Sunday May 6, 2012 www.thecatholicuniverse.com
Serving the Catholic community in the UK & Ireland £1.30 €1.75 Robin Hood response to taxation Page 14
Leading judge launches plan to save status of marriage
By James Kelly
In an unprecedented move, a top serving judge has launched a foundation aimed specifically at promoting marriage.
Sir Paul Coleridge, one of the UK’s most senior family court judges, has launched The Marriage Foundation, having seen the adverse effects of marriage break-up on society.
Speaking to The Universe, Harry Benson, Communications Director of the Foundation, said that its aim “is to be a voice for marriage”.
He explained: “In a nutshell, the root problem of family breakdown is the trend away from marriage.
“The Marriage Foundation is an attempt to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough; we need to be more confident as a society about backing
‘We simply cannot afford the financial and human cost of family breakdown’
- Sir Paul Coleridge marriage as the best way to make relationships work and raise children. Mr Benson continued: “We have a huge problem with family breakdown in this country – the taxpayer pays £44bn a year, a bill that is greater than that for the defence budget, and yet there is very little policy to reduce let alone prevent such a problem. “
The Foundation has no religious or political affiliation, Mr Benson explained: “It is not the usual suspects – this is High Court judges who have to face the tide of human misery in their courts day after day after day”.
He told The Universe, “we obviously think that the Government could do a lot more. It could be a lot more positive and more distinctive in the way that it highlights marriage as the best way to bring up children.
“It’s obviously not the only way to bring up children but it’s unquestionably the best. If you want mum and dad being together for the duration, then marriage is the best way to do that.”
Speaking at the Foundation’s launch this week were the Anglican Archbishop of York John Sentamu and the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks.
A number of judges are among the Foundation’s patrons and founding supporters, including Baroness Shackleton, the personal solicitor to Princes William and Harry.
The foundation also has the support of Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith.
The Foundation’s aims chime strongly with sentiments expressed by Archbishop of Southwark Peter Smith, vice-president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, at a press conference this week.
Archbishop Smith said: “All recent reports and social research has shown that the best place to bring up children – to help them to mature and grow – is in a stable marriage.”
Continued on page 2
Bishop Sherrington the future of Catholic education See page 28
Follow The Universe Catholic Weekly on Twitter at twitter.com/ CATHOLIC_MD
Hollywood hits Edinburgh for The Railway Man See page 3