Carshalton Catholic School, St Philomena's, in gay marriage row

Your Local Guardian: Carshalton Catholic school in gay marriage row Carshalton Catholic school in gay marriage row

A catholic school in Carshalton is at the centre of a row over schoolchildren being encouraged to join a campaign against gay marriage.

The Roman Catholic Church has written to every state-funded Catholic secondary school in England and Wales asking them to make pupils aware of a petition against gay marriage.

A student at St Philomena’s Catholic High School, in Carshalton, has said girls had been “encouraged” to sign the anti-equality pledge by the school’s headmistress.

Youngsters at the school were shown a presentation on religious opposition to the government’s proposals to allow gay couples to marry in civil ceremonies.

Some students have responded by buying Gay Pride badges to pin to their uniforms.

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: "This is a clear breach of the authority and privilege that the Catholic Education Service has been given in schools.

“Surely it is no part of its remit to promote a specific political campaign from this purely sectarian viewpoint. It is disgraceful that children are being encouraged into bigotry when they are attending a state school paid for by taxpayers."

A statement from the school said those under the age of 16 were informed they could not sign the petition which proposes the legal definition of marriage stays the same.

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It said the assembly focused on the Pastoral Letter of The Bishops Conference on the Church’s teaching on marriage and was delivered in response to a request by the Catholic Education Service.

It said: “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.”

Comments (13)

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11:06am Fri 27 Apr 12

lordofzombies says...

They'll get over it sooner or later. They used to apose inter-ractial marrige until 1960, so aparently its ok to ignore some parts of the bible when it comes to it.
They'll get over it sooner or later. They used to apose inter-ractial marrige until 1960, so aparently its ok to ignore some parts of the bible when it comes to it. lordofzombies

11:08am Fri 27 Apr 12

Angela M says...

Well done to the kids who are wearing gay pride badges in response to this.

There's enough division in society as it is - we don't need religion driving wedges between people too. We're not straight people or gay people - we're all just people.
Well done to the kids who are wearing gay pride badges in response to this. There's enough division in society as it is - we don't need religion driving wedges between people too. We're not straight people or gay people - we're all just people. Angela M

1:18pm Fri 27 Apr 12

SarahOX14 says...

Wouldn't it be nice if the school could be as vocal in its condemnation of paedophile priests within the catholic church.
Wouldn't it be nice if the school could be as vocal in its condemnation of paedophile priests within the catholic church. SarahOX14

4:16pm Fri 27 Apr 12

lilacgeorge says...

SarahOX14 wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice if the school could be as vocal in its condemnation of paedophile priests within the catholic church.
Absobloodylutley! I second that!!!!! How dare they! That is wrong for so many reasons.. supposing theres a pupil there who's not sure of her sexuality?? How would that make her feel! Its a disgrace! (And no I'm not gay, as Angela said, we are all people, live and let live - at least gay people don't prey on young children!)
[quote][p][bold]SarahOX14[/bold] wrote: Wouldn't it be nice if the school could be as vocal in its condemnation of paedophile priests within the catholic church.[/p][/quote]Absobloodylutley! I second that!!!!! How dare they! That is wrong for so many reasons.. supposing theres a pupil there who's not sure of her sexuality?? How would that make her feel! Its a disgrace! (And no I'm not gay, as Angela said, we are all people, live and let live - at least gay people don't prey on young children!) lilacgeorge

4:46pm Fri 27 Apr 12

kazza76 says...

how sad this school is pathetic to say the least no wonder there are so many homophobic people around. good on the girls for wearing the gay pride badges!!!!
how sad this school is pathetic to say the least no wonder there are so many homophobic people around. good on the girls for wearing the gay pride badges!!!! kazza76

5:29pm Fri 27 Apr 12

Tony L Martin says...

kazza76 wrote:
how sad this school is pathetic to say the least no wonder there are so many homophobic people around. good on the girls for wearing the gay pride badges!!!!
Are there really homophobic people out there? I have never met anyone I would consider Homophobic.
[quote][p][bold]kazza76[/bold] wrote: how sad this school is pathetic to say the least no wonder there are so many homophobic people around. good on the girls for wearing the gay pride badges!!!![/p][/quote]Are there really homophobic people out there? I have never met anyone I would consider Homophobic. Tony L Martin

6:22pm Fri 27 Apr 12

Crease2000 says...

