School children encouraged to sign anti-gay marriage petition at St Philomena's Catholic school in Carshalton

SUTT: Schoolchildren encouraged to sign an anti-gay marriage petition

Sixth formers at St Philomena's in Carshalton were given the presentation

Some pupils and parents have reacted badly to the incident

First published in Education News Kingston Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

School children were encouraged to sign an anti-gay marriage petition at a state-funded Catholic school in Carshalton.

Sixth form girls were invited by the school’s headteacher to sign an anti-equality pledge called Coalition for Marriage.

Maria Noone, St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls headteacher, has upset pupils and parents after allowing a presentation on religious opposition to the Government’s proposals to allow gay couples to marry in civil ceremonies.

Education Secretary Michael Gove is investigating claims the Catholic Education Service broke impartiality rules on gay marriage by writing to nearly 400 state-funded Roman Catholic secondary schools in March inviting them to back the petition.

St Philomenas was one of only a handful of schools in the UK to give a presentation on the subject, it has emerged.

The decision to publicise the anti-gay marriage petition might even breach St Philomenas own equality diversity and community cohesion policy, which states that the school aims to make sure that no one experiences any unlawful discrimination because of their sexual identity and orientation.

One sixth form student told PinkNews.co.uk: “In our assembly for the sixth form you could feel people bristling as she explained parts of the letter and encouraged us to sign the petition.

“She said things about gay marriage and civil partnerships being unnatural. It was just a really out-dated, misjudged and heavily-biased presentation.

"A few of us in my year are buying Gay Pride badges to pin on our uniform and thought about staging a Stonewall coup by posting the ‘Some people are gay – get over it’ posters around school.

“Most importantly though, there are several people in my year who aren’t heterosexual – myself included – and I for one was appalled and disgusted by what they were encouraging.

“After all, that’s discrimination they were urging impressionable people to engage in, which is unacceptable.”

One parent said: “I think it’s absolutely outrageous the Catholic church decides to dictate how people should live their lives – especially when the Catholic church has done so much over the years to distort the word of the Bible.

“Weren’t we taught to love one another and to respect other people’s beliefs?”

Another parent said: “I think it is upsetting – I was upset.

“Almost every child there has someone in their family or friends they know is gay.

“My daughter was upset by it – I have a brother who is gay – my daughter’s uncle.

“We’ve come a long way with people’s views on gay people.”

A spokesman for Quest, an organisation for lesbian and gay Catholics said: “In this day and age, most people have lesbians and gays as friends and neighbours, so the authorities need to choose their words and arguments with greater care and precision.

“In many of our schools, sadly, this lesson does not seem to have been learned.”

The school primarily serves the Catholic community and Catholic children have priority of admission.

The sixth form offers places to both Catholics as well as non-Catholics.


Headmistress Maria Noone hung up her phone when contacted by the Sutton Guardian and a PR agency acting on the school’s behalf turned down our offer of writing a 250-word column defending her decision.

When asked if Miss Noone was anti-gay her only response was: “I’m a Catholic.”

The school’s statement said: "The head and governors of St Philomena’s High School for Girls are aware of the reaction to recent assemblies regarding marriage given to the pupils at the school.

"Contrary to what has been published, those under the age of 16 were expressly informed they could not sign the petition, which simply proposes the legal definition of marriage remains the same.

"The assembly was based on the pastoral letter of the bishops conference on the church’s teaching on marriage and was delivered in response to a request from the Catholic Education Service.

"As a Catholic school, we have a duty to inform our students of the Church’s teaching on social issues while also promoting, supporting and respecting pupils’ right to think for themselves.

"St Philomena’s is committed to providing a welcoming, equal and inclusive environment for all our students. We make this clear in our Equality and Diversity information, which is on the school’s website.

"St Philomena’s continues to provide education and pastoral care to all our students, in accordance with the principles of equality and diversity."

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Comments (28)

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10:50am Thu 3 May 12

cocteaut says...

Rescind its tax free status as it is clearly no longer operating under its religious remit.

It is now interfering in political process.

CIVIL marriage has nothing to do with religion.
Rescind its tax free status as it is clearly no longer operating under its religious remit. It is now interfering in political process. CIVIL marriage has nothing to do with religion. cocteaut
  • Score: 0

10:54am Thu 3 May 12

Likkle says...

That school is a joke! Catholic school, yet when i was at school St Philomenas had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the borough! They need to get out of the dark ages!! People are gay, men want to marry men and women want to marry women. No petition will stop that. Maybe we should petition that your head teacher is sacked and replaced with someone who isn't so arrogant and out of touch! Catholic school or not, the girls who go there are still the same as any other teenage girl in the borough, no amount of preaching is going to change that!
That school is a joke! Catholic school, yet when i was at school St Philomenas had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the borough! They need to get out of the dark ages!! People are gay, men want to marry men and women want to marry women. No petition will stop that. Maybe we should petition that your head teacher is sacked and replaced with someone who isn't so arrogant and out of touch! Catholic school or not, the girls who go there are still the same as any other teenage girl in the borough, no amount of preaching is going to change that! Likkle
  • Score: 1

11:37am Thu 3 May 12

Angela M says...

