Catholic Church blackmails Government
Since the orthodox teaching of the Church is that marriage is monogamous and heterosexual, the Cardinal has said that its adoption agencies ‘would not be able to recruit and consider homosexual couples as potential adoptive parents’. To be obliged to do so would be ‘unreasonable, unnecessary, and unjust discrimination against Catholics’, and he has threatened the Government with the closure of his adoption agencies if they are obliged to conform to the law.
Cranmer has some sympathy with this whole ‘competing rights’ argument, but in the Anglican Church, the policy is to place children with couples or individuals who are assessed according to their suitability and to the needs of the child. There are 4000 children in Britain awaiting adoptive parents, loving families, somewhere they can feel secure and call ‘home’. While the traditional family unit is being challenged on all fronts, it is not for the Church – any denomination – to assert a blanket ban upon any human being in the provision of social service. The world is broken; marriages fail; all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and love can abound in the most surprising of places. If the Roman Catholic Church is only prepared to entertain couples as potential adoptive parents provided they are heterosexual, it begs the question as to how it pastors its own single parents, who manifestly fall short of its marital ideal.
Cranmer asks his communicants to consider that the Catholic Adoption Agency has conformed to race relations law without any problem; it has happily been placing needy children with married couples of manifold faiths. Cranmer wonders which is the lesser evil here. If the Roman Catholic Church is so prioritising the needs of the child, why is it prepared to place vulnerable children with heterosexual Muslims (a faith about which the Cardinal has already expressed a certain disquiet), but not homosexual Christians?