Tony L Martin wrote:
kazza76 wrote:
how sad this school is pathetic to say the least no wonder there are so many homophobic people around. good on the girls for wearing the gay pride badges!!!!
Are there really homophobic people out there? I have never met anyone I would consider Homophobic.
Well, some Catholics for a start. Well done to the girls for thinking for themselves and not sectioning people who just happen to love each other.
[quote][p][bold]Tony L Martin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kazza76[/bold] wrote: how sad this school is pathetic to say the least no wonder there are so many homophobic people around. good on the girls for wearing the gay pride badges!!!![/p][/quote]Are there really homophobic people out there? I have never met anyone I would consider Homophobic.[/p][/quote]Well, some Catholics for a start. Well done to the girls for thinking for themselves and not sectioning people who just happen to love each other. Crease2000

1:01pm Sat 28 Apr 12

QPR4Me says...

Time to sack this heamistress and for the Education Authorities to get rid of faith based education. It does nothing but brainwash children and reinforce prejudice at every level!
Time to sack this heamistress and for the Education Authorities to get rid of faith based education. It does nothing but brainwash children and reinforce prejudice at every level! QPR4Me

8:12pm Sat 28 Apr 12

dn290student says...

Although I was not present at this assembly, I would like respectfully to suggest that there is nothing improper in an 'encouragement' to sign the petition. St Philomena's being a Catholic school, it is after all natural that the Headmistress adhere to the Magisterium, which is more nuanced than many people realise.
Although I was not present at this assembly, I would like respectfully to suggest that there is nothing improper in an 'encouragement' to sign the petition. St Philomena's being a Catholic school, it is after all natural that the Headmistress adhere to the Magisterium, which is more nuanced than many people realise. dn290student

2:53pm Thu 3 May 12

Mr Anthony Miller says...

lordofzombies wrote:
They'll get over it sooner or later. They used to apose inter-ractial marrige until 1960, so aparently its ok to ignore some parts of the bible when it comes to it.
That is, I'm afraid, a bit of a porky. Although there was a ban on inter-faith marriages until 1909.

The word Magisterium always amuses me - mainly because it was never mentioned when I was child. I suppose because people actually took the Church seriously in those days but also because the Vatican wasn't as hell bent on forcing its opinions down everyone else's throats then... Of course we used to hear about Papal infallibility but the middle management (the Magesterium) didn't bang on about it's infallibility too. One has to admire the conceptual brilliance of having levels of infallibility. One would have thought that an infallibile statement was just that. But there seems to be ordinary infallibility and extraordinary infallibility ...although most people would probably put most infallibe statements in a box marked extraordinary ...I like the idea of an infallible statement that is just ordinary. There is also the infallibility of eccumenical councils and, of course, the infamous ex cathedra statement (or "this time we really mean it!"). One has to ask why so much and so many levels of infallibility? and the answer I came up with is that the RCC is in more or less permanant open schism. People who need to bang on about their authority all the time generally dont have any.