Civil ceremonies are more and more common for heterosexual couples. They have nothing to do with religion (in fact, you can't even use music with any vague religious association).

Civil marriage should be a legal right for everyone, and the church has no right to dispute that.
Civil ceremonies are more and more common for heterosexual couples. They have nothing to do with religion (in fact, you can't even use music with any vague religious association). Civil marriage should be a legal right for everyone, and the church has no right to dispute that. Angela M
  • Score: -1

11:58am Thu 3 May 12

theavengers says...

Just a radical as any Muslim school people hear of. No different at all. Also, to dress the girls so masculine and expect some of them not to feel masculine themselves is absurd. It sounds like a headmistress who is ganging up on some of her pupils. I'm all for marrige and morals but this is to be taught in homes, not schools or workplaces.
Just a radical as any Muslim school people hear of. No different at all. Also, to dress the girls so masculine and expect some of them not to feel masculine themselves is absurd. It sounds like a headmistress who is ganging up on some of her pupils. I'm all for marrige and morals but this is to be taught in homes, not schools or workplaces. theavengers
  • Score: 1

12:27pm Thu 3 May 12

ddd333 says...

live n let live turn the other cheeck thats what i was brought up with for a teacher you are teaching how to be a bully with your feelings and to others
live n let live turn the other cheeck thats what i was brought up with for a teacher you are teaching how to be a bully with your feelings and to others ddd333
  • Score: 1

12:58pm Thu 3 May 12

cocteaut says...

How convenient it must be for Ms. Noone to lay her own narrowness and smallness off on God and to accept no responsibility for the uncompassionate nature of her own soul
How convenient it must be for Ms. Noone to lay her own narrowness and smallness off on God and to accept no responsibility for the uncompassionate nature of her own soul cocteaut
  • Score: -1

3:50pm Thu 3 May 12

JKomar says...

Once again the catholic church is using children for it's own purposes. When did kids get to sign a petition not to be molested?
Once again the catholic church is using children for it's own purposes. When did kids get to sign a petition not to be molested? JKomar
  • Score: 1

3:52pm Thu 3 May 12

adrianshort says...

The Coalition for Marriage's petition is a highly disingenuous piece of work.

The wording is:

"I support the legal definition of marriage which is the voluntary union for
life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. I oppose any
attempt to redefine it."

Of course, the legal definition of marriage isn't of a lifelong union. Nearly 120,000 couples divorced in England and Wales in 2010.

Catholics might not agree with divorce but the law certainly does. Pointing out that fact demonstrates that the law is malleable not eternal. If the law is changed to allow gay couples to marry it won't involve any fundamental change to the political order. God doesn't make the laws of England. People make the laws of this land. Always have, always will.
The Coalition for Marriage's petition is a highly disingenuous piece of work. The wording is: "I support the legal definition of marriage which is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. I oppose any attempt to redefine it." Of course, the legal definition of marriage isn't of a lifelong union. Nearly 120,000 couples divorced in England and Wales in 2010. Catholics might not agree with divorce but the law certainly does. Pointing out that fact demonstrates that the law is malleable not eternal. If the law is changed to allow gay couples to marry it won't involve any fundamental change to the political order. God doesn't make the laws of England. People make the laws of this land. Always have, always will. adrianshort
  • Score: 0

4:11pm Thu 3 May 12

Michael Pantlin says...

With 7,000,000,000 people crowding this planet and expanding further by the minute the Pope should rethink his stance on birth control before we become packed together like ferrets in a sack.
With 7,000,000,000 people crowding this planet and expanding further by the minute the Pope should rethink his stance on birth control before we become packed together like ferrets in a sack. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 0

4:18pm Thu 3 May 12

adrianshort says...

Michael,

The global population density for land is 117 people per square mile.

Sutton's population density is 11,000 people per square mile.

I think it'll be a while before we're "packed together like ferrets in a sack".

Of course it'd be good if the Catholic church supported effective birth control but not for the reason you suggest.
Michael, The global population density for land is 117 people per square mile. Sutton's population density is 11,000 people per square mile. I think it'll be a while before we're "packed together like ferrets in a sack". Of course it'd be good if the Catholic church supported effective birth control but not for the reason you suggest. adrianshort
  • Score: 1

5:49pm Thu 3 May 12

dn290student says...

I feel that the St Philomena’s and the Headmistress deserve some defence, even though I was not present at the assembly and have no direct connection with the school.

I understand very well that the Catholic Church is generally unloved in twenty-first-century Britain, for certain of her beliefs are called ‘out of touch’. However, the Church’s task is not to be ‘in touch’; rather, it is amongst other things to preserve and to communicate certain truths (concerning not just marriage but all aspects of existence). The Church holds that such truths have not been established by mankind but by God, and therefore cannot be changed by him. Because of this belief it has suffered more than criticism, and from more than modern British society. Nevertheless it continues to profess such truths.

The students who enjoy an education at St Philomena’s are not necessarily obliged to accept the Church’s teaching. Nevertheless, because the school they attend is and unapologetically calls itself ‘Catholic’, they must accept the possibility that they will encounter the Church’s understanding of the truth. They must be prepared to encounter it even if they disagree with it.

The article explains that the students were ‘encouraged’ or ‘invited’ to sign a petition which in my view is reasonably worded, refers to a matter which transcends the temporal concerns of politics, and for which support does not merit the label ‘anti-gay’. If ‘encouragement’ and ‘invitation’ – both mild terms – are an accurate description of Ms. Noone’s words, then the student’s reaction (to seek to cause scandal, to undermine her headmistress’ authority and to spread disloyalty amongst her fellow students) is in my view disproportionate, however sincere her beliefs might have been. Her courage is admirable but has been misplaced.
I feel that the St Philomena’s and the Headmistress deserve some defence, even though I was not present at the assembly and have no direct connection with the school. I understand very well that the Catholic Church is generally unloved in twenty-first-century Britain, for certain of her beliefs are called ‘out of touch’. However, the Church’s task is not to be ‘in touch’; rather, it is amongst other things to preserve and to communicate certain truths (concerning not just marriage but all aspects of existence). The Church holds that such truths have not been established by mankind but by God, and therefore cannot be changed by him. Because of this belief it has suffered more than criticism, and from more than modern British society. Nevertheless it continues to profess such truths. The students who enjoy an education at St Philomena’s are not necessarily obliged to accept the Church’s teaching. Nevertheless, because the school they attend is and unapologetically calls itself ‘Catholic’, they must accept the possibility that they will encounter the Church’s understanding of the truth. They must be prepared to encounter it even if they disagree with it. The article explains that the students were ‘encouraged’ or ‘invited’ to sign a petition which in my view is reasonably worded, refers to a matter which transcends the temporal concerns of politics, and for which support does not merit the label ‘anti-gay’. If ‘encouragement’ and ‘invitation’ – both mild terms – are an accurate description of Ms. Noone’s words, then the student’s reaction (to seek to cause scandal, to undermine her headmistress’ authority and to spread disloyalty amongst her fellow students) is in my view disproportionate, however sincere her beliefs might have been. Her courage is admirable but has been misplaced. dn290student
  • Score: 0

6:14pm Thu 3 May 12

Crease2000 says...

Didn't that pope bloke have to recently apologise for the molestation of children within the Catholic faith? Perhaps Ms. Noone, might find the courage to comment on that, rather than 2 adults who love each other?
Didn't that pope bloke have to recently apologise for the molestation of children within the Catholic faith? Perhaps Ms. Noone, might find the courage to comment on that, rather than 2 adults who love each other? Crease2000
  • Score: 0

6:36pm Thu 3 May 12

adrianshort says...

dn290student,

In light of my comment above at 3:52 pm, do you think the Coalition for Marriage's petition, which you say is "reasonably worded", accurately reflects the current law in this country?
dn290student, In light of my comment above at 3:52 pm, do you think the Coalition for Marriage's petition, which you say is "reasonably worded", accurately reflects the current law in this country? adrianshort
  • Score: 0

8:33pm Thu 3 May 12

dn290student says...

adrianshort,

I was struck by your previous comment, even though I did not refer to it. This aspect of the Coalition’s petition had not occurred to me. Yes, I accept that you are of course correct that divorce is legal and indeed common in the United Kingdom, and that the Coalition’s wording is not clear about it.

I am not an expert, but think it is plausible to separate to a certain extent the law concerning marriage from the law concerning divorce. Even civil marriages are still ‘for life’ in principle. I believe it is the case that certain words must be spoken in order that the marriage be recognised in law, and that these include ‘wedded wife’ and ‘wedded husband’. Everything depends upon what the word ‘wedded’ means (the meaning of this word is also at stake in the current proposal). If ‘wedded’ includes the meaning of ‘for life’, as I imagine is the ideal of every marriage, then the legal definition of marriage incorporates that element. Divorce is not contemplated in wedding vows and hopefully not by the bride and groom, but should the marriage come to it, the divorce (according to law) overrides the marriage, I suppose. Nevertheless, when they are embarked upon, all marriages are presumably intended ‘for life’.

My second point is that this is a Coalition, rather than a homogeneous body, of people who have something specific in common. On its web-site it calls itself an “umbrella group of individuals and organisations” and which also “reaches out to people of all faiths and none”. This includes members of other Churches in which marriage ‘ought to be’ for life but in which divorce is permissible. This is another reason why it is ‘reasonably worded’: for some signatories marriage is ‘for life’ absolutely and indissolubly, and for others it might be ‘for life’ in principle.

I am aware that these are not very well-expressed arguments because I am not an expert! Also I accept that you have in fact identified a certain weakness in the Coalition, which is separate from the issue from that in this news article. However, it is evident that the Coalition has been set up specifically in affirmative opposition to the current proposal of legalising same-sex marriage. Although it also seeks the general promotion of marriage and the values associated with it, it has a particular pressing objective. Divorce is already common and prevalent; perhaps members of the Coalition accept this loss in favour of concentrating their efforts on opposing a subsequent redefinition. To oppose the legality of divorce at present might well be a distraction, even though the (certainly Catholic) view of it is expressed as clearly and charitably as that of same-sex marriage.
adrianshort, I was struck by your previous comment, even though I did not refer to it. This aspect of the Coalition’s petition had not occurred to me. Yes, I accept that you are of course correct that divorce is legal and indeed common in the United Kingdom, and that the Coalition’s wording is not clear about it. I am not an expert, but think it is plausible to separate to a certain extent the law concerning marriage from the law concerning divorce. Even civil marriages are still ‘for life’ in principle. I believe it is the case that certain words must be spoken in order that the marriage be recognised in law, and that these include ‘wedded wife’ and ‘wedded husband’. Everything depends upon what the word ‘wedded’ means (the meaning of this word is also at stake in the current proposal). If ‘wedded’ includes the meaning of ‘for life’, as I imagine is the ideal of every marriage, then the legal definition of marriage incorporates that element. Divorce is not contemplated in wedding vows and hopefully not by the bride and groom, but should the marriage come to it, the divorce (according to law) overrides the marriage, I suppose. Nevertheless, when they are embarked upon, all marriages are presumably intended ‘for life’. My second point is that this is a Coalition, rather than a homogeneous body, of people who have something specific in common. On its web-site it calls itself an “umbrella group of individuals and organisations” and which also “reaches out to people of all faiths and none”. This includes members of other Churches in which marriage ‘ought to be’ for life but in which divorce is permissible. This is another reason why it is ‘reasonably worded’: for some signatories marriage is ‘for life’ absolutely and indissolubly, and for others it might be ‘for life’ in principle. I am aware that these are not very well-expressed arguments because I am not an expert! Also I accept that you have in fact identified a certain weakness in the Coalition, which is separate from the issue from that in this news article. However, it is evident that the Coalition has been set up specifically in affirmative opposition to the current proposal of legalising same-sex marriage. Although it also seeks the general promotion of marriage and the values associated with it, it has a particular pressing objective. Divorce is already common and prevalent; perhaps members of the Coalition accept this loss in favour of concentrating their efforts on opposing a subsequent redefinition. To oppose the legality of divorce at present might well be a distraction, even though the (certainly Catholic) view of it is expressed as clearly and charitably as that of same-sex marriage. dn290student
  • Score: 0

9:33pm Thu 3 May 12

paddy_h says...

I wonder if Ms Noone 'encourages' the pupils to support The Cardinal and Bishops who hide and cover up the systematic abuse of children?
I wonder if Ms Noone 'encourages' the pupils to support The Cardinal and Bishops who hide and cover up the systematic abuse of children? paddy_h
  • Score: 0

9:33pm Thu 3 May 12

Yaffle1 says...

St. Philomena's has been lumbered with a couple of disastrous choices for headmistess in the last decade or two.
St. Philomena's has been lumbered with a couple of disastrous choices for headmistess in the last decade or two. Yaffle1
  • Score: 1

10:13pm Thu 3 May 12

adrianshort says...

dn290student,

I think the point about divorce is pertinent because it really does undermine the coalition in a fundamental way.

You've expressed the Catholic position clearly and while I don't agree with it because I don't think it addresses the central issues for society, it is in itself clear and consistent.

But the coalition really does have some problems. On the matter of divorce, its members' views range from those completely opposed (e.g. Catholics), to those who'd permit divorce under extreme circumstances, to those who'd generally be happy for no-one to be stuck in a marriage that they no longer desired. These are all fundamental differences about what marriage is and what marriage means. Whichever position you take on divorce, it has consequences (not always intended ones) for how and whether people get married, what they do when they're married and how society sees marriage as a whole. A marriage that is dissolvable at minimal cost is radically different from one that is, to all intents and purposes, permanent.

So if the Coalition for Marriage can't agree among themselves what marriage actually is, they lose any moral authority they might hope to gain through the clarity and consistency of their position. What's the one thing they all agree on? They're opposed to gay marriage. That's clear enough. But that doesn't make it a Coalition for Marriage. It makes it a Coalition Against Gay Marriage. Well it's easy enough to be against gay marriage. You could come up with any number of reasons for opposing gay marriage, from wanting to expound "eternal truths" about marriage to just wanting to give gay people miserable lives. Opposition means very little in itself. You can find any number of people to oppose anything, but they won't all do it for the same reason, or more importantly, have a coherent idea about how to tackle complex social issues that need to be addressed.

In terms of law and public policy, we can see that a diverse society leads to a liberal society. As the number of things we can all agree on diminishes, so does the role of the state in social regulation. There is more diversity on social issues within the Coalition for Marriage than you'd have found within the whole of society 300 years ago. Churches and other groups who express social views still have a role to play, not in formulating law and public policy but in directly influencing people. They'd do that much better by fighting their individual corners according to their actual beliefs rather than constructing a facade of unity where there is none.
dn290student, I think the point about divorce is pertinent because it really does undermine the coalition in a fundamental way. You've expressed the Catholic position clearly and while I don't agree with it because I don't think it addresses the central issues for society, it is in itself clear and consistent. But the coalition really does have some problems. On the matter of divorce, its members' views range from those completely opposed (e.g. Catholics), to those who'd permit divorce under extreme circumstances, to those who'd generally be happy for no-one to be stuck in a marriage that they no longer desired. These are all fundamental differences about what marriage is and what marriage means. Whichever position you take on divorce, it has consequences (not always intended ones) for how and whether people get married, what they do when they're married and how society sees marriage as a whole. A marriage that is dissolvable at minimal cost is radically different from one that is, to all intents and purposes, permanent. So if the Coalition for Marriage can't agree among themselves what marriage actually is, they lose any moral authority they might hope to gain through the clarity and consistency of their position. What's the one thing they all agree on? They're opposed to gay marriage. That's clear enough. But that doesn't make it a Coalition for Marriage. It makes it a Coalition Against Gay Marriage. Well it's easy enough to be against gay marriage. You could come up with any number of reasons for opposing gay marriage, from wanting to expound "eternal truths" about marriage to just wanting to give gay people miserable lives. Opposition means very little in itself. You can find any number of people to oppose anything, but they won't all do it for the same reason, or more importantly, have a coherent idea about how to tackle complex social issues that need to be addressed. In terms of law and public policy, we can see that a diverse society leads to a liberal society. As the number of things we can all agree on diminishes, so does the role of the state in social regulation. There is more diversity on social issues within the Coalition for Marriage than you'd have found within the whole of society 300 years ago. Churches and other groups who express social views still have a role to play, not in formulating law and public policy but in directly influencing people. They'd do that much better by fighting their individual corners according to their actual beliefs rather than constructing a facade of unity where there is none. adrianshort
  • Score: 0

11:23pm Thu 3 May 12

dn290student says...

adrianshort,

You make a pertinent argument and I was very nearly convinced! Certainly the Coalition, which wishes to promote marriage generally, must be careful to avoid being reduced to a Coalition Against Gay Marriage. This is difficult because that is currently its main and most controversial objective. I concede also that there is more ‘diversity on social issues within the Coalition for Marriage than you'd have found within the whole of society 300 years ago’. Nevertheless, I imagine that there is more unity within the Coalition than you give it credit for, even though the precise motivation of every signatory cannot be accounted for (surely this is the case with any petition, any movement or any electorate?). We agree that marriage should be open to children, that marriage is good for the formation of these children and that divorce is wrong, even if we believe these things for different reasons and with different intensities. A belief in married parents may originate from regretting one’s parents’ divorce or from rejoicing in one’s parent’s stable marriage.

Perhaps the principal agreement by the Coalition is that marriage is a privilege, which by definition leads to the ‘exclusion of all others’. Any conceivable proposal for a marital structure which does not meet these criteria would, I imagine and hope, be opposed by the Coalition in a manner consistent with its current objection to same-sex marriage. This means technically that it ought indeed to campaign also against divorce. However, same-sex marriage is a pressing issue. Perhaps the primary motivation for the Coalition is the end of marriage seen as a privilege – a high and noble vocation, applicable to a particular set of circumstances, a gift, even – rather than as a right.

