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RC agency fails adoption bid

09 November 2012


THE trustees of a Roman Catholic adoption agency, Catholic Care, are considering taking their long-running legal fight to the Court of Appeal, after losing their latest attempt to restrict its services to married heterosexual couples.

The Charity Commission has twice rejected applications from Catholic Care to amend its constitution so that it could be exempt from equality laws that prohibit discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. The High Court ordered the commission to reconsider its position in 2010 ( News, 24 March 2010); but it again rejected the application. This was upheld by the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) last year ( News, 5 May 2011).

This week, the Upper Tribunal, while critical of some of the FTT's reasoning, upheld its decision, saying: "The national authorities, in particular Parliament, have established a very clear framework of equality law which makes discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation unlawful. . .

"The fact that same-sex couples could seek to have access to adoption services offered elsewhere tended to reduce somewhat the immediate detrimental effect on them, but it did not remove the harm that would be caused to them through feeling that discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation was practised at some point in the adoption system."

Catholic Care, the social-services arm of the RC diocese of Leeds, says it will continue to support existing parents and children, but is no longer selecting or training couples to become adoptive parents. Before stopping its work, it provided about ten families a year for hard- to-place children, and was recognised as an "agency of last resort".

The charity says that its legal fight has been funded by individual benefactors, a legacy, and a Christian legal fund. "We thank all of those who have, and continue to, assist . . . with this case."




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Our suburban parish on the border between the London Borough of Croydon and the lovely Surrey countryside and with a spacious modern Rectory, is seeking a Priest-in-Charge (Rector Designate) to lead our church as we seek to fulfil our mission to proclaim Jesus, change lives and serve our community.   We are looking for a leader who, with energy and dynamism, who will develop the vision for the church to enable the children and families work to be a priority in order to grow the church both in numbers and spiritual maturity. In addition, the new person will care and tend for the existing ageing congregation many of whom have ¬faithfully served the church for many years.   The person we are looking for should have: strong communication skills, the ability to engage and encourage people across the age ranges and to convey the church’s mission, vision and priorities; a commitment to preach the Word of God in thoughtful and stimulating ways; an energy and dynamism probably more extrovert than introvert; a pastoral heart, showing empathy and good listening skills, the ability, willingness and experience to help us to develop and enjoy a variety of worship styles, including a wider range of musical worship and a deeper corporate prayer life -whilst recognising and valuing our heritage;   For further information and to apply, please click the 'apply for this job' button below.   For an informal conversation with the Archdeacon of Croydon, please contact the Archdeacon’s PA Kathleen.bailey@southwark.anglican.org to arrange a time for a phone conversation.   Closing Date: Sunday 12 June 2022 Parish Visit for shortlisted candidates: Monday 11 July 2022 Interviews: Monday 11 July 2022   Please note we have a policy in Southwark Diocese that to be appointed to an incumbent status post, a priest must have served a title in an Anglican church in the British Isles.   This post is subject to DBS enhanced disclosure

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