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  • Cardinal: Labour is wrecking marriage
  • By Steve Doughty
  • 30/01/2007 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: admin ( 59 articles in 2007 )
Labour has been accused of trying to impose its own morality on Britain, by the leader of England's Roman Catholics.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said the Government was trying to establish a "new norm" in which children could no longer expect to be brought up by a mother and father.

He spoke out in the wake of Tony Blair's refusal to allow Catholic adoption agencies to opt out of a new law that forces them to place children with homosexual couples.

The Prime Minister is to bring the Sexual Orientation Regulations into force next year.

Church leaders also fear they will be forced to allow gay lobby groups to rent conference centres and halls, and that priests will be open to legal challenges to compel them to bless gay relationships.

Particular fears surround church schools, which bishops believe may be forced to teach that gay relationships are equal to marriage.

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We are having a new norm for what marriage is. The Government has a right to legislate, and homosexual couples are also able to adopt in other agencies, but we want to hold on to this principle.

"The Catholic Church does not want to discriminate against gay people. This is something much more in our convictions - not so much about gays as about marriage."

The regulations can be approved or rejected by MPs and peers. But, since they are based on an EU directive, MPs have no power to amend them.

Pressure is expected to be brought on Catholic Labour MPs to vote against the rules.

In 2004 a similar rebellion stalled the Mental Capacity Act, which Catholics viewed as legalising back-door euthanasia.

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