Sexual Orientation Regulations: statement by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

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Noting the fact that the Sexual Orientation Regulations are being voted on in the House of Commons today, I again express our concern at their impact, not only on adoption services, but on cooperation between faith-based voluntary agencies and public authorities in public funded services.

It is, surely, an abuse of Parliamentary democracy that these Regulations are being considered by Parliament only through a hurriedly arranged and very brief meeting of 16 appointed MPs, and a short debate in the House of Lords. During the House of Commons Committee meeting opportunity for serious debate was denied.

Profound public concern about aspects of these Regulations has not been heard. The debate on Wednesday in the House of Lords, although important in itself, will hardly compensate for the lack of a full debate in the House of Commons.

Our society’s understanding of the pattern of family life and of the role of conscience and religious belief in public life remains a very important part of the political agenda.

Notes to editors

The Standing Committee of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is made up of the five Archbishops of England and Wales, the Chair of the Department for the Bishops’ Conference and 2 elected members from among the bishops. It is the permanent council of the Bishops’ Conference