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Catholic values set an example

This week’s editorial leader

There can be no doubts that Catholics, perhaps especially Catholics, would back every effort made to guard vulnerable or at risk children, but surely even the Scottish Government must realise that its guardian’s bill undermines the rights and responsibilities of the family.

Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh firmly defends the family this week in the face of the controversial, and increasingly cost-prohibitive, plans of the Scottish Government to appoint every child an independent guardian.

“Support for children puts the wellbeing of children at the heart of all policies and must be based on support for the family,” he said. “The common good of society depends on the stability of family life.  The state must respect subsidiarity and should support not interfere in the internal life of the family.”

On top of the rights and abilities of immediate families to raise their children to modern standards AND in keeping with Church teaching with minimal interference from the state, a regular SCO letter writer points out this week that Catholic children already have extended support in the God parents who promise at their Baptism to watch over them and their faith journey.

The secular ‘nanny-state’ culture it appears politicians would like to adopt from the United Nations overlooks—as opposed to reinforcing —the support that is already in place for children. Perhaps looking closer to home for examples of the way forward would be a step in the right direction. In a lecture given at Kings College London last Thursday, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth said that secularism is a totally inadequate basis for British society in the 21st century. “Secularism is too flimsy a basis for British culture. It cannot guarantee human flourishing nor sustain the advances the British people have achieved,” he said.

Leading by example is something the Scottish Church continues to back. Bishop Stephen Robson’s Lenten message to the clergy in Dunkeld Diocese advocates just that when it comes to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The SCO heard this week that the bishop is encouraging diocesan priests not only to regularly spend time in the Confessional to aid their parishioners, but also to make it clear that priests too are in need of God’s forgiveness too.


Pic: Paul McSherry

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