BY SCO Admin | June 5 | comments icon 9 COMMENTS     print icon print


West of Scotland health board complains about chastity school speaker

After latest incident, Catholic education director says NHS has no right to interfere with the ‘moral code of Catholic schools’

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has been critised for attempting to control what speakers Catholic schools invite.

After Pamela Stenzel, an US abstinence expert, spoke at St Andrew’s Academy in Paisley last month, a health board official issued a warning to schools and said a complaint to the local authority was planned.

Nicky Coia, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s principal health improvement officer for sexual health, emailed a number of schools after the talk at St Andrew’s Academy.

“I wanted to alert you that a school in one of our local authorities has recently brought in Pam Stenzel,” he said. “We are raising the matter with the local authority.”

Michael McGrath (above), director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, said the health board had gone beyond its authority.

“NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has no locus to decide whom Catholic schools invite to speak,” he said. “It’s for the schools to invite speakers and for parents to decide if they want their children to attend, which is what happened in this case.”

Mr McGrath said he was at the event at St Andrew’s and said the audience of third year and older pupils responded positively to the lecture.

“She had a message about abstinence and the importance of marriage that we would support,” he said. “And I think it is unfortunate that someone who was not there has chosen to comment on it.”

This is the latest incidence of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde reportedly pursuing an approach hostile to the Church. The health board recently pursued an expensive court case to try and force Catholic midwives to oversee abortions and last month complained to the Scottish Parliament about its lack of control over sex education in Catholic schools in its area.

Mr McGrath said the health board seemed committed to an intolerant approach.

“It seems there is only one message tolerated,” he said. “And it doesn’t include a moral aspect which is fundamental to what we do in Catholic schools. It is not for the NHS to try and interfere with the moral code of Catholic schools.”




Comments - 9 Responses

  1. linda says:

    Maybe the NHS should concentrate on curing and caring patients. Or are they not interested in that particular activity anymore?! Let them keep out of our schools.

    Parents want morals for their children.

    • Ian says:

      But she told bare faced lies to the pupils of the school in question, if her message was better structured and filled with less facts that have been sensationalised, her point may have been better.
      In this case the NHS have every right to interfere as she lied about medical facts. Dangerous facts which could harm the pupils sexual development.

      • JeffB says:

        It is our governments that have been lying to us regarding the physical & emotional effects of casual sex. The statistics and scientific facts used by Stenzel can be found in numerous studies available on the internet. If you are Catholic, then you should know that any sexual act outside of holy matrimony will separate you from God’s grace and place your eternal soul in jeopardy. The evil acts of Stalin and Hitler do not even compare to our culture of death. Stop drinking the socialist koolaid…

      • Mike Ryan says:

        Ian, can you give us some examples of the statements which Ms Stenzel made which you claim are ‘lies’ or are these so-called lies just statements with which you diasgree? Who establishes the truth about ‘medical facts’? Like the people who want to close down debate on climate change, gay marriage or a number of other issues it is a worrying trend when people cannot disagree with other people without calling them names.

  2. Gerard ward says:

    Is this the same morals that your recently departed cardinal stood for.

    • Liz Leydon says:

      Cardinal O’Brien is very much alive Gerard and having morals and ideals is not the same as living up to them. We all struggle to live up to God’s teaching.

  3. susan says:

    Hey Ian, why don’t you say what the ‘lies’ were instead of making general, outrageous accusations against someone with no specifics and no backup?

  4. EditorCT says:

    Well, Liz, some of us struggle more than others – such as the struggle YOU seem to have exercising justice in your letters page. And as for your complicity in spreading heresy by publishing disgraceful columns (Loftus is the prime example) how can you sleep at nights?

  5. Jim says:

    I’ve heard Pam Stenzel speak. She’s a good, decent human being who cares about kids. She is honest and straight- forward with everyone. We need more people like her.

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