Catholic charity in homosexuality row

Bishop withdraws support in protest at decision to comply with new discrimination law on adoption

A Catholic charity is to drop the word ‘Catholic' from its name after its local bishop removed the formal support of his diocese in protest at the charity's decision not to contest new rules outlawing discrimination against homosexuals. He also resigned as a trustee.

Lancashire-based Catholic Caring Services, which runs a range of services, including adoption schemes, will change its name to Caritas Care. The move comes after what the charity has called a "strong reaction" by the Bishop of Lancaster, Patrick O'Donoghue, to its decision to abide by the new equality legislation, which became law at the beginning of January.

A number of other Catholic adoption charities have also broken their formal links with the church after similar decisions to abide by the new rules (Third Sector, 10 December 2008). Two agencies have a case pending in the Charity Tribunal after the Charity Commission refused to let them introduce a clause into their constitutions that would permit them to exclude homosexual parents from adopting (Third Sector, 2 December 2008).

Jim Cullen, chief executive of Caritas Care, said: "Our charity was born out of the Catholic Church and our vision is still informed by the social teachings of the church. We work with people of any faith or none to empower, encourage, inspire and support them to overcome barriers and transform their lives."

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