Catholic Schools Under Attack for Upholding Marriage
Secular campaigners have launched an attack on the Roman Catholic Church for urging its secondary schools to back the current legal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.The Catholic Education Service contacted 385 Catholic state-schools across England and Wales asking them to sign a petition seeking to preserve the current definition of marriage. It urged staff to distribute a letter written by the Archbishop of Westminster, Reverend Vincent Nichols, voicing his opposition to the Government’s proposals to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. The letter was read out to approximately one million worshippers last month in churches across the country. It defended conventional marriage as a “natural” institution which brings "huge value to society". But secularists are claiming that the move amounts to “political indoctrination”, breaches anti-discrimination laws and encourages pupils “into bigotry”. Richy Thompson of the British Humanist Association described the move as “absolutely outrageous”. Brendan O’Neill, writing in the Telegraph, said: “The attempt to drain religious schools of religion is a highly illiberal, intolerant exercise. Catholic schools have a certain amount of leeway to teach the Catholic view on life, sex and relationships. If they didn't, then they wouldn't be "Catholic schools" – they'd just be "schools".