Monday, 25 October 2010

Greg Pope's appointment to Catholic Education Service conflicts with Pope Benedict's teaching

Pope Benedict told the new Ecuadorean ambassador to the Holy See last Friday that "the public authorities must guarantee [that the law] helps parents, ... to educate their children according to their own religious convictions and ethical criteria ... ".

I wonder if Bishop McMahon, the chairman of the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales (CESEW), and Oonagh Stannard, its chief executive officer, happened to mention to Pope Benedict, when he was in England, anything about Greg Pope,the new deputy-director they've appointed. (Bishop McMahon and Oonagh Stannard are pictured, above, with Jim Dobbin MP at a parliamentary reception last week. It was a reception to celebrate the year of Catholic education.)

Greg Pope is a former Member of Parliament, who, as an MP, voted against pro-life Angela Watkinson MP's Ten Minute Rule bill. This bill would have required doctors providing contraception or abortion 'services' to a child under 16 to inform his or her parent or guardian. Mr Pope's anti-life, anti-parents vote on this measure alone disqualifies him to be deputy director of the CESEW. However, Mr Pope's anti-life and anti-family record, printed out, is as long as my arm - and probably as long as your arm in addition to mine! Print out my blogpost earlier this year and check for yourself.

Not least (but not solely) in the light of Mr Pope's appointment, I have no confidence that the CESEW, an agency of the bishops' conference of England and Wales, will seek to ensure that public authorities guarantee that the law helps parents to educate their children according to their own religious convictions and ethical criteria as Pope Benedict has clearly insisted they should. Mr Pope also supported the homosexual agenda* as an MP, including voting against measures (popularly known as section 28) preventing local councils from promoting homosexuality, including the teaching in schools of the 'acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship'". And he also signed a parliamentary motion calling for increased funding for international pro-abortion organizations. His appointment is a scandal which is clearly in conflict with Pope Benedict's championship of parents' prior right to educate their children.

* The late Pope John Paul II, the great pro-life champion, taught in paragraph 97 of his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae that it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.

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