Saturday, 4 October 2014

Guardian report of school parents meeting "false and misleading" says SPUC Safe at School

SPUC Safe at School has accused The Guardian newspaper of publishing a false and misleading report about a meeting of parents and staff at Welford Primary school in Birmingham ("Police called after reports of disorder at ‘Trojan horse’ school in Birmingham", Guardian, 4 October 2014).

Safe at School told the media today:
"The Guardian's report exagerrated events and linked them to the 'Trojan Horse' fears, but Safe at School has eyewitness evidence that the meeting was attended by parents from a range of religious and ethnic backgrounds - including Christians and Muslims.

The key concern for parents was to protect their primary-aged children from premature sexualisation, a concern that was highlighted in the 2011 Bailey report.* That report, published by the government, found that parents were 'particularly unhappy with the increasingly sexualised culture surrounding their children, which they feel they have no control over.'

Safe at School believes that parents should be encouraged to make their voices heard, as Sir Reg Bailey argued, and this applies especially in schools.* Schools must allow children to be children. They should connect with parents and should be family-friendly places.

These are British values, and have nothing to do with 'radicalisation'."
* The Bailey report is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bailey-review-of-the-commercialisation-and-sexualisation-of-childhood-final-report-published

Sir Reg Bailey is quoted on that page: "Society has become increasingly full of sexualised imagery. This has created a wallpaper to children’s lives. Parents feel there is no escape and no clear space where children can be children. I want to put the power back in parents’ hands so they can better manage the pressures on their children and make it easier for them to bring up their children the way they want. Parents need encouragement to feel they can change things and that their voices will be heard. Regulators, businesses and broadcasters should do more to connect with parents - it’s not enough for them to work out what is acceptable from what people complain about afterwards. I hope that they see that it’s good business if you look out for families. Then we can all help to make Britain a more family friendly place."

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CORRECTED Extraordinary Synod on the Family: Report from Rome

Voice of the Family team
at work in their HQ in Rome
(Some readers experienced broken links in the original version of this blogpost. These link have now been corrected. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience.)

Maria Madise, SPUC's International, UN and  Research officer, and manager of the Voice of the Family team here in Rome, reports yesterday:

The beginning of the Extraordinary Synod is only two days away. Voice of the Family team has settled into the daily routine of ora et labora, prayer and work in our Rome headquarters at the Salvatorians' Motherhouse just a few metres from St Peter's Square. We have acquired our press passes from the Holy See Press Office, met with a few Italian pro-life leaders and made preparations for our receptions next week to host prelates and fellow pro-lifers present here in Rome.

By taking a leading role in forming this international coalition of pro-life and pro-family groups, SPUC has brought together already 12 organisations and the alliance is growing. To date, Voice of the Family includes:
Yesterday a joint press release was sent to European and American media, and published on LifeSiteNews.com
New stories are published every day on Voice of the Family website. Please subscribe, if you have not done so yet, to follow the news and reflections from Rome during the Extraordinary Synod on the Family this month.

Please do pass this message on to anyone of your contacts who might be interested in receiving this information.

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Friday, 3 October 2014

Cardinal Pell: A change in Catholic discipline on marriage would be sociologically disastrous

Cardinal Pell (right)
I  am currently attending a press conference in Vatican City featuring His Eminence Cardinal Pell (pictured). It's the launch of a book, to which the cardinal has written the preface, entitled The Gospel of the Family, which takes issue with Cardinal Kasper on the reception of Communion by divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

“Doctrine and pastoral practice cannot be contradictory,” writes His Eminence.

In his address to this afternoon's press conference, Cardinal Pell posed the question: "Was Catholic resistance to Henry VIII all for naught?"

I am here with the Voice of the Family team, founded by SPUC, to support bishops at the Extraordinary Synod as they seek to defend marriage, parents as the primary educators of their children, and Catholic teaching on contraception. Contraception, involving the separation of the unitive and procreative dimensions of the sexual act, has been the catalyst and major source of the culture of death.

In this connection, His Eminence referred to the landmark academic work of Mary Eberstadt, on which I have previously blogged.

He said: "A change in Catholic discipline on marriage would be disastrous".

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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Life and Family groups unite to back Extraordinary Synod on the Family

I am delighted to tell you about a growing coalition of pro-family and pro-life groups gathered under the name of Voice of the Family to offer our expertise and resources before, during and after the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. The Synod will be held in Rome between 5 and 19 October. Voice of the Family team will be working throughout that period at the Salvatorian Motherhouse on Via della Conciliazione.

Our position paper released yesterday, on the Feast of St Michael, states:
“The Synod provides an important opportunity to take concrete steps to address this crisis and give renewed impetus to the “New Evangelisation”. If the Synod is to be effective it is essential that the teaching of the Church is affirmed clearly and without ambiguity. All proposals which result from the Synod must be founded on the truths of the natural moral law and Divine Revelation.”
Voice of the Family aims to assist individual Synod participants as well as to serve the faithful by sharing our research and analysis via our media and contacts. At the heart of all our considerations are the following key principles:
1. Marriage, the exclusive, life-long union of one man and one woman, is the fundamental foundation of a stable and flourishing society and is the greatest protector of children, born and unborn.
2. The separation of the unitive and procreative ends of the sexual act, which is intrinsic to the use of contraception, has acted as a major catalyst of the culture of death.
3. Parents are the primary educators of their children:
“It will be impossible to engage in a ‘New Evangelisation’, or to build a new ‘culture of life’,” the position paper concludes, “if the true understanding of marriage and human sexuality is no longer understood and if parents are no longer free to educate their children according to the natural moral law and the teachings of the Catholic Church. There are many men and women of good will, who have the truths of the natural moral law “written on their hearts” (Rm 2:15), who are open to hearing the message of the Church when it is presented with clarity and confidence. It is our hope that the Synod will use this opportunity to help bring the good news of Jesus Christ to families across the world.”
To date Voice of the Family is supported by:
Your prayerful support is very important.

You can contact us at:
Voice of the Family
Tel. +44 20 7820 3148; +39 33 833 09443
Email: enquiry@voiceofthefamily.info
Web: http://voiceofthefamily.info

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