Thursday, 18 May 2017

CES and Stonewall: What degree of cooperation?

I was interested to read a piece by Professor Charmley in Christian Today. Charmley is always worth reading, as anyone who follows the blog All Along the Watchtower will know: perceptive, and profoundly Catholic in his outlook. The piece in Christian Today was about Tim Farron and what seems to be the reincarnation of the Test Act. It was a thoguht-provoiking piece throughout, addressing a serious social and political point. But I have to confess that my attention was particularly caught by this paragraph: 
My own university, which is explicitly Catholic, welcomes students of all faiths and none, asking only for mutual respect. One of our research centres is producing a handbook for the Catholic Education Service on how to combat homophobic bullying. Some have criticised it because it used, with permission, material from gay campaign group Stonewall, but that, for us, is part of a Catholic ethos. It has expertise here, and while not adopting its assumptions we can use its expertise. Should we have expected Stonewall to have left its principles at the door?

Leaving aside the defence of the use of the Stonewall material (which I thought poor, to be honest) I think this is the first time I have seen it explicitly stated that Stonewall's material was used 'with permission.'  Stonewall, like the CES, have mastered the art of the ambiguous statement, and 'denied the group had any specific involvement with the production of the document,' according to the Catholic Herald  

As I have mentioned before, I think the Nolan principles should apply here: Catholics funding the CES have a right to know precisely what the links are between Stonewall and the CES document. And nobody has mentioned lgbtyouth Scotland, from whom far more of the document was copied.

This murky affair is far from over, and we have the right to expect open and honest accounts of what has gone on; not self-contradictory snippets addressing only the most damning questions, without in any way explaining anything.

1 comment:

Mark Lambert said...

It is indeed strange that the CES have explicitly stated that they have received funding for the distribution and now they are saying they have not! Something doesn't add up!