Saturday 26 December 2009

English archbishops must speak out against the Children, Schools and Families bill

The Christmas homilies of the Archbishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury highlighted the centrality of the family and the special role of parents in the story of the birth of Jesus.

At midnight Mass in Westminster Cathedral, Archbishop Nichols (above), the archbishop of Westminster, said:
"Here is a truly human family: Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus. Here is a loving, committed couple, sharing side by side both adversity and joy. This is the first source of happiness: faithful, persevering love which bears its fruit through self-sacrifice."
And Dr. Rowan Williams (right), the archbishop of Canterbury, preaching yesterday at Canterbury Cathedral, emphasised the pre-eminent role of parents in the lives of children, saying:

"The message being sent out to children today was: 'We shall test you relentlessly in schools, we shall bombard you with advertising, often highly sexualised advertising, we shall worry you about your prospects and skills from the word go. We shall do all we can to make childhood a brief and rather regrettable stage on the way to the real thing, which is ‘independence’, turning you into a useful cog in the social machine that won’t need too much maintenance.' Parents should learn to enjoy their children’s dependence on them, instead of forcing them prematurely into independence."
Dr Williams is right to call on parents to assert themselves as their children's primary educators, saying they " ... should learn to enjoy their children’s dependence on them, instead of forcing them prematurely into independence."

My hope and my prayer are that both church leaders, immediately in the new year, and prior to its second reading in the House of Commons (provisionally scheduled for January 11), break their silence and speak out clearly and unequivocally against the Children, Schools and Families Bill - government legislation which threatens both children and families as never before in our country.

As SPUC said last month on the day of the Bill's publication:
"Clauses 11 to 14 of the bill make sex education compulsory and set out the principles under which schools must teach sex education. The principles require that sex education 'reflects a reasonable range of...cultural and other perspectives' and promotes 'equality', 'diversity' and 'rights'. The bill also says that schools must 'have regard' to government guidance on how to implement the principles ... The bill reflects the recommendations of the Teenage Pregnancy Advisory Group's report"
And in the same statement I said:
"There can be no doubt the government will use the bill, if passed, to promote abortion in schools. The bill's principles will be used to ensure that pro-abortion propaganda dominates the content of sex education. Schoolgirls will be told that they have a right to abortion, that abortion is virtually harmless and that pro-abortion agencies provide good sexual health services. 'Equality' and 'diversity' will be used to suppress opposition to abortion. The abolition of parents' right to withdraw older children from sex education classes will ensure that no child leaves state schooling without having been brainwashed with an pro-abortion mentality."
In particular, it is incumbent upon the Catholic Education Service (CES) in England and Wales to reverse its general support for compulsory sex education. The CES (of which Archbishop Nichols was chairman till his appointment as archbishop of Westminster this year) should also stop welcoming Connexions into Catholic schools. Connexions is a government agency which is committed to giving schoolchildren, under the age of 16, access to abortion and abortifacients without parental knowledge or permission. Connexions' advisers are trained to tell young people that they can obtain abortion and abortifacients without parental knowledge or consent.

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