A Roman Catholic bishop will be forced
to explain himself to MPs today over fears that he is imposing
religious “fundamentalism” on children.
Patrick O’Donoghue, the Bishop of Lancaster, will be questioned over
his ban on what he calls “values-free” sex education in Catholic
schools in his diocese and his order to put up crucifixes in every
His summons to appear before the House of Commons select committee on
children, schools and families follows a 66-page document he produced
last year which angered some MPs because of its strict line on sexual
In the document, called Fit for Mission?, Bishop O’Donoghue wrote: “The
secular view on sex outside marriage, artificial contraception,
sexually transmitted disease, including HIV and Aids, and abortion, may
not be presented as neutral information.”
He said “so-called” safe sex was based on the “deluded theory that the
condom can provide adequate protection against Aids”.
And he added: “Schools and colleges must not support charities or
groups that promote or fund anti-life policies, such as Red Nose Day
and Amnesty International, which now advocates abortion.”
Although sex education is mandatory in all secondary schools, Bishop
O’Donoghue insisted that in every lesson – even science classes – it
must be taught solely in the context of “the sacrament of marriage”.
… He said Whitehall’s sex education policies had failed and 30 years
of “throwing condoms at children” had simply resulted in increasing
levels of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Bishop O’Donoghue added: “But they (the MPs) see me as a fundamentalist
and that is a pejorative word these days with connotations of
terrorism, violence and irrationality. I will say I reject these
That is quite clear and concise
and the Bishop certainly seems “Fit for mission.”
Maybe Bishop O’Donoghue can give a pep
talk to Father Jenkins president of Notre Dame who once again explains
why the performances of the Vagina Monologues is an “indispensable part of the mission of a