Thursday, 13 June 2013

Stonewall scandal at Catholic university college points to bureaucrats as the problem

Pope Benedict  in the chapel
of St. Mary's University College, Twickenham
Deacon Nick Donnelly of the excellent Protect the Pope blog reports that St Mary's University College, Twickenham (known colloquially as Strawberry Hill):
"subjected its PGCE students to a two-hour anti-homophobic bullying workshop run by Stonewall on its premises. The ‘training’ session lasted from 4pm to 6pm on Thursday 6th June."
A similar scandal occurred recently at a Catholic primary school in Wimbledon and seems to be happening in other Catholic schools and colleges.

Strawberry Hill is one of the most prominent Catholic educational establishments in the UK, and hosted Pope Benedict in September 2010, where he said:
"the much-discussed Catholic ethos...needs to inform every aspect of school life"
"the self-evident requirement that the content of the teaching should always be in conformity with Church doctrine."
The doctrine of the Catholic Church on this matter is expressed in the Cathechism of the Catholic Church as follows:
"Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts* as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved."
SPUC has been sent a copy of the Stonewall presentation given at Strawberry Hill which was used as the basis for the workshop. The presentation goes beyond the subject of homophobic bullying. It:
  • attacks Christian teachers who have objections to homosexuality
  • advocates the inclusion of homosexual equality into curricula
  • attacks Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 which (before being repealed in 2003) prevented the promotion of homosexuality in any state-maintained school
  • provides a recommended reading list of homosexual books
  • promotes homosexual parenting
  • links to websites which, among other things, promotes 'gay pride' marches.
The college's website reveals that, among its 'equality scheme objectives', are:
  • "To ensure mechanism for students to declare sexual orientation"
  • "Ensure that information on sexual orientation is collected at Registration"
  • "To improve confidence in declaring sexuality"
  • "To develop information for students to improve their confidence to declare [their sexuality]"
  • "Ensure support for transgender staff and students"
Many of the members of the college's board of governors are nominated by the Catholic Education Service (CES). Mgr Marcus Stock, General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, recently reminded schools, in a document published on behalf of the CES and the Bishops' Conference, that Catholic schools have a duty of:
"integrating Gospel values and the teachings of the Catholic Church into every aspect of learning, teaching and the totality of school life."
However, considering that it is the CES who is recommending to Catholic schools that they 'tackle homophobic bullying', I wonder if it is staff there who are also responsible, either directly or indirectly, for the Stonewall presentation at Strawberry Hill and for its homosexual equality objectives. After all, the CES's deputy director is Greg Pope, a former Member of Parliament whose anti-life and anti-family parliamentary record includes support for homosexual civil partnerships and allowing homosexual couples to adopt children. A statement of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith leaves the grave immorality of such legislation beyond any doubt:
"Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized also in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case."
It would seem that this might be a case of the bureaucats who work for the bishops letting the the bishops down.

However, on a very positive note, how timely that Archbishop Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is visiting Scotland this week to deliver a strong message upholding parents as the primary educators of their children. In the prestigious "Cardinal Winning Lecture" at the University of Glasgow he will say:
"It is opportune at this present moment, amidst the rapidly changing state of society, of higher education generally and also of the Church, to reflect on the nature and distinctiveness of Catholic Education and on the challenges it both faces and also presents ... "
and he says:
"the State has the duty and responsibility to facilitate the wishes of Catholic parents to educate their children according to their desire to pass on their faith to their children."
Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager who is also a graduate of St Mary's bioethics master's degree course, would like to hear from other Simmarians (past or present) who object to the homosexual agenda infiltrating St Mary's and who may be interested in joining together to make their objections known to the relevant persons. Write to Anthony at

* Why is the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality (and sexual ethics generally) important specifically for the pro-life movement? The late Pope John Paul II, the great pro-life champion, taught in no. 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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