Reacting to recent findings that almost £3.3m had been awarded to the Brook Advisory Centres and the Family Planning Association, Cardinal O'Brien said;
"I am quite staggered at the volume of funds provided to these agencies which is in stark contrast to the lack of support for organisations offering alternative approaches. I wonder whether any analysis has been carried out as to how effective these groups have been at tackling the problems they are funded to deal with. As far as I am aware, across the United Kingdom, rates of teenage conceptions, sexually transmitted infections and abortions continue to rise, in short, we are left facing the single incontrovertible fact, that all our current approaches have failed. Yet we continue to fund on an enormous scale the very work which has so demonstrably failed."
Cardinal O'Brien added;
"I am at a loss to understand the criteria used by the National Lottery when determining whether or not to proved such vast sums of money to agencies which have such utterly lamentable track records in their fields. At the same time I know of Christian agencies who feel utterly excluded form the funding process because the religious ethos which underpins their work marks them out as non-inclusive organisations."
"Although the Brook Centres and the FPA are in receipt of such public largesse, they do not offer crisis pregnancy care nor do the provide a full range of post abortion counselling services. They routinely promote an agenda which seeks to contracept and abort although they can if necessary refer users to pro-life agencies. Pro-life agencies on the other hand cannot in accordance with their avowed purpose of protecting life at all costs recommend reference to an abortion provider - thus leaving them open to the charge of adopting a non-inclusive approach. Such anomalies in the funding criteria used by many public bodies must end."
Cardinal O'Brien concluded;
"I remain concerned at what I believe to be a blatant misuse of funds given in good faith by members of the public who hope to buy a winning lottery ticket but equally want to give to 'good causes'. I would urge anyone concerned with the sexual health of future generations to think very carefully before supporting the National Lottery at least until they provide an assurance of funding parity in their grant making process."
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