Sunday, 7 May 2017

Follow the Money

One aspect of the CES scandal on which I have not yet commented is the financial.  The letter from the CES to (from which I have already quoted, here) includes the sentence: 'The CES has received funding to cover the printing and distribution of a hard copy for each school.'

That slightly enigmatic statement raises several questions. One is, from whom?  Who is paying for Stonewall propaganda to be circulated to the teachers in Catholic schools, rebranded as Catholