British bishops speak out against government actions against Catholic schools and prolifers

[British bishops speak out against government actions against Catholic schools and prolifers]

Catholic Herald – 11/17/17

Bishop Sherrington: ‘There are concerns’ about transgender laws in schools

by Dan Hitchens
posted Friday, 17 Nov 2017

At a press conference, bishops discussed schools …

The Bishops of England and Wales have “concerns” about the laws around transgender pupils, an auxiliary bishop of Westminster diocese has said.

Speaking at a press conference after the bishops’ conference annual plenary meeting, Bishop John Sherrington said: “It’s an ongoing subject for our reflection.”

He added: “The schools system has to work within the law, but secondly, there are concerns that we have about the law.”

Asked what the concerns were, Bishop Sherrington said: “I can’t really be very specific at the present time.”

But he said it was important to practise the “pastoral accompaniment of children and young people in this complex world”, and that the bishops wanted to help develop strategies to “ensure that there is no bullying of any sort”.

He added: “I do have a concern that Catholic teaching understands the complementarity of male and female, and we have to reflect further on the meaning of that… Not everybody accepts that, and we need to find ways to communicate the teaching and at the same time pastorally accompany” young people.

It follows the news that a Catholic all-girls school has asked children to use the “preferred pronouns” of pupils who do not identify as female.

The Government is planning a bill to make it easier to legally change one’s gender. Under the current system, individuals need to go through an official process involving medical assessment.

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Bishop Egan criticises ‘draconian’ crackdown on pro-lifers

by Staff Reporter
posted Friday, 17 Nov 2017

The bishop said he was ‘personally very sorry’ at efforts to ban a peaceful pro-life vigil that he has attended

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth has expressed dismay at a move to ban pro-life vigils outside an abortion clinic in his diocese.

The bishop said the decision, by Portsmouth city council, was part of “ever more draconian restrictions” on freedom of expression.

The council voted 33-1 to do “all within its powers” to prevent pro-life vigils outside an abortion clinic in Milton, Portsmouth.

The vigil, organised by 40 Days for Life, was attended by Bishop Egan last month. At the time he tweeted: “Please pray for the brave participants and for an end to abortion.”

Responding to the council vote, Bishop Egan said: “I am personally very sorry about this. The Portsmouth 40 Days for Life was a peaceful witness in which we offered prayers for the unborn, for mothers facing difficult choices, for medical staff, for families and for a change to the abortion law. We will have to continue this now in other fora.

“The council’s decision is yet another example of the ever more draconian restrictions being placed by our so-called liberal society on freedom of religious expression. With the current tides of regulation, it will become ever more difficult for Catholics to live out and witness to their faith.”

The Portsmouth council decision followed a similar vote at Ealing council in west London. Both councils are investigating the use of public spaces protection orders to criminalise vigils outside abortion clinics.

Several senior politicians – including Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, and Sadiq Khan, London’s Labour mayor – have called for the Government to introduce “buffer zones” to stop vigils across the country.

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