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Catholic Education Service defends marriage petition in schools

By on Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Catholic Education Service of England and Wales has defended its decision to circulate the archbishops’ letter on marriage to almost 400 schools.

The CESEW responded after one pupil complained that pupils were being encouraged to sign the Coalition for Marriage’s petition against Government plans to legalise same-sex marriage.

In a statement they said: “The letter is a positive affirmation of marriage, as is the Coalition for Marriage’s online petition. As the letter says, Catholics believe that ‘marriage is a high and noble vocation’.

“We reject the suggestion that Catholic schools have acted illegally. The Equality Act 2010 applies to all schools and we are fully supportive of the Act. It is central to Catholic teaching that all individuals should be treated with respect and dignity.”

The Church was defending itself against accusations that it had used “political indoctrination” by promoting the letter, penned by Archbishops Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Peter Smith of Southwark, which defended traditional marriages. Secularist groups said the schools and the CES may have been breaking equality laws.

But the CES said: “Catholic state schools have always been permitted by law to teach matters relating to sex and relationships education, including the importance of marriage, in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church’s view on the importance of marriage is a religious view, not a political one.

“The online petition itself makes it clear that people under the age of 16 cannot sign it. We will issue new guidance for our schools to ensure that they are aware of this.

Over 470,000 people have now signed the Coalition for Marriage petition.

  • Benedict Carter

    Hey Mike, got something relevant to tell us? Do come back when you’ve grown a mind.

  • Acleron

    Any rational to linking marriage, family and personal freedom, or is it just hand waving.

  • Acleron

    As we are not talking about knowledge of a crime but how an act which is not a crime will affect you, your argument is slightly less than totally irrelevant.

    But it is noticeable that neither you nor jabba answered the question.

  • Acleron

    How else would you define the cc’s obvious dislike of homosexuals? There have been enough quite bizarre comments to see that the prejudice.

    You wish to exclude a group of people from an area of civil war, how else can you describe this but discrimination.

    You want to introduce these two into schools, and I’ll do it for you. Its called indoctrination.

    If you don’t like what you do, why do you do it?

  • Acleron

    And that should have been ‘law’ not ‘war’

  • JByrne24

    Thanks for the posting Acleron.

    I did wonder once whether people like BC were real. 
    Are they trolls, or double (?) agents bent on destroying Catholicism?

    One really would find it very hard, perhaps impossible, to invent this level of vitriol, prejudice, ignorance and bigotry.

  • Acleron

    Poe’s law I’m afraid.

    I’m just glad I don’t live in India. 

  • Benedict Carter

    It’s Catholicism. I know you reject it out of hand. 

  • JabbaPapa

    Two years’ worth of rationale from studying Utopian thinking in the Western World — which is, I’m sure you’ll understand, impossible to squeeze into a little blog post.

    Utopian thinking of whatever nature seeks to undermine and destroy any opposition to it, and tends towards totalitarianism (of whatever nature — not always involving dictators in fancy uniforms and with large armies). The final rampart of resistance to utopian totalitarianism is always the family, and as such it is always a main target of the most brutally aggressive utopian ideals.

    Families define themselves, according to their own rules, and according to their own ideals — these are not imposed from without (though they will be informed from without). Family, not the isolated individual, is the real locus of human freedom — the isolated individual is not free, that individual is only a cog in whichever machine.

  • JabbaPapa

    Pointing out that your question is ludicrously defined and fundamentally flawed by its utterly self-centred and hedonistic nature is the only response that it deserves.

    The question cannot be taken seriously.

  • JabbaPapa

    Your comment appears to make no rational sense as far as being a response to the accusation that you have been insulting the Catholic Religion.

    I’m sure that most people here don’t regularly troll gay websites in order to insult people’s homosexuality. I certainly don’t !!

    Most people are saying that family values are essential to our culture, and must be preserved from destruction — your response is boohoohoo you hate the gays you evil intolerant indoctrinated bigot blablabla (and then start whining when people describe your reactions as constituting (anti)religiously-motivated insults).

    We’re not the ones with the Thought Police going round to every school and dictating what children must or mustn’t be taught — you’re the ones who want to be put in charge of the Ministry of Truth, and we are the dissidents against your giant propaganda machine.

