ACCESS OUR E-PAPER AND FIVE YEARS OF ARCHIVES FOR JUST £38 A YEAR
WILLIAM ODDIE CHESTERTON WAS NOT AN ANTI-SEMITE
Loophole offers hope to adoption agencies
TWOCHURCH -RUN adoption agencies have changed their charitable objects to allow them to turn away same-sex couples on religious grounds. St Margaret’s Adoption and Child Care Society, a Catholic agency in Glasgow, and the Cornerstone Adoption and Fostering Service, an evangelical agency in the north east of England, will now be able to comply with new gay rights laws while remaining true to their religious convictions. Their success in changing their constitutions to comply with the law and stay within the control of their respective churches has raised serious questions over why the 11 English and Welsh Catholic adoption agencies have been unable to do the same. So far, five of these have broken ties with the bishops to become independent secular institutions and one has wound up its adoption service altogether. Two others are undecided, while those in Westminster, Birmingham and Leeds have seen their applications to change their objects turned down by the Charity Commission. There are just six weeks remaining before the agencies must comply with the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs) that were brought in to ban discrimination against gay people in the provision of goods and services. But there is still time for the agencies to follow the route taken by St Margaret’s and Cornerstone. Neil Addison, a barrister and expert in religious hatred law, said: “The agencies can amend their constitutions within 24
hours if they wanted to. That is not the problem. All that is lacking is the will.” He said the agencies were in a position to comply with the SORs and be protected under Part 2 of the Equality Act 2006 – which prevents local authorities discriminating against organisations on the grounds of their religious beliefs –and under Article 9 of the Convention of Human Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. He said he thought that the “real reason” why many agencies had cut ties with the Church was because they were happy to comply with the SORs. Lawyers representing the three adoption agencies that failed in their attempts to change their objects have been in contact with Cornerstone and St Margaret’s to try to find out why they have succeeded. They had earlier hoped that by explicitly stating that the agencies dealt solely with married couples and single people they would satisfy Regulation 18 of the SORs. This allows limited discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation by “reason of, or on the grounds of, the provisions of a charitable instrument”. But some experts say their approach is directly discriminatory and offers no protection under existing religious discrimination laws. The successful agencies reworded their objects to specifically refer to their religious character. Discrimination against gay couples would be indirect and a consequence of observing their religious ideals. Jane Hasnip, the chief executive of Cornerstone, based in Stockton-on-Tees, Continued on Page 3
November 21, 2008 £1 (Republic of Ireland €1.50)
Congolese bishops warn the West of ‘genocide’
A severely malnourished boy waits for milk at a Catholic mission feeding centre in Rutshuru, eastern Congo CNS
Congolese bishops have denounced the international community’s tolerance of increasing hostilities in eastern Congo, which they called a “silent genocide” against the civilian population there. “We are calling on the international community to work sincerely to ensure respect for international law,” said a Congolese bishops’ committee in a statement on the war in the east and north-east of Congo on November 13. Decrying the alleged inaction of the UN peacekeeping mission (Monuc), which the bishops accused of standing by and watching the violence, the bishops said it was “crucial that a peace and stabilisation force be sent to re-establish order in our country”. “The situation has reached intolerable proportions which are very worrying and could destabilise the whole region if nothing is done,” they said. Large-scale massacres of the civilian population, targeted murders of young people and systematic rapes perpetrated as a weapon of war are now part of the daily routine in the area north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu, they said. They pointed out that conflicts between armed groups are taking place where mineral resources are mined. “It is obvious that the natural resources of... Congo are fuelling the greed of certain powers and these natural resources are not unrelated to the violence now being inflicted on the population,” they said. Ongoing fighting between rebels and pro-government forces has led to more than 1.5 million refugees. The most recent violence has displaced at least 250,000 people since the conflict flared in August. The Catholic Church in North Kivu is helping refugees through Caritas Goma, a partner of Cafod, the aid agency of Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Cafod has launched a £1 million appeal for civilians caught up in the fighting. So far, they have raised £855,000. As The Catholic Herald went to press rebels had launched another offensive despite declaring a ceasefire.
FIT FOR MISSION?
