Nowadays in Britain and elsewhere, the Government is "imposing" the use of birth control, including abortion, on families; and the Catholic Church authorities in England and Wales are co-operating with the government in imposing it in England - by welcoming into its schools Connexions whose job it is to make abortion and contraception available to children, without parental knowledge or consent..Now, if one looks at the reader co-written by the Catholic Education Service which appears to have been available in 2004 and can currently be accessed from the Catholic Education Service website, commissioned by Connexions, one will find the following paragraph on page 27:
Section C 15 – Working within School PoliciesWhilst one might have hoped that the cautions expressed in this paragraph on page 27 were highlighted in the introduction or an executive summary -
In a Catholic school or college there are likely to be the same number of policies as in other schools and colleges but they will be significantly different because of the very nature of the school. All policy statements are rooted in the mission statement and ethos statement which is incorporated in the Instrument of Government. It specifies that:
‘The school/college is to be conducted as a Catholic school in accordance with canon law and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, and in accordance with the Trust Deed.
The Headteacher and Foundation Governors have responsibilities for the Catholic character of the school. Accordingly, Governors have greater responsibilities in law for the curriculum in Catholic schools’.
There may be occasions when external agencies (including the Connexions service) will need to take account of the unique policy framework when working within the Catholic sector. For example materials or activities may need to be modified before Governors may adopt them for use in a school; or the normal follow-up activities may not be possible because of the catchment area served by the school as defined in the admissions policy.
We warmly commend to you this reader, which has been produced by the DfES in collaboration with the Catholic Education Service and the Catholic Youth Service. The joint working which has produced this reader reflects the close collaboration which we hope to see grow increasingly between the Connexions service and Catholic schools, colleges and youth organisations. This collaboration should be based on the common view we hold of the inherent dignity and worth of every young person and our wish to support them in fulfilling their potential.- the cautions are nevertheless present in the document, and could not really be stated much more clearly. The caution that they indicate to governors and staff in Catholic schools is very clear - any arrangements with Connexions must be undertaken in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church. The idea of joint working/collaboration expressed in the introduction to the reader can be seen, at least in principle, as an attempt at the dialogue between "secular rationality" and "religious belief" of which Pope Benedict XVI spoke in Westminster Hall; there is not, prima facie, any reason why the Catholic Education Service should not have collaborated with other agencies, including government, in this sort of way. The allegation that Church authorities are co-operating in the imposition of contraception and abortion by welcoming Connexions into its schools is not justified on the basis of this evidence.
Of course, at the level of each school, it all depends on what the governors and staff, and representatives of other agencies, make of the guidance offered in this "reader". All the episcopal direction in the world will not replace that part in the living of Catholic life that is the responsibility of the lay faithful in their particular place in the world, an observation that I think I made in the context of the closure or transfer out of Catholic trusteeship of formerly Catholic adoption agencies.
Which is by way of explanation as to why I do not link to some blogs that, previously, I used to link to.