Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Strange Bedfellows

If it is true that the CES not only collaborated with Stonewall and its allies in producing the content of Made in God's Image, but also accepted money from them for its printing and distribution to Catholic schools, that suggests a serious break down in the governance of the organisation and its oversight by the bishops.

Of course, there is nothing to suggest everyone in the CES, even, knew about this. It may have been one enthusiastic and naive individual, striving to do her very best, but without proper supervision. Who knows? But there can be no doubt that the body charged with promoting Catholic teaching in our schools, and the organisation dedicated to a very different agenda, directly at odds with a Catholic worldview, make very strange bedfellows.

Before people start running around saying that the CES Director's head should be put on a stake on Tower Bridge, or the CES should be burned to the ground, or the bishops on the management committee should be made to walk from Liverpool to Rome on their knees, I think a full investigation is needed; and that (pace Nolan) there is adequate transparency, honesty and openness with regard to its findings, so as to learn from this debacle and to rebuild the trust of the Catholic laity, who (in the main, and with the exception, apparently of LGBT lobbyists) fund the CES.

My guess is that the bishops will be shocked by this revelation, when they learn of it. I do not imagine any of them read this blog, so it is down to you to write to them, asking them to investigate what has gone wrong here and to put it right. Only if they know can they respond appropriately, so it is essential that they hear from more than one person.

Their problem is a tricky one. Quite rightly, in view of Catholic teaching on subsidiarity, the bishops delegate some of their authority to people such as the CES. However, delegation of authority should not be abdication: appropriate checks should be in place as final accountability (again pace Nolan) remains with the bishops.

I should have thought that before something goes out to all our schools, it should be scrutinised by a responsible bishop, who would then declare that there is no reason why it should not be published, and sign his name to that effect. Those who know me and my love of Latin, will not be surprised to know I have dreamed up a lovely Latin tag that could be used: Nihil obstat.

Then, to make assurance doubly sure, a second scrutiny, by another named individual, should be undertaken immediately prior to publication. That could be signed off as an Imprimatur. Then there could be no doubt as to who was vouching for the Catholicity of things presented to our teachers as guidance in forming Catholic children.

I realise that some are averse to change, and to such newfangled ideas, but let us recognise that the CES Scandal calls for a creative and innovative response, to ensure that it is not repeated. 

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UPDATE 17 May 14.26

I have just seen that the Catholic Herald have updated their article with a new CES quotation on this topic: 

The Catholic Education Service did not receive any outside funding for either writing, printing or distributing its document on homophobia, a spokesman has said.
So whilst my informants may have been mistaken, we have at least got a clearer statement out of the CES. All other questions and issues remain unaddressed, of course; including why they previously said that they had received funding. When people say two opposite things, how does one know which to believe?

2 comments:

Mark Lambert said...

So when they thought no one was paying attention, they said they HAD received funding: the original DSC/DRE email stated that "The CES has received funding to cover the printing and distribution of a hard copy for each school." However, now the link between LGBT promoting organisations and the document have been proven, they are saying that "The Catholic Education Service did not receive any outside funding for either writing, printing or distributing its document on homophobia". So which is it? Why did the original email state that they had received funding if they hadn't?

Ben Trovato said...

That strikes me as a very pertinent observation. When faced with two conflicting statements by the same person or body, it is always tempting to believe the statement that was made without any external pressure or duress...

Of course, it could be simple human error, I suppose; but it is odd that they have not clarified that and how the error arose.

Deep waters, these, and, I fear, murky...