Sunday, March 11, 2007

Catholic teenager sues over Protestant foster parents

The 18-year-old Roman Catholic girl is suing Highland Council for £70,000 damages, for placing her with Protestant foster parents. There is no logical end to this manner of lawsuit, so Cranmer is amused that Lord Uist has said that the case raises ‘novel and difficult questions of law’. The issue of fostering is muddied by the further complaint that the girl was sent to a school ‘which did not meet her needs by providing lessons suitable for her learning disabilities’, but the principal grievance is that Highland Council had ‘failed to facilitate’ her religious persuasion.

This, of course, caused her ‘anxiety, depression and educational impairment’, and ‘breaches the European Convention on Human Rights’.

Cranmer thanks his communicant, Mr Angry Steve, for drawing his attention to this case, but wonders if the 'biased-BBC' would have bothered reporting it had it been a matter of a Protestant child suing a council for placing him/her with Roman Catholic parents…


Anonymous Voyager said...

Fascinating....learning difficulties you say ?

11 March 2007 at 12:33  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Voyager,

'Learning disabilities'... That was the phrase which also rather amused His Grace.

11 March 2007 at 12:44  
Blogger Sir Henry Morgan said...

I have long thought that either I am insane, or this society I find myself trapped in is insane.

Of course, that doesn't preclude the possibility that we both are.

I think the word both voyager and Your Grace were searching for is ... er ... 'thick'.

11 March 2007 at 15:50  
Anonymous billy said...

Thick, Sir Henry, thick?

Not so. No child is thick.
Some are less able but all will stay at school until 18 and then go to 'university'.
In the meantime East Europeans will flock in and take the building trade jobs that our less able might have done if they had been trained for practical work from, say, 14.

11 March 2007 at 17:20  
Blogger Sir Henry Morgan said...

Aye Billy.

Having enlisted at 15, I never have been able to quite get the hang of the concept of 'PC'. And I'm now too old a dog to pick up new tricks.

You're entirely correct.

11 March 2007 at 18:31  
Anonymous bob said...

"but wonders if the 'biased-BBC' would have bothered reporting it had it been a matter of a Protestant child suing a council for placing him/her with Roman Catholic parents…"

If they had I'm sure we'd have read a very different slant from you.

11 March 2007 at 18:49  
Anonymous Colin said...

This girl seems to suffer from Protestantophobia, an emotional disorder which in principle can be cured by reading His Grace's august blog.

11 March 2007 at 20:39  
Anonymous bob said...

I can assure you Colin, it's not a cure!

11 March 2007 at 21:10  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Bob,

His Grace detects a cetain antipathy and distaste towards this post, which appears to emanate from the inference that Roman Catholic education is somehow privileged and superior to the alternatives.

In countries where Rome’s grip is surer than it presently is in the UK - Uganda, Haiti, the Philippines – there is concerted effort to control government departments, the media and education, which many papal encyclicals have stated rightly fall under her aegis in any case. Unlike here, religious freedom in such countries is virtually non-existent. In Croatia, for example, any expression of Christianity other than Roman Catholicism is viewed with official suspicion, and there has been proposed legislation to filter out all non-Catholic churches, including strange Protestant ‘sects’ and ‘cults’ like Evangelicals and non-conformists.

Article 14.3 of the European human rights charter insists that it is the right of parents to 'ensure the education and teaching of their children in conformity with their religious, philosophical and pedagogical convictions'. That clause is widely taken to prevent an elected left-wing government in the UK from abolishing the private schools - still an ambition of most members of the Labour Party - and the reason it's there, enshrined in EU legislation, is that the Roman Catholic Church insisted upon it.

It is not so much that one needs a 'cure' for this, but an antidote which will tolerate the affliction while promoting health and well-being.

11 March 2007 at 21:33  
Anonymous bob said...

No Cranmer, my antipathy stems from your distaste for all things Catholic which permeates this blog. I haven't read such anti-Catholic sentiment since I made the mistake of buting Adrian Hilton's book. However this is your blog and your beliefs, opinions and, doubtless, well reasoned objections to Catholicism are your own business. At this stage, however, I just have a morbid fascination as to how you're going to attack Catholicism next.

11 March 2007 at 22:53  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I rather welcome this lawsuit as it poses a direct challenge to Westminster's peculiar interpretation of the EU Gender & Diversity Directive to the detriment of Church adoption agencies and the rights of parents to choose to place their children with foster-parents of the same faith.

I do hope this case goes all the way.

12 March 2007 at 06:22  
Blogger Cranmer said...

No Cranmer, my antipathy stems from your distaste for all things Catholic which permeates this blog.

Mr Bob,

Your emotions appear to be running away with you. Where in this post is Catholicism 'attacked'? It would appear to be a series of statements of fact. Cranmer is not 'anti-Catholic', indeed, he attempts to walk the via media on such matters, as he always has done, with varying degrees of success...