I agree with you that this coalition should not be made without people ‘fighting their individual corners according to their actual beliefs’ – this has been done for the Catholic Church in England and Wales by Archbishops Vincent Nichols and Peter Smith, and also, I might add, for the pupils of St Philomena’s by Ms. Noone and the C.E.S. Nevertheless, we agree on enough with the Church of England, for example, to promote together the importance of marriage, and for not doing so to seem a lost opportunity. The Churches are meant to be seeking visible unity, after all. Therefore, instead of a separate Catholic petition, an Anglican petition, a petition by the Muslim Council of Britain and so on, which could enable the duplication of signatories and whose numbers would have constantly to be added up, we have a clear and readily available figure of unique signatories – at present nearly half a million. It is proper that a Catholic headmistress should draw her pupils’ attention to such a petition because many of them are likely to agree with the statement next to the form. Those who agree may sign it; those who do not will not.
adrianshort, You make a pertinent argument and I was very nearly convinced! Certainly the Coalition, which wishes to promote marriage generally, must be careful to avoid being reduced to a Coalition Against Gay Marriage. This is difficult because that is currently its main and most controversial objective. I concede also that there is more ‘diversity on social issues within the Coalition for Marriage than you'd have found within the whole of society 300 years ago’. Nevertheless, I imagine that there is more unity within the Coalition than you give it credit for, even though the precise motivation of every signatory cannot be accounted for (surely this is the case with any petition, any movement or any electorate?). We agree that marriage should be open to children, that marriage is good for the formation of these children and that divorce is wrong, even if we believe these things for different reasons and with different intensities. A belief in married parents may originate from regretting one’s parents’ divorce or from rejoicing in one’s parent’s stable marriage. Perhaps the principal agreement by the Coalition is that marriage is a privilege, which by definition leads to the ‘exclusion of all others’. Any conceivable proposal for a marital structure which does not meet these criteria would, I imagine and hope, be opposed by the Coalition in a manner consistent with its current objection to same-sex marriage. This means technically that it ought indeed to campaign also against divorce. However, same-sex marriage is a pressing issue. Perhaps the primary motivation for the Coalition is the end of marriage seen as a privilege – a high and noble vocation, applicable to a particular set of circumstances, a gift, even – rather than as a right. I agree with you that this coalition should not be made without people ‘fighting their individual corners according to their actual beliefs’ – this has been done for the Catholic Church in England and Wales by Archbishops Vincent Nichols and Peter Smith, and also, I might add, for the pupils of St Philomena’s by Ms. Noone and the C.E.S. Nevertheless, we agree on enough with the Church of England, for example, to promote together the importance of marriage, and for not doing so to seem a lost opportunity. The Churches are meant to be seeking visible unity, after all. Therefore, instead of a separate Catholic petition, an Anglican petition, a petition by the Muslim Council of Britain and so on, which could enable the duplication of signatories and whose numbers would have constantly to be added up, we have a clear and readily available figure of unique signatories – at present nearly half a million. It is proper that a Catholic headmistress should draw her pupils’ attention to such a petition because many of them are likely to agree with the statement next to the form. Those who agree may sign it; those who do not will not. dn290student
  • Score: 0

12:22am Fri 4 May 12

johntheb@googlemail.com says...

If really concerned then parents and pupils who are offended as comes clearly across from the palpable singularly partisan SLEIGHT of hand by Guardian reporter, can opt out by attending the local state schools which are fully complaisant with the politically-correct policies of the state and big-business repleted Stonewall and co.

Anyone aware of the agenda of Stonewall etc. can easily discern from content and tone of Guardian reporter Sophia Sleigh, not implausibly a set-up of head teacher Maria Noone who I do not know nor am personally concerned about. The hapless elderly christian couple owning the Ty Morvah B and B, Marazion, Cornwall know well the actual experience.

This local inflammation is just another step on the politically-correct stage. Forget about 'equalities' ---the victicrat intolerants will have their way and sway and force catholic schools to submit to their agendas and ordinances.

locals who are sympathetic to the right of faith schools not to be trampled underfoot by well-organised and funded caucuses using the 'equalities' and diversity tools can make their councillors and MP aware of the electoral consequences of abiding with also intolerances. The Guardian reports some girls "staging a Stonewall coup".

Nobody forced the parents to send their daughters to a massively over-subscribed faith school. And forget about it being the same school as when under the Liege foundation Daughters of Charity, whose motto NISI DOMINUS AEDIFICAT, VANUM is these times arguably jaded and outdated.

MAGISTER OLIM


NB Ones name and address is not to be used!!!!
If really concerned then parents and pupils who are offended as comes clearly across from the palpable singularly partisan SLEIGHT of hand by Guardian reporter, can opt out by attending the local state schools which are fully complaisant with the politically-correct policies of the state and big-business repleted Stonewall and co. Anyone aware of the agenda of Stonewall etc. can easily discern from content and tone of Guardian reporter Sophia Sleigh, not implausibly a set-up of head teacher Maria Noone who I do not know nor am personally concerned about. The hapless elderly christian couple owning the Ty Morvah B and B, Marazion, Cornwall know well the actual experience. This local inflammation is just another step on the politically-correct stage. Forget about 'equalities' ---the victicrat intolerants will have their way and sway and force catholic schools to submit to their agendas and ordinances. locals who are sympathetic to the right of faith schools not to be trampled underfoot by well-organised and funded caucuses using the 'equalities' and diversity tools can make their councillors and MP aware of the electoral consequences of abiding with also intolerances. The Guardian reports some girls "staging a Stonewall coup". Nobody forced the parents to send their daughters to a massively over-subscribed faith school. And forget about it being the same school as when under the Liege foundation Daughters of Charity, whose motto NISI DOMINUS AEDIFICAT, VANUM is these times arguably jaded and outdated. MAGISTER OLIM NB Ones name and address is not to be used!!!! johntheb@googlemail.com
  • Score: 0

12:22am Fri 4 May 12

johntheb@googlemail.com says...

If really concerned then parents and pupils who are offended as comes clearly across from the palpable singularly partisan SLEIGHT of hand by Guardian reporter, can opt out by attending the local state schools which are fully complaisant with the politically-correct policies of the state and big-business repleted Stonewall and co.

Anyone aware of the agenda of Stonewall etc. can easily discern from content and tone of Guardian reporter Sophia Sleigh, not implausibly a set-up of head teacher Maria Noone who I do not know nor am personally concerned about. The hapless elderly christian couple owning the Ty Morvah B and B, Marazion, Cornwall know well the actual experience.

