Comments: Charity Tribunal rejects appeal from Catholic adoption agency

Reaction here should be muted as the case has already had extensive legal consideration. Simply put this is how the law stands. Also it is not a case of Christianity being pushed out of public life, merely that the law applies to everyone and discriminating on grounds of sexual orientation has been outlawed by parliament, albeit with some clearly defined exemptions covering religious groups.

Posted by Craig Nelson at Tuesday, 26 April 2011 at 7:50pm BST

In the spirit of "muted" remarks ......

Those who wrote the press release from Christian Concern still cannot tell it as it is.

So, Catholic care has failed in its bid to discriminate against gay couples - it is not being "forced" to do anything. The charity has already said it would rather cease preparing adopters rather than treat all equally.

Further - it is completely false to imply that Catholic Care has been unwilling to "place" children for adoption with gay couples. Local authorities and courts "place" children for adoption, Catholic Care have prepared couples (and singles) as prospective adopters and supported some thereafter.

The parties themselves agreed that religious views alone would not justify ""discrimination"" - not the Tribunal.

While the rest is just pap and scare it does mentions 50,000 children in the story when only some 4,000 are actually up for adoption - that doesn't help people get the right information, but then, there is nothing in this story aimed at helping people to understand the truth or come to a good understanding of the facts in the case.

I think those who sat in judgment here are also as surprised as I was that this Charity is only seeking an exemption in their adoption service and appears completely at ease with implementing all the equalities legislation etc in its dealings with the other services it runs. Might there be some playing to the gallery here?
The bishop seemed to be completely unaware that the charity prepared single people too.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Tuesday, 26 April 2011 at 11:12pm BST

“It is unfortunate that those who will suffer as a consequence of this ruling will be the most vulnerable children for whom Catholic Care has provided an excellent service for many years”

It is not "unfortunate" but it is Catholic Care's own deliberate choice to let those most vulnerable children suffer.
The responsibility lies squarely with Catholic Care.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 27 April 2011 at 9:12am BST

One should remind oneself that this whole area was gone into at the time of passing the law in parliament. Adoption agencies were given a period of time to adapt or make appropriate arrangements 18 months if I recall correctly. There was a heated debate at the time but I think parliament decided correctly. Since then the law has faced an ingenious legal challenge which was never likely to succeed and indeed if it had succeeded would have meant judges overruling parliament which is rare in our political system of parliamentary governance.

Hence I think it has been part testing out the law which is fine, part playing to a media gallery in a theme/meme of christian victimhood which is a little tiresome.

Posted by Craig Nelson at Wednesday, 27 April 2011 at 11:34am BST

It is true that there was much debate at the time about allowing an exemption for Roman Catholic adoption agencies - an exemption many of those agencies themselves did not support.

There was some pretty abusive stuff flying around - particularly aimed at Ruth Kelly - as well as the usual abusive stuff aimed at gay people.

The outcome has been pretty good. Nearly all of the highly trained teams of adoption workers kept their jobs even if the Roman Catholic Church no longer operates the charities. However the relationships are often still very close and many of the adoption agencies operate from RC owned premises and are still supported by RC parishes.

Yet while no specific exemption was given, the law certainly allows for the best interests of the children to trump all other considerations. If Catholic Care had been able to show that children seeking adoption would be seriously disadvantaged their request would have been granted. They did not. Not in any way. There was never any question of overturning Parliament's wishes.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Wednesday, 27 April 2011 at 5:23pm BST

I've been astonished (but then why should I be?) by the comments attributed to Bishop Arthur Roche in The Guardian report (27/04/11): "It is an important point of principle that the charity should be able to prepare potential adoptive parents according to the tenets of the Catholic faith."

As a committed Catholic who has also been a specialist child & family social work practitioner I'm not aware of any such tenets relating to the upbringing of children. Surely he is not suggesting that LGBT people cannot be 'proper Catholics'? Is his next step to prevent the baptism of the children, adopted or otherwise, of same-sex Catholic couples?

Posted by martin at Wednesday, 27 April 2011 at 6:08pm BST

"Where Charity and Love are - there is God"
(Holy Thursday Liturgy)

Therefore any 'charitable' organisation ought to be witnessing to the wideness of God's mercy. It would appear that the Halls of Justice agree in this particular instance. Deo Gratias!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 27 April 2011 at 11:34pm BST

I think to ask is to answer, (2nd) martin.

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 28 April 2011 at 6:33am BST

Martin Reynolds was right again... I do feel that they could get by the law by operating out of the Isle of Man.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Thursday, 28 April 2011 at 9:08pm BST

I'm a Canadian. I don't have any problem with challenging Churches, or anybody, on why they want exemption to basic human rights laws.

Posted by Randal Oulton at Friday, 29 April 2011 at 3:35am BST

Rosalind English commented again on this case, see

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Sunday, 8 May 2011 at 5:15pm BST
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