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| | News Releases, Christianity
27 January
Jan 27
27th January 2000

We have followed with concern the current debate surrounding the proposed repeal of Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 which prevents the promotion of homosexuality.  The Catholic Church clearly teaches the inalienable dignity of every human person created in the image and likeness of God. Every human person has the right to be free from bigotry, intolerance and fear. Every human person has the right to live his or her life in peace, irrespective of race, religion, colour, gender or sexual orientation. We condemn unreservedly violence or bullying perpetrated for whatever reason.  Section 28 states:  "A local authority shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality. A local authority shall not promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship".  Those who wish to repeal section 28 advance three reasons. They say:  It prevents teachers talking about homosexuality in class  It prevents the counselling of pupils confused about their own sexuality  It prevents proper measures against homophobic bullying  However it is our opinion that the reasons advanced do not justify the proposed repeal.  The Scottish Office circular No 9/1988 issued in conjunction with section 28 on May 20 1988 contains the following official guidance:  "Sex education will continue to be an element of social and health education in schools. Section 28 does not affect the activities of teachers. It will not prevent the objective discussion of homosexuality in the classroom or the counselling of pupils concerned about their sexuality".  To take away a law which prohibits the promotion of homosexuality and replace it with "guidelines" risks leaving our children extremely vulnerable to the message that a homosexual lifestyle is an equally valid moral choice to marriage.  We ask all people of good will to pray for our legislators in their different tasks. We pray that we can build a Scotland of justice for all, free of bigotry and intolerance, but ever mindful of God's law and morality.  ...

| | News Releases, Christianity
14 December
Dec 14
14th December 1999

Proceeds and royalties from "Will You Walk On By?" are going to one of Mrs Shand Kydd s favourite charities, HCPT - The Pilgrimage Trust, which helps children and adults with disabilities to enjoy the holiday of a lifetime. The charity is right behind the record. Mrs Shand Kydd has written a message for the record sleeve. In it, she says:  "This is surely an anthem for the Millennium, ensuring that the great festival is for everyone to remember; the less fortunate, alongside those for whom life has been kinder. I love the lyrics because they encompass the concerns which were those of my daughter, Diana. Princess of Wales." Further Information from The Pilgrimage Trust: Michael Orbell  01737 353311     "This is surely an anthem for the Millennium, ensuring that the great festival is for everyone to remember; the less fortunate, alongside those for whom life  has been kinder. I love the lyrics because they encompass the concerns which  were those of my daughter, Diana, Princess of Wales. The song has a big heart, and that is why I am delighted that HCPT “ The Pilgrimage Trust will benefit from its sales. The trust helps children from all backgrounds and creeds, who   have a wide range of mental and physical disabilities, as well as those who have suffered emotional trauma and homelessness. I hope this song is sung widely “ in homes, clubs and in concert, and that when it is sung, the meaning of the words are personally felt."   Further Information from The Pilgrimage Trust: Michael Orbell 01737 353311...

| | News Releases, Christianity
29 October
Oct 29
29th October 1999

"The advent of the new parliament seems to have given Scots a new enthusiasm for reconsidering legislation which impacts upon them and which may need amended or repealed. MSPs from all parties have pointed to the Act of Settlement as one such piece of legislation.I do not think that any fair-minded person could defend the Act of Settlement as it is currently formulated, since it quite crudely discriminates Catholics as such. It is, in short, something of an embarrassing anachronism for both the royal family and Parliament.Although the Edinburgh parliament does not have ultimate authority over the issue, I am greatly heartened to see MSPs from each of the political parties joining forces to lobby for change. Such a change would go a long way in showing that Catholics can, should and do play a full and equal role in national life."...