  • JabbaPapa

    Not this bloody childish “double agent” rubbish again …

  • Acleron

    As I thought then, just hand waving.

  • Acleron

    The question is very serious. 

    That you either do not understand that or do not want to answer it, exposes much of your motives.

  • Acleron

    1) Impossible to insult the catholic religion, it isn’t anything at all just a philosophy. However people like yourselves are sensitive to the facts, while you live in your dream world and do not interfere outside it then you can do almost anything you like. Interfering with societal rules to bend them to your peculiar list of rules opens you to criticism. Get used to it, muttering ‘I believe’ doesn’t give you a free pass.
    2) I wouldn’t know if you troll gay web sites, they are not on my list of reading.
    3) The whining seems to be coming from you, perhaps you should adjust your hearing aid, you are obviously getting feedback.
    4) I would like to see children of all ages taught how to think. How to actually respect all others and certainly not that certain groups must be excluded because somebody in a robe tells them to.

  • JabbaPapa

    Impossible to insult the catholic religion, it isn’t anything at all just a philosophy.

    Nonsense — any religion is composed of the followers of its followers.

    I wouldn’t know if you troll gay web sites

    Your skill at missing the point is obviously at quite an advanced level.

    I would like to see children of all ages taught how to think.

    By your Thought Police, yes, we’ve already established that, thank you.

  • JabbaPapa

    It is pointless to discuss ethics with someone who imagines so blatantly and so overtly that crass selfishness is at its heart. And that disagreeing with such a view should somehow constitute not “understanding” it.

  • Acleron

    The church is the followers, the religion is the description of what they believe in.

    But we get to the kernel of your problem. You are frightened that people will be given the tools to think for themselves.

    Yes, I can see why you don’t want that to happen.

  • Acleron

    Your selfishness in wanting everyone to behave in the way you want is well established. If you want to call it crass, you are welcome.

  • JabbaPapa

    Where on Earth have I ever said that ?

    Your prejudiced views on what Catholics believe are clichéd, bigoted, and offensive.

  • JabbaPapa

    What a load of bigoted sel-righteous crap.

  • Acleron

    Good piece of projection you have there. It’s the catholics who don’t like various groups and who want to discriminate, not me.

    And if you want to be offended, feel free, I know it is a skill of which you are especially proud.

  • Acleron

    As you are reduced to simplistic name calling, you are obviously out of arguments.

  • Rohan

    And love means respecting the sifnificance of marriage as designed in our nature for our existence and wellbeing.

  • Rachel P

    As a married, straight practising Catholic and mother of one, I am shocked that this action has been taken.  Had this been my daughter’s school I would personally be seeking legal advice.

    I believe in the right of Catholic schools to teach the Catholic faith, but i believe tat faith is dictated by God and not by the en and women of the CES.

    I do not believe that God teaches that same sex relationships and the shared shared within them is any less sacred than the love shared between a man and a woman.  Indeed, before her was put to death, Jesus said ‘love one another as I have loved you” .  A message of tolerance if ever there was one.   I don’t recall reading that Jesus was ever as judgemental as some Catholics are showing themselves to be, intact I would say that it was of the most self-righteous in society that he was the least fond.

    In the Bible it says that if a man rapes a woman, he must pay her father and then marry her….should this outdated lesson still be adhered to and taught to our young people.

    If this continues, myself and many other tolerant, loving Catholics, may well be forced to remove our children from Catholic education, just to protect them from such views aswell as from pressure to join political movements.

  • Rachel P

    eurghh  the spelling is horrible…I blame the phone.

  • JabbaPapa

    The natural and normal definition of marriage is no more of a discrimination than the State health services only providing support for women consulting gynaecologists, but not men.

    You have clearly become so indoctrinated with the rhetoric of this homosexualist propaganda that you have lost sight of what the real issue of what the whole gay rights issue was supposed to be about in the first place.

    It is simple — homosexuals in the UK are not being discriminated against in any meaningful way whatsoever — this current campaign is pure and simple a political agitation to obtain some special rights and regards at the expense of the non-homosexuals. That is to say, to redefine ALL relationships in the same way that a homosexual relationship could be defined.

  • Acleron

    You have no evidence that marriage is natural. In fact there is no evidence that humans are monogamous through evolution or through culture.

    And for a catholic supporter to accuse someone else of being indoctrinated is likely to be busting irony meters all over the world. 