This local inflammation is just another step on the politically-correct stage. Forget about 'equalities' ---the victicrat intolerants will have their way and sway and force catholic schools to submit to their agendas and ordinances.

locals who are sympathetic to the right of faith schools not to be trampled underfoot by well-organised and funded caucuses using the 'equalities' and diversity tools can make their councillors and MP aware of the electoral consequences of abiding with also intolerances. The Guardian reports some girls "staging a Stonewall coup".

Nobody forced the parents to send their daughters to a massively over-subscribed faith school. And forget about it being the same school as when under the Liege foundation Daughters of Charity, whose motto NISI DOMINUS AEDIFICAT, VANUM is these times arguably jaded and outdated.

MAGISTER OLIM


NB Ones name and address is not to be used!!!!
If really concerned then parents and pupils who are offended as comes clearly across from the palpable singularly partisan SLEIGHT of hand by Guardian reporter, can opt out by attending the local state schools which are fully complaisant with the politically-correct policies of the state and big-business repleted Stonewall and co. Anyone aware of the agenda of Stonewall etc. can easily discern from content and tone of Guardian reporter Sophia Sleigh, not implausibly a set-up of head teacher Maria Noone who I do not know nor am personally concerned about. The hapless elderly christian couple owning the Ty Morvah B and B, Marazion, Cornwall know well the actual experience. This local inflammation is just another step on the politically-correct stage. Forget about 'equalities' ---the victicrat intolerants will have their way and sway and force catholic schools to submit to their agendas and ordinances. locals who are sympathetic to the right of faith schools not to be trampled underfoot by well-organised and funded caucuses using the 'equalities' and diversity tools can make their councillors and MP aware of the electoral consequences of abiding with also intolerances. The Guardian reports some girls "staging a Stonewall coup". Nobody forced the parents to send their daughters to a massively over-subscribed faith school. And forget about it being the same school as when under the Liege foundation Daughters of Charity, whose motto NISI DOMINUS AEDIFICAT, VANUM is these times arguably jaded and outdated. MAGISTER OLIM NB Ones name and address is not to be used!!!! johntheb@googlemail.com
  • Score: 0

8:45am Fri 4 May 12

Mr Anthony Miller says...

"The Church holds that such truths have not been established by mankind but by God, and therefore cannot be changed by him."

The biggest lie of the RCC is that it's beliefs do not change.
Well, what happened to condemning everyone outside the faith to limbo or hell? Why aren't all the documents that John Paul II apologised for online like all the modern Vatican proclamations? Does the Vatican seriously expect people to believe that all those things that it said in the past that it no longer feels proud of were not "Magisterial" documents? What about the time it told us all to undermine Elizabeth I's government? What about the witty things it used to say about the Jews? All this we're supposed to now forget while simultaneously taking the Magisterium very seriously?

Anyone remember being told animals have no souls and simply stop existing when they die? Or anyone remember the Irish catechism which actually stated that papal infalibility was a myth before it was enshrined in church teaching.

Moreover the Catholic Church doesn't just airbrush it's past it regularly bolts on completely new dogmas (the Assumption) and practices (the 2005 totally disgraceful homophobic ban on even non-sexually-active gay priests) and expects us to believe that these completely innovations have always been "the teaching and tradition of the church?".

It's eccumenical councils and Vatican teaching openly contradict each other. It bends its strict rules when it suits it (married priests when it wants to steal punters off the CofE? female alter servers which it said repeatedly could NEVER happen when it wants to keep the moderates happy).

The Catholic Church is not restating old beliefs. On the contrary. It is becoming more homophobic than it used to be (which was quite hard) and actually it's going backwards.
"The Church holds that such truths have not been established by mankind but by God, and therefore cannot be changed by him." The biggest lie of the RCC is that it's beliefs do not change. Well, what happened to condemning everyone outside the faith to limbo or hell? Why aren't all the documents that John Paul II apologised for online like all the modern Vatican proclamations? Does the Vatican seriously expect people to believe that all those things that it said in the past that it no longer feels proud of were not "Magisterial" documents? What about the time it told us all to undermine Elizabeth I's government? What about the witty things it used to say about the Jews? All this we're supposed to now forget while simultaneously taking the Magisterium very seriously? Anyone remember being told animals have no souls and simply stop existing when they die? Or anyone remember the Irish catechism which actually stated that papal infalibility was a myth before it was enshrined in church teaching. Moreover the Catholic Church doesn't just airbrush it's past it regularly bolts on completely new dogmas (the Assumption) and practices (the 2005 totally disgraceful homophobic ban on even non-sexually-active gay priests) and expects us to believe that these completely innovations have always been "the teaching and tradition of the church?". It's eccumenical councils and Vatican teaching openly contradict each other. It bends its strict rules when it suits it (married priests when it wants to steal punters off the CofE? female alter servers which it said repeatedly could NEVER happen when it wants to keep the moderates happy). The Catholic Church is not restating old beliefs. On the contrary. It is becoming more homophobic than it used to be (which was quite hard) and actually it's going backwards. Mr Anthony Miller
  • Score: 0

10:52am Fri 4 May 12

Yaffle1 says...

