Thursday, March 4, 2010

Why Catholic Schools cannot teach pupils about accessing abortion etc.

Father Hugh MacKenzie, parish priest of St Mary Magdalen's, Willesden Green, has written about this on his parish blog.
1. On 23rd February last Ed Balls, the Minister for Children Schools and Families, said that from September 2011 Catholic schools will by law need to teach pupils “how to access contraception, [and] how to use contraception. [...] they must explain how to access an abortion". Also, incredibly, Mr Balls implied that the Catholic Church was supporting such measures.

2. Actually it is impossible for Catholic schools to do this without contradicting their very nature as Catholic. This is because it would be “formal” cooperation with a very wrong act, e.g. ending the life of an unborn baby. It’s wrong to give boxing gloves to bullies or to inform an intent robber about quick lock-picking, in the (forlorn) hope that they’d do less damage. This is because you become an accomplice. It is a principle basic to the Catholic moral tradition and, therefore, enshrined in western legal traditions under "aiding, abetting and encouraging crime". It flows from Christ's revelation and right reason.


  1. Father's been in the tanning booth WAY too long!

  2. I applaud Fr. MacKenzie's stand - but may I enquire into whether such cooperation would be necessarily be "formal"? It is clear that the cooperation would at least be mediate material, but the conditions for formal cooperation in an evil act are quite strong (in particular that the act could not be done without the cooperation).

  3. The objective of the informing pupils about contraception and abortion services of the statutory PSHE is clearly to 'prevent' pregnancy along with the government's clearly established teenage pregnancy strategy. Thus the learning objectives of any lesson which aims to fulfil these requirements ensure, I would say, that the cooperation is formal. In addition such informing cannot be done without the school's cooperation.

    And the CES's latest letter/statement seems to confirm that they have assured Ed Balls that "We will not seek to withhold facts in SRE". Exactly which facts are not witheld is determined by the learning objective, which is determined by the purpose of the informing and this in turn is, in this case, to be determined by the law, as interpreted by the government - and they have been crystal clear on what is intended.


Please avoid being 'anonymous' if at all possible.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...