Defend the rights of fathers, protect the traditional family Scottish bishops urge PM
GLASGOW , Scotland (Catholic Online) – The state oversteps its bounds by attempting to write out in law and in social policy the role of the father in the raising of children, said the Catholic bishops of Scotland.
In a July 13 letter written to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Scotland's two most senior Catholic officials, Cardinal Keith O'Brien of Edinburgh and St. Andrews and Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow, the president and vice president, respectively, of the Scottish Bishops' Conference, called for an urgent review of the timetable for the ongoing public consultation on the "Human Tissue and Embryology Bill," arguing elements of the draft legislation could be extremely harmful to the long-term welfare of children.
"The draft legislation proposes to remove the current reference in legislation to a child's need for a father," the prelates said.
"The proposals, they stressed, "constitute a sweeping attempt to rewrite traditional concepts of parenthood and the family.
Cardinal O'Brien and Archbishop Conti noted that passage of the draft bill would mean "that, prior to provision of fertility treatment, there will no longer be any requirement, nor guidance, to consider the child's need for a father."
They suggested that the draft provisions were "devised to accommodate the huge variety of new technologies that have followed in the wake of in vitro fertilization, and which facilitate the creation of children without any deference to historical social traditions or indeed to natural biology."
While noting that the draft bill is "under scrutiny" by a joint committee of the two houses of Parliament and is "a complex and lengthy document," the Catholic bishops' officials said that section three, which addresses the child's lack of need of a father, has had "very little public airing."
The joint committee's consultation on the bill will only last "for a mere two months, over the summer and during the parliamentary recess," calling the prime minister to act now to ensure "that these very important considerations are given the time they merit."
"We do not believe that there has been anywhere near sufficient widespread and informed public consultation on the matters in question and that to proceed in haste with regard to issues of such grave importance is both improper and dangerous," they concluded.