Damian Thompson at the Telegraph isn’t happy with the English bishops for their silence in the face of the sex education bill that went before Parliament a few days ago. The leglislation will require Catholic schools to provide information to students on how to access contraception and abortion.
Thompson reports “an astonishingly ignorant and sneering exchange” between Labor MP Ed Balls and journalist John Humphrys on Britain’s Today program on Tuesday morning. Neither had much understanding of Catholic teaching, and kept referring to the Archbishop of Westminster as “Archbishop Nichol” (instead of “Nichols.”) Balls is trying to pass an amendment that allows religious schools to include their positions in the pro-choice information given to students, but Thompson is not impressed.
Meanwhile, where was the Catholic spokesman to put the Church’s side of the story?
“Archbishop Nichol:” not available.
Bishop Malcolm McMahon, who holds the education brief in the Bishops’ Conference: not available.
Oona Stannard, head of the Catholic Education Service (CES): not available.
There is a conspiracy theory doing the rounds that the CES and other Church spokesmen are deliberately lying low, in order to help Balls get his amendment through. But the amendment is worthless.