I think it's a bit sad when you have to get minors to sign a petition. Also I seem to remember Canon 285 was supposed to prevent Catholic priests being too involved in standing for secular offices or participating in secular elections. So what they're all doing trying to get everyone to sign petitions and in such blatent bids for political power? You cant throw out Bruce Kent for being too political and then be canvassing secondary schools and keep a straight face ... can you?
[quote][p][bold]lordofzombies[/bold] wrote: They'll get over it sooner or later. They used to apose inter-ractial marrige until 1960, so aparently its ok to ignore some parts of the bible when it comes to it.[/p][/quote]That is, I'm afraid, a bit of a porky. Although there was a ban on inter-faith marriages until 1909. The word Magisterium always amuses me - mainly because it was never mentioned when I was child. I suppose because people actually took the Church seriously in those days but also because the Vatican wasn't as hell bent on forcing its opinions down everyone else's throats then... Of course we used to hear about Papal infallibility but the middle management (the Magesterium) didn't bang on about it's infallibility too. One has to admire the conceptual brilliance of having levels of infallibility. One would have thought that an infallibile statement was just that. But there seems to be ordinary infallibility and extraordinary infallibility ...although most people would probably put most infallibe statements in a box marked extraordinary ...I like the idea of an infallible statement that is just ordinary. There is also the infallibility of eccumenical councils and, of course, the infamous ex cathedra statement (or "this time we really mean it!"). One has to ask why so much and so many levels of infallibility? and the answer I came up with is that the RCC is in more or less permanant open schism. People who need to bang on about their authority all the time generally dont have any. I think it's a bit sad when you have to get minors to sign a petition. Also I seem to remember Canon 285 was supposed to prevent Catholic priests being too involved in standing for secular offices or participating in secular elections. So what they're all doing trying to get everyone to sign petitions and in such blatent bids for political power? You cant throw out Bruce Kent for being too political and then be canvassing secondary schools and keep a straight face ... can you? Mr Anthony Miller

4:58pm Thu 3 May 12

dn290student says...

Mr Anthony Miller wrote:
lordofzombies wrote:
They'll get over it sooner or later. They used to apose inter-ractial marrige until 1960, so aparently its ok to ignore some parts of the bible when it comes to it.
That is, I'm afraid, a bit of a porky. Although there was a ban on inter-faith marriages until 1909.

The word Magisterium always amuses me - mainly because it was never mentioned when I was child. I suppose because people actually took the Church seriously in those days but also because the Vatican wasn't as hell bent on forcing its opinions down everyone else's throats then... Of course we used to hear about Papal infallibility but the middle management (the Magesterium) didn't bang on about it's infallibility too. One has to admire the conceptual brilliance of having levels of infallibility. One would have thought that an infallibile statement was just that. But there seems to be ordinary infallibility and extraordinary infallibility ...although most people would probably put most infallibe statements in a box marked extraordinary ...I like the idea of an infallible statement that is just ordinary. There is also the infallibility of eccumenical councils and, of course, the infamous ex cathedra statement (or "this time we really mean it!"). One has to ask why so much and so many levels of infallibility? and the answer I came up with is that the RCC is in more or less permanant open schism. People who need to bang on about their authority all the time generally dont have any.