Two points. One is that this lady should never have strayed into this territory, it is not part of her job. Second, most of us regard marriage by definition to be a formal union of a man and woman. To talk of gay marriage is to change the definition of marriage and the goverment should never have set this hare running. By all means extend the legal rights of those in a Civil Partnership, but don't let's ever call it marriage.
Two points. One is that this lady should never have strayed into this territory, it is not part of her job. Second, most of us regard marriage by definition to be a formal union of a man and woman. To talk of gay marriage is to change the definition of marriage and the goverment should never have set this hare running. By all means extend the legal rights of those in a Civil Partnership, but don't let's ever call it marriage. Yaffle1
  • Score: 0

10:38am Sun 6 May 12

Charlotte L says...

Your headline is misleading - look at it & think it's referring to young children, read the article & discover it's about 6th formers - who are practically adults. People have a right to be against gay marriage, & a right to be able to express their opinions on the subject without being bullied.
Your headline is misleading - look at it & think it's referring to young children, read the article & discover it's about 6th formers - who are practically adults. People have a right to be against gay marriage, & a right to be able to express their opinions on the subject without being bullied. Charlotte L
  • Score: 3

10:41am Sun 6 May 12

Charlotte L says...

'One parent said: “I think it’s absolutely outrageous the Catholic church decides to dictate how people should live their lives – especially when the Catholic church has done so much over the years to distort the word of the Bible.

If you feel that way then why send your kid to a Catholic school?
'One parent said: “I think it’s absolutely outrageous the Catholic church decides to dictate how people should live their lives – especially when the Catholic church has done so much over the years to distort the word of the Bible. If you feel that way then why send your kid to a Catholic school? Charlotte L
  • Score: 1

4:50pm Sun 6 May 12

Crease2000 says...

There is no bullying. The gay community and other minority groups are too intelligent and thick skinned to worry themselves much about what the catholic church has to say. Gay marriage will eventually be introduced and there is nothing that the catholic church can do about it in the eyes of the UK law.
There is no bullying. The gay community and other minority groups are too intelligent and thick skinned to worry themselves much about what the catholic church has to say. Gay marriage will eventually be introduced and there is nothing that the catholic church can do about it in the eyes of the UK law. Crease2000
  • Score: -1

9:52pm Wed 9 May 12

lilibeth says...

The teachings of the Catholic Church are too immoral for me and my family based on our morality. If my Son one day tells me one of two things.That he has become catholic or that he is gay. While I would respect and support him, the fact is I so hope he tells me hes gay. I live in Cheam not that far from St Philomena's Catholic school and will be making it a point to point out to friends that this in my opinion is not a school to consider for their children. I send my son to school to learn English, Literacy, Maths, Science, History, Geography and Art. I do not send my son to school to be brainwashed with such bigotry towards his fellow Man. Its disgraceful and not worthy of respect
The teachings of the Catholic Church are too immoral for me and my family based on our morality. If my Son one day tells me one of two things.That he has become catholic or that he is gay. While I would respect and support him, the fact is I so hope he tells me hes gay. I live in Cheam not that far from St Philomena's Catholic school and will be making it a point to point out to friends that this in my opinion is not a school to consider for their children. I send my son to school to learn English, Literacy, Maths, Science, History, Geography and Art. I do not send my son to school to be brainwashed with such bigotry towards his fellow Man. Its disgraceful and not worthy of respect lilibeth
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Sat 12 May 12

halhal says...

This has been blown way out of proportion, I was present in a assembly on this topic. All the head said was what was enclosed in a letter sent by two bishops. She said what the Catholic church thought, and at no point did she express her opinion or what your opinion should be. she said, This is what the church believes, sign the petition if you want and are over 16. Of course we were 'invited' to, but we were only informed of the situation, never told what was right or wrong. To those why say they attempt to brain wash students are very naive. Also what did you expect from faith schools? Of course they inform their students on news concerning the schools faith.
This has been blown way out of proportion, I was present in a assembly on this topic. All the head said was what was enclosed in a letter sent by two bishops. She said what the Catholic church thought, and at no point did she express her opinion or what your opinion should be. she said, This is what the church believes, sign the petition if you want and are over 16. Of course we were 'invited' to, but we were only informed of the situation, never told what was right or wrong. To those why say they attempt to brain wash students are very naive. Also what did you expect from faith schools? Of course they inform their students on news concerning the schools faith. halhal
  • Score: 1

12:55pm Sat 12 May 12

halhal says...

Who*
I've also heard that she was given a kind of 'script' of what to say in assemblies. I'm almost sure that the school is not that stupid to say being gay is wrong knowing fully well that many students or teachers could be.
Who* I've also heard that she was given a kind of 'script' of what to say in assemblies. I'm almost sure that the school is not that stupid to say being gay is wrong knowing fully well that many students or teachers could be. halhal
  • Score: 0

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