  • JabbaPapa

    As you are reduced to simplistic name calling, you are obviously out of arguments.

    That wasn’t “name-calling”, that was a characterisation of what you have been spouting forth on this page.

    And it really is a bit hypocritical, isn’t it, to complain of such things after you have been tirelessly providing your insults to the Faith on this very page, having called Catholics (note : “Catholics”, that is to say most of the readership and all of the writers of this paper, not just singling out one person’s views for attack, no yours is a collective form of slander) bigots, prejudiced, and whatnot… ?

    No — the truth of the matter is that you put forth an “argument”, which was then derided by more than one of us here as being ill-conceived and one-sided, your response to which was to start insulting the Catholic Faith whilst simultaneously claiming that homosexuals were the offended party.

    So in other words : person A insults group B ; persons C and D describe these insults as worthless ; but then, magically, somehow this negative reaction towards those insults is offensive towards group E ???

  • Acleron

    Sorry, I was hurried and just responded to your Nazi comment.

    But you seem to think that history shows religion to be a positive factor in the history of the human race. But so many people have dies in religious wars, not perhaps caused directly by the religion but certainly by people claiming the mantle of religion on their side. Your example of the Nazi’s is a typical example.

  • Acleron

    You can either deny that catholics (plural) are discriminating against homosexuals at catholic schools or you can justify it. I wish you the best of luck with either of those tasks, they are pretty difficult. But to complain offence, insult or anything else on those grounds for mentioning that you are practising discrimination is just special pleading. 

    ‘bigoted, self-righteous crap’ is not only an insult but as of much of your conversation, incorrect.

    Not once have you tried to engage in the actual debate, a characteristic you have demonstrated many times in various columns. It appears that you cannot debate rather than choose not to. Typical is your last paragraph, little regard to reality and irrelevant.

  • JabbaPapa

    Dear Rachel, there is a smokescreen of propaganda being put up around this issue, to hide the fact that homosexuals in the UK currently suffer under no form of objective discrimination whatsoever.

    This is not at all about correcting a problem in the Law that created an objective source of discrimination against gay couples in terms of inheritance, hospital and prison visiting rights, and so on and so forth — this is about the desire of the homosexualist lobby to redefine all couples according to the structures and definitions of a homosexual one. This is not about gaining any rights that they do not already have ; this is about taking rights and protections away from married couples and from their families, because the first thing that will happen if “gay marriage” is recognised will be that the volatile and hectic “gay lifestyle” will become the legal norm, and the legal stability of what a family is will eventually cease to exist ; and will only subsist as a religious reality among the faithful of the various religions.

    The fact that we’re already well over halfway down that particular road to Hell does nothing to stem the flow of the propaganda machine — and who knows what their next project for societal destruction might be ? Banning the teaching of religion outright ? That one seems to be gathering a certain amount of pace…

    This is part of a totalitarian project to rid society of the religious. It will fail, of course, as such projects always must — but please, dear Rachel, open your eyes to the reality of it, and don’t let yourself be taken in by their seductive propaganda.

  • JabbaPapa

    oh deary me .. you claimed that Catholics were interfering in the “enjoyment” of homosexuals, and that “argument” was responded to with the ridicule that it deserves. What, have there been many cases of the Spanish Inquisition, or the albino monks bursting into people’s bedrooms and forcibly separating them ?

    You said The problem with setting up a definition and then claiming that other definitions are somehow wrong is that you haven’t proved your definition is correct ; this is a non-argument that could be flipped in either direction, and contains zero actual semantic content.

    And So people who want to indulge in a relationship, no matter what that
    relationship is, whatever it is called, do not cause you any trouble whatsoever.

    If they were to directly interfere with your marriage, then they could and should be criticised. Again with the albino monks ?

    It is hard to respond meaningfully to such a clearly vacuous “argument”, complaining about non-existent things, and comprising some entirely specious rhetorical manipulations otherwise than with disdain.

    No — nobody is suggesting that an elite cadre of Spanish Albino Monks should be trained to go out and disruptively interfere with people’s homosexual relationships.

  • JabbaPapa

    You have no evidence that marriage is natural. In fact there is no
    evidence that humans are monogamous through evolution or through

    And for a catholic supporter to accuse someone else of being
    indoctrinated is likely to be busting irony meters all over the world.