I think it's a bit sad when you have to get minors to sign a petition. Also I seem to remember Canon 285 was supposed to prevent Catholic priests being too involved in standing for secular offices or participating in secular elections. So what they're all doing trying to get everyone to sign petitions and in such blatent bids for political power? You cant throw out Bruce Kent for being too political and then be canvassing secondary schools and keep a straight face ... can you?
Mr. Miller,
I am afraid I do not know very much about the specific levels of infallibility which you have mentioned. However, I would like to offer the response that the doctrines of infallibility are not tools forged in order to gain worldly power and pride (You will agree that nobody who seeks that kind of power will any longer be likely to attain it by means of the Church). Rather, they are intended to clarify and to preserve what we believe are divine truths. These are true whether or not we believe, recognise or obey them; indeed, they will be true even if the Church is slow to pronounce upon them in the first place. The authority of the Church is insisted upon not because it does not exist, but because the nature of this authority is not generally understood or recognised. I am aware that this does not answer your comment properly.
I was lazy and Googled ‘Canon 285’. Among all the printer cartridges I can see that you are right – the clergy are not permitted to engage in political parties. However, the matter with which this petition is concerned – the nature of marriage – is a moral, rather than a political matter. The immense vocation of marriage transcends politics, and, indeed, as several of the clergy has indicated, the earthly structure of the Church herself.
[quote][p][bold]Mr Anthony Miller[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lordofzombies[/bold] wrote: They'll get over it sooner or later. They used to apose inter-ractial marrige until 1960, so aparently its ok to ignore some parts of the bible when it comes to it.[/p][/quote]That is, I'm afraid, a bit of a porky. Although there was a ban on inter-faith marriages until 1909. The word Magisterium always amuses me - mainly because it was never mentioned when I was child. I suppose because people actually took the Church seriously in those days but also because the Vatican wasn't as hell bent on forcing its opinions down everyone else's throats then... Of course we used to hear about Papal infallibility but the middle management (the Magesterium) didn't bang on about it's infallibility too. One has to admire the conceptual brilliance of having levels of infallibility. One would have thought that an infallibile statement was just that. But there seems to be ordinary infallibility and extraordinary infallibility ...although most people would probably put most infallibe statements in a box marked extraordinary ...I like the idea of an infallible statement that is just ordinary. There is also the infallibility of eccumenical councils and, of course, the infamous ex cathedra statement (or "this time we really mean it!"). One has to ask why so much and so many levels of infallibility? and the answer I came up with is that the RCC is in more or less permanant open schism. People who need to bang on about their authority all the time generally dont have any. I think it's a bit sad when you have to get minors to sign a petition. Also I seem to remember Canon 285 was supposed to prevent Catholic priests being too involved in standing for secular offices or participating in secular elections. So what they're all doing trying to get everyone to sign petitions and in such blatent bids for political power? You cant throw out Bruce Kent for being too political and then be canvassing secondary schools and keep a straight face ... can you?[/p][/quote]Mr. Miller, I am afraid I do not know very much about the specific levels of infallibility which you have mentioned. However, I would like to offer the response that the doctrines of infallibility are not tools forged in order to gain worldly power and pride (You will agree that nobody who seeks that kind of power will any longer be likely to attain it by means of the Church). Rather, they are intended to clarify and to preserve what we believe are divine truths. These are true whether or not we believe, recognise or obey them; indeed, they will be true even if the Church is slow to pronounce upon them in the first place. The authority of the Church is insisted upon not because it does not exist, but because the nature of this authority is not generally understood or recognised. I am aware that this does not answer your comment properly. I was lazy and Googled ‘Canon 285’. Among all the printer cartridges I can see that you are right – the clergy are not permitted to engage in political parties. However, the matter with which this petition is concerned – the nature of marriage – is a moral, rather than a political matter. The immense vocation of marriage transcends politics, and, indeed, as several of the clergy has indicated, the earthly structure of the Church herself. dn290student

5:33pm Thu 3 May 12

Mr Anthony Miller says...

"However, the matter with which this petition is concerned – the nature of marriage – is a moral, rather than a political matter"

I'm not sure Cardinal Keith O'Brien is able to draw even a grey line between moral and political matters ... if one ever existed in the first instance.

Personally, just find it amusing that so many people (on both sides) can get so wound up about an issue that is at its heart pure sophistry. Neither the gay lobby, nor the state nor the RCC defines the meaning of words. People do that. If the state could control the meaning of words Croydon University Hospital would still be called "Maydie".

Fools quibble over issues of sophistry. Wise people look at a bigger picture.
"However, the matter with which this petition is concerned – the nature of marriage – is a moral, rather than a political matter" I'm not sure Cardinal Keith O'Brien is able to draw even a grey line between moral and political matters ... if one ever existed in the first instance. Personally, just find it amusing that so many people (on both sides) can get so wound up about an issue that is at its heart pure sophistry. Neither the gay lobby, nor the state nor the RCC defines the meaning of words. People do that. If the state could control the meaning of words Croydon University Hospital would still be called "Maydie". Fools quibble over issues of sophistry. Wise people look at a bigger picture. Mr Anthony Miller

9:55am Fri 4 May 12

Cupoftea says...

dn290student the only moral issue raised here is whether it is acceptable to use religion as an excuse for bigotry, prejudice and homophobia. Gay people have the same right to get married as anyone else, get over it.
dn290student the only moral issue raised here is whether it is acceptable to use religion as an excuse for bigotry, prejudice and homophobia. Gay people have the same right to get married as anyone else, get over it. Cupoftea

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