Yet you conveniently ignore those posts which are supportive of the Roman Catholic stance on various religio-political issues (like adoption agencies).

If His Grace offends you (morbidly or otherwise) he does not mean to, but your irrational outburst does you a disservice. The Sikhs and Hindus accuse him of ignoring their concerns, the Mohammedans call him 'anti-Islam', the Catholics call him 'anti-Catholic', and the Protestants find him 'not Protestant enough'. This probably means he walks a path that is righteous; he certainly tries to.

12 March 2007 at 07:40  
Anonymous The Clarendon Code said...

the Protestants find him 'not Protestant enough'. This probably means he walks a path that is righteous

How can that be ?

12 March 2007 at 09:03  
Anonymous bob said...

Perhaps my emotions have gotten the better of me, but I'm curious as to where you've supported Catholicism. I checked last night and a search of your blog revealed that the word Catholic appears in 68 of your articles. A brief perusal of these posts reveals anything but a positive view of Catholicism. It's only in a recent article you alluded to the late Pope John Paul being comparable to Lucifer. If this is the via media then it's little wonder Anglicanism is experiencing such difficulty.

12 March 2007 at 09:33  
Anonymous Colin said...

To stimulate the discussion a bit, here a quote : "I find the Catholic church increasingly tempting and I've wondered if many other Anglicans have considered converting? However, I am seeing signs - small ones, admittedly - that the Anglican church is starting to see the light. I'm particularly encouraged by the excellent Archbishop Of York who seems to understand that people are attracted to strong faith rather than wishy washy wooliness"

12 March 2007 at 14:37  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

Strong faith IS what attracts people - Islam, Catholicism, Evangelicals, whatever. It's religions that bend with every whim that are dying. I'm a moderate kind of Protestant, and I think Bob's being unfair on Cranmer, though he might say I would say that. Bigotry is irrational - this blog seems mostly to highlight things with reason. THough Cranmer might say he had damn good reason not to trust Catholics in any case! And as for Sinn Fein being 'honest', well, that's not my perception, and I think they've been as deceitful as any Unionists you're pointing the finger at.

12 March 2007 at 15:34  
Blogger Cranmer said...

I find the Catholic church increasingly tempting

His Grace concurs.

Perhaps Mr Bob will note this positive affirmation.

Mr The Clarendon Code,

His Grace receives quite a few emails from people accusing him of being insufficiently Protestant, whatever this means. Thankfully, he is saved by faith.

12 March 2007 at 15:51  
Anonymous bob said...

I do not think I accused anyone of bigotry. I stated an opinion that I think Cranmer has an anti-Catholic bias. I do not think he is an evil or an irrational man, and I do not think he is a bigot. If my views are distasteful then I apologise for causing distaste. My faith means a lot to me and perhaps I am overly sensitive in its defence. I perhaps made my views more forcefully than necessary. That being said, I have not changed my mind, positive affirmations notwithstanding.

12 March 2007 at 16:13  
Anonymous Colin said...


It's also my impression that His Grace has a slight anti-Catholic bias which I find amusing. But I have to confess that I don't know if His Grace's views on the Catholic Church in the UK are right or wrong.

With regard to continental Europe, I consider the Catholic Church responsible for more freedom from oppressive monarchs. As Murray N. Rothbard wrote in "For a New Liberty": “In the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church, which was at least separate if not independent from the State, and the new free towns were able to serve as centers of intellectual and also of substantive opposition. In later centuries, teachers, ministers, and pamphleteers in a relatively free society were able to use their independence from the State to agitate for further expansion of freedom.”

In other words, the power of the Catholic Church appears to have led to a separation of powers, to more liberties from tyrannical governments and to the heights of European civilization.

Naturally, the princes and kings didn't like the limitation of their power by the Catholic Church. That's the reason why the German princes supported Martin Luther and why Henry VIII asked Thomas Cranmer to help him against the Catholic Church.

An important role for British freedom played the Magna Carta of 1215 which was written because of disagreements between Pope Innocent III, King John and his English barons about the rights of the King. Hence, the Catholic Church has also played a decisive role in the development of freedom and civilization in Great Britain.

I am eager to learn from His Grace and other experts on this blog, if anything is wrong with this thesis about the beneficial role of the Catholic Church in the UK and continental Europe. As far as I can see, the hypothesis about the beneficial effects of the Catholic Church suffers from two weaknesses.

First, we should see more freedom and higher industrial development in European countries where the Catholic Church has the strongest influence, i.e. Southern Europe. However, this is precisely not the case. An additional factor is required to explain the success of Northern European countries. The tribal traditions of Northern Europeans might be such a factor. As Rothbard wrote: "Germanic—and particularly the Celtic—tribal structure ... had strong libertarian elements. Instead of a mighty State apparatus exerting a monopoly of violence, disputes were solved by contending tribesmen consulting the elders of the tribe on the nature and application of the tribe's customary and common law. The "chief" was generally merely a war leader who was only called into his warrior role whenever war with other tribes was under way. There was no permanent war or military bureaucracy in the tribes.”