    Children, and therefore families (which this is all about BTW), are the product of sexual intercourse between men and women. The human species has a natural tendency that the father and mother will share responsibility for the care and upbringing of their shared offspring. This is the nature of what a family is.

    You will note that who’s sleeping with whom forms no meaningful part of this definition — the meaningful part of the definition revolves around the shared responsibility for the raising of the children.

    As for indoctrination, yes you’re clearly full of it — you’re full of the notion that marriage is all to do with sex.

  • JabbaPapa

    Nazism is about as fundamentally an anti-religious doctrine as has ever existed in World History.

  • Benedict Carter

    Rachel’s post is an explicit proof that Catholics do not know their own Faith, nor why the Faith teaches what it teaches. 

    Really, the Bishops and the priests of the last forty years need horse-whipping for producing such a situation.

  • Acleron

    Whether you like it or not, discrimination includes excluding a group from an activity or a right for no other reason than you are prejudiced against them. That is what you (plural) are encouraging in schools.

    And it is always enjoyable to watch someone rabbit on about rhetoric and then indulge in it, even as poorly as you manage. As it is to see someone blustering but still offering nothing to a discussion.

    But in the long term, you won’t matter. Society is moving on and away from small minded groups with even smaller aims.

  • Acleron

    Homosexuals can bring up children, there seems to be no problem with that except of course with those who are prejudiced.

    As to why you claim I think that marriage is all to do with sex and nothing else. Please point to where I have claimed that. Otherwise it becomes part of quite a list of unevidenced and baseless accusations that you make.

  • Acleron


    ‘My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders.’

    That’s their leader. 

    Nazi soldiers had ‘Gott mitt uns’ on their belt buckle.

    Sounds pretty religious doesn’t it?

  • Acleron

    ‘this is about the desire of the homosexualist lobby to redefine all
    couples according to the structures and definitions of a homosexual one.’

    I suppose you have evidence that for this ridiculous and quite prejudicial statement?

  • Rachel P

    Believe me I know my faith.  My faith is between me and God.  I have met a great many teachers and guides amongst Catholic priests and scholars, but they are just that, teachers and guides.  

  • Rachel P

    So I need protection from Gay couples?  Homosexuality is not a disease.  God created homosexuality as he did all things.  My goodness far from reinforcing my faith in Catholicism, all of this is causing me to put serious consideration to leaving altogether.

  • Rachel P

    In fact Benedict, my response is not sufficient.  Your statement INFURIATES me.  Who are these men and women who decide how ‘my faith’ ought to be defined?  
    The Bible was not written by the hand of God and neither was this letter or the stance on homosexuality.  A previous post warns : ‘the volatile and hectic “gay lifestyle” will become the legal norm’.  Believe me as a counsellor within the Catholc Church, I have met a great many hetrosexual people with a volatile and hectic lifestyle…yet they are still accepted by the Church and married with our blessing.  

  • Benedict Carter

    “Homosexuals can bring up children ..”.

    Unfortunately so, in our new, pagan Britain. But the little ones shouldn’t of course be exposed to such perversion. It’s a true scandal. 

    Millstone, cast into the sea, better that they had never been born etc.

  • Rachel P

    Perversion?  I know a number of Catholic same sex couples who have adopted children or where one has given birth and the other adopted.  
    Perversion?  How dare you.  Were something to happen to me, I’d much rather my daughter be raised by any loving gay couple in this country than be brought up by our state system.

  • Rachel P

    ‘perversion’  ‘their lifestyles will infect’ ‘married couples need to be protected’   hmmm, a lot of the posts on here sound rather hateful to me.

  • Rachel P

    homosexuality is a sin????  You awful man.  Who are you to judge?

  • Benedict Carter

    I’m a Catholic. Of course homosexual sex is a perversion, and as for such a couple being given the care of little souls – I can think of very different words, but shan’t use them here. 

    As I said, I’m a Catholic. Dunno what you are.

  • Benedict Carter

    “God created homosexuality as he did all things.”

    Is the total collapse so bad that someone claiming to be a Catholic could write this?

    Never heard of the word “sin”?

  • Benedict Carter

    Be infuriated. You aren’t any Catholic at all, just be honest about it.