Catholic Archbishop threatens Government
The regulations have a genesis in EU equality directives (there’s a surprise) and are designed to stop businesses from discriminating against homosexuals. They will, for example, oblige Christian or Muslim printers to print ‘Gay News’ (if such a publication exists – you get Cranmer’s point), or Christian hoteliers to accommodate homosexual partners. It has even been suggested that a vicar who refuses to bless a homosexual union (or serve them Holy Communion?) may also be liable to being sued. The Catholic Church is particularly concerned about a potential obligation to place adoptive children with homosexual parents.
While most of the nation’s Christians appear to have elevated Vincent Nichols to the status of great moral leader, Cranmer cannot but wonder at the hypocrisy of the man. His argument against gay adoption is not so much based on nature or statistics, but on an assertion that heterosexuality is the majority expression in the country, and therefore the one that should prevail. Why should he not abolish priestly celibacy by the same reasoning? It is clearly damagingly repressive, and Scripture condemns it as ‘a doctrine of demons’. And what does he say about the homosexuality and child abuse within his own organisation? The Archbishop ought to consider not only parables about splinters and planks (or motes and beams, depending on your translation), but also the implications of pluralism in an increasingly post-Christian era.
And yet, and yet…
The Archbishop says very wisely: ‘The Government must realise that it is not possible to seek co-operation with us while at the same time trying to impose upon us conditions which contradict our moral values. It is simply unacceptable to suggest that the resources of faith communities, whether in schools, adoption agencies, welfare programmes, halls and shelters can work in co-operation with public authorities only if the faith communities accept not simply a legal framework but also the moral standards at present being touted by the Government… Those who are elected to fashion our laws are not elected to be our moral tutors. They have no mandate or competence to be so.’
Cranmer agrees wholeheartedly with this. He just wishes the words had come from the Archbishop of Canterbury – the man who is supposed to be the thorn in the side of a morally corrupt and intellectually deficient government.