Second, the Catholic Church was not always a benign force if we recall the thirty years war, which cost the lifes of nearly half the population, the inquisition and the burning of alleged witches.

12 March 2007 at 17:23  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Colin you should not quote Peter Hitchens whose background as a Trotskyist, and who belatedly discovered his Jewish antecedents probably make his comments about the Church of Rome somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

Naturally, the princes and kings didn't like the limitation of their power by the Catholic Church.

Not quite. It was the enormous amount of money flowing out of their principalities through Mainz and Cologne to Rome that was a cause of concern - it was a significant capital outflow in excess of what their own treasuries were collecting.

Ructions with Rome had been going on for centuries before Henry VIII on account of gold outflow - recall that gold was the currency and it made our contributions to the EU seem modest in comparison.

to organise the Christian forces against the Turks, the Popes claimed the right of levying a fixed tax on all ecclesiastical property. The amount of this varied from one-thirtieth to one-tenth of the annual revenue, and as a rule it was raised only for some definite period of years. Even in the days when the crusading fever was universal, such a tax excited a great deal of opposition; but when Europe had grown weary of the struggle, and when the Popes could do little owing to the failure of the temporal rulers to respond to their appeals, this form of taxation was resented bitterly, and the right of the Popes to raise taxes in this way off ecclesiastical property was questioned by the ecclesiastics affected as well as by the temporal rulers. England and France took measures to protect themselves; but in Germany the absence of any strong central authority, and the want of unity among the princes made it difficult to offer any effective resistance to these demands. In 1354, 1372, 1459, 1487, and in 1500, the German bishops protested strongly against the attempts of the Pope to levy taxes on ecclesiastical property.

But in addition to these extraordinary levies there were many permanent sources of revenue for the support of the Papal Court. In the first place from the time of Boniface IX. annats, which consisted of a certain proportion of the first year’s revenue, were to be paid by all clerics on whom a minor benefice was conferred by the Holy See. In case of the major benefices, bishoprics and abbacies, the servitia communia and the servitia minuta took the place of annats. The servitia communia was a fixed sum the amount of which depended upon the annual revenue of the See or abbey, and was divided between the Pope and the cardinals of the Curia. The servitia minuta, amounting to about 3 1/2 per cent. of the servitia communia, was given to the lower officials, who prepared the letters of appointment. The revenues of vacant Sees and the property of deceased bishops were also claimed by the Holy See. From England the Pope received yearly the Peter’s Pence, and from all countries that acknowledged his feudal jurisdiction he was entitled to a definite annual tribute.

Furthermore, the reservations7 of benefices were another fruitful source of revenue. The policy of reserving benefices to the Holy See might be defended, on the ground that it was often necessary in order to counterbalance the interference of secular rulers in regard to ecclesiastical appointments, and that it afforded the Pope a convenient means of rewarding officials whose services were required for the government of the Church. But the right of the Pope to reserve benefices was abused during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and gave rise to constant friction with the civil and ecclesiastical authorities in different countries of Europe. Reservations, instead of being the exception, became very general, and, as a result, the eyes of all ambitious clerics were turned towards Rome from which they hoped to receive promotion, whether their immediate superiors deemed them worthy or unworthy. Such a state of affairs opened the way to the most serious abuses, and not unfrequently to disedifying wrangles between rival candidates, all of whom claimed to have received their appointments from Roman officials.

12 March 2007 at 18:26  
Anonymous Colin said...


Thank you for this most interesting information.

"It was the enormous amount of money flowing out of their principalities through Mainz and Cologne to Rome that was a cause of concern"

I don't have any doubt about that. One simply has to visit the enormous treasures of art in the Vatican to be convinced that the Catholic Church used its power for their own benefit. Nevertheless, the strife for power of the Catholic Church and of worldly rulers resulted in a limitation of their powers. (Remember the Walk to Canossa). Neither the Catholic Church nor kings or princes were able to win the battle until the Lutheran reformation and the French revolution. To my recollection, such a separation of power between religious and worldly rulers did not occur anywhere in the world.

12 March 2007 at 19:35  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Oh I don't know Philip Le Bon of France certainly brought the Vatican and the templars undr his control.

In fact I do not think The Vatican ever held Europe in thrall unless the Holy Roman Emperor was on board

13 March 2007 at 07:07  
Anonymous Voyager said...

What Luther brought about was Protestant Prussia - subsidised by England eventually under Frederick II - as the unifier of the German statelets but only after Napoleon had smashed the residual power of Vienna and the Hapsburg Holy Roman Empire

13 March 2007 at 07:09  

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