenders

When I was a Catholic, my friends and I would chortle triumphally about the poor old Anglican Church, and how it was slip-sliding into the mire of moral relativism, and so forth. Unlike us, with our Magisterium.

Boy, those were the days. Now this, via the Rev. Jules Gomes:

Catholic authorities in England have enthusiastically endorsed the government’s new Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) laws which override parental rights and normalise same-sex marriage and transgenderism to children as young as four.

The regulations, approved during Easter week by the House of Lords, brings to an end a long-running internal battle within the Conference of Catholic Bishops of England and Wales and the Catholic Education Service over the issue of teaching same-sex relationships in primary schools and the role of parents as the ‘primary and original’ educators of their children.

The statutory instrument, which makes teaching LGBT relationships and sexual practices compulsory, abolishes the right of parents to withdraw primary school children (aged 4 to 11) from Relationships Education, where children will be taught about gay relationships and same-sex parenting.

Dr. Gomes cites this post by gay Catholic activist Terence on his blog Queering The Church, in which claims that the leading UK gay lobby Stonewall owns Catholic policymakers:

As one who has (twice) participated in Stonewall training to combat HBT (homophobic/biphobic/transphobic) bullying in English schools, I can confirm that much of this material is not just “similar” to the Stonewall material – it’s identical to some of what was used in Stonewall’s own training. Some other material consists of direct quotes from Stonewall publications in the public domain.

… What I find particularly striking about this initiative, is that deliberately or not, the English bishops have in effect entered an informal partnership with Stonewall. Not long ago, there were widespread perceptions (on both sides of the divide) that Stonewall and the churches were necessarily in opposition to each other. From Stonewall’s side, under the leadership of the current CE Ruth Hunt, Stonewall is actively promoting alliances with faith-based LGBT groups. Now it seems that Catholic bishops too, are seeing value in Stonewall’s work to combat homophobia and bullying.

Here is the official statement by Paul Barber, who heads the Catholic Education Service, the organization overseeing Catholic schools:

Paul Barber, Director of the Catholic Education Service commented: “We welcome this commitment by the Government to improve Relationships and Sex Education in all schools.

“Catholic education is centred on the formation of the whole child and age appropriate RSE is an essential part of this. It is essential for creating well rounded young people, for equipping students to make good life choices, and for keeping our children safe.

“As such, the Catholic schools’ sector is the only one in the country to have a comprehensive and holistic RSE curriculum for ages 3-19. The proposals announced by the Government today are compatible with the Catholic model curriculum.

“In fact, the Government’s own statutory guidance recognises the Catholic RSE curriculum as an excellent example for schools to use and is one of the few external organisations the guidance referenced as best practice examples.

“The Catholic Church teaches that parents are the prime educators of their children and we are pleased to see the Government sharing this fundamental principle.”

There you have it. Catholic families in England who believe what their own church teaches about sexuality cannot rely on the bishops to defend Catholic teaching, or the interests of their children. What choice is there but the Benedict Option?

Granted, it is likely true that the bishops would have had very few English Catholics behind them had they taken a stand. But it’s one thing to surrender when you’ve got no troops left with which to fight, and another to capitulate enthusiastically.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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