£8.95 Fit for Mission? Church [Expanded Edition] by Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue. A4 size paperback 104 pages ISBN 978 1 86082 543 9
US bishops decry the rise in dating agencies which target the married
AMERICAN BISHOPS have condemned a boom in dating websites aimed at married people, saying adultery threatens the “common good of all”. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston and three other bishops in Massachusetts – Bishop George Coleman, Bishop Robert McManus and Bishop Timothy McDonnell – attacked the
sites and said media outlets should refuse their advertisements. “The ads encourage the use of an online dating service for married persons contemplating adulterous relationships. This wrongful enterprise threatens not only the oldest and most foundational of human institutions but also the common good of all,” they said in a statement. Online dating agencies
aimed at married people have grown in the last few years on the back of the growth of online dating. The bishops acted after Ashley Madison Agency, the largest dating agency targetting married people, launched a series of adverts on Boston radio. They praised radio stations in Philadelphia and Houston that refused to air the ads, and asked others to follow suit. “The activity
promoted by this advertising effort will not benefit families, and the ads send the wrong message to our young,” they said. “Marriage is the basis for the family, the fundamental human society. A healthy committed marriage helps to insure the well-being of children, create social stability and improve the quality of life for all citizens.”
Editorial Comment: Page 11
Read the document they’re all talking about. As featured in the Catholic Herald.
Discover more new titles from CTS at www.cts-online.org.uk
Buy from the CTS website, return this form, or call 020 7640 0042
[quantity] . . . . . . . Fit for Mission? Church [Do795] @ £8.95
You might also like to read the following:
[quantity] . . . . . . . Fit for Mission? Schools [Do779] @ £6.95 Asserts the value of Catholic schools and outlines best practice.
Please add UK postage by order value: up to £10.00, add £2.00; up to £15.00, add £3.00; up to £20.00, add £4.00; up to £25.00, add £5.00; up to £30.00, add £6.00; over £30.00, add £7.00. Cheques payable to “Catholic Truth Society”. Tick here if you don’t want us to send you CTS’s free catalogue.
Address inc postcode: ..............................................
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...................................
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tel: ..................................
CTS – Catholic Truth Society 40-46 Harleyford Rd, London SE11 5AY email@example.com www.cts-online.org.uk
CH 2008 10
Mother-in-law drives man to annulment
Archbishop’s moving audience with pope
ANITALIAN man has had his marriage annulled on the grounds that his “interfering mother-in-law made his life hell”. Accountant Antonio Paolillo, 36, was granted an annulment by an ecclesiastical tribunal. Family lawyers said it was thought to be the first time that a marriage had been annulled by the Church on such grounds. Traditional reasons are
refusal or inability to consummate the marriage, being forced into marriage or being under the influence of drugs at the time of the wedding ceremony. His marriage to 31year-old Gemma lasted just four months before he fled the marital home because of his mother-in-law’s interfering. His lawyer, Fabrizio Torre, successfully argued in a civil court to have the divorce granted and then won over a Church court that granted him an annulment. It meant that in the eyes of the Catholic Church the wedding never took place and Antonio, who is from Amalfi near Salerno in southern Italy, is free to marry again.
ROWANWILLIAMS ’ S audience with an ailing John Paul II in 2003 was so emotional that some people were moved to tears, a new book claims. Rupert Shortt, in his biography Rowan’s Rule , said that Dr Williamssank to his knees to kiss John Paul’s ring, and, “in an unprecedented move”, the pope then kissed the archbishop’s as well. Mr Shortt explains that
“silent compassion” emanated from Dr Williams’s face as the pope, who was suffering from Parkinson’s, struggled to talk. “Several onlookers were in tears at the spectacle,” he said. He also recounts the story that, after Dr Williams’s departure, John Paul II asked an aide: “Who were those people?” Mr Shortt said Anglicans had started talking “more deeply” with Catholics during Dr Williams’s tenure.
INSIDE: ENGLISH BISHOP PRAISES BARACK OBAMA PAGE 3
Help Heal India’s Wounds
This young girl’s face was burned when extremists torched her village in Orissa, eastern India.
They attacked her because she is a Christian.
In India systematic violence against Christians has left more than: • 60 dead • 18,000 injured • 50,000 homeless • 80 churches destroyed.
ACN is determined to do what it can to help. India’s Christians need your prayers and your help.
Aid to the Church in Need
12-14 Benhill Avenue, Sutton, Surrey SM1 4DA.
Registered with the Charity Commission No. 1097984 IN08A/CHA
I enclose £.......... £100 £50 £25 Other to help persecuted Christians. I enclose acheque to Aid to the Church in Need OR please debit my VISA/MasterCard/Amex/Maestro:
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
Signature strip code (last block of digits) : __ __ __( __ )
Expiry Date:......./....... Valid From Date:......./.......
Issue No: ...... (Maestro) Signature:.............................. I do not wish to receive information about Aid to the Church in Need