Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor to defy gay rights law
At the time, it was evident to Cranmer that this was perhaps the most important ‘but’ since the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, since which time Roman Catholic leaders in the United Kingdom have consistently emphasised their loyalty to the British state. The Cardinal had clearly reached his limits of tolerance.
Today, it is reported that he is to defy the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which is music to Cranmer’s ears and food for his soul. Having recently derided the Roman Catholic bishops of England and Wales who have caved in on this, it is heartening that the spirit of Sir Thomas More lives on in the Cardinal. And this battle is a righteous one which will have the support of Anglican bishops and archbishops.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor is president of the Westminster Catholic Children's Society – a Roman Catholic adoption agency – which was founded in 1764. They have decided to ignore the equality legislation which requires them to place children with same-sex couples. Instead, they will continue with their policy of placing children only with married heterosexuals and single people.
This, of course, sets the Cardinal on a collision course with New Labour.
There are those who cannot stand the man, and some of his more robust co-religionists have been fasting and praying for his departure ever since he was appointed. And these might assert that the Cardinal simply has nothing to lose by this high-risk strategy, and that it emanates from a ‘what-the-hell’ kind of attitude which takes little account of what the Pope has to say or what is good for the Roman Catholic Church in the United Kingdom.
But his defiance in this case is wise and wily.
The Cardinal’s advisers believe they have found a legal loophole that could allow the Society to remain open and loyal to Catholic teaching. Lawyers assert that if it amended its constitution, it could comply with the Sexual Orientation Regulations: ‘At the moment, the constitution simply refers to helping couples who wish to adopt. However, a quirk in the wording of the regulations means that the Society may be able to protect itself by amending its constitution to refer directly to married heterosexual couples.’
The Cardinal said yesterday: 'I fully support the decision of the trustees in their endeavours to continue the valuable work of the Society.'
Cranmer shall be praying for the case to come to the courts, and for this proud and arrogant anti-Christian Government to be humiliated. It must be remembered that the Sexual Orientation Regulations were forced and rushed through Parliament after a bitter Cabinet battle and in the face of fierce opposition from religious leaders. And it must also be observed that some prominent homosexuals also oppose this legislation, believing, as they do, that it transgresses the bounds of liberty and conscience.
Thank God for a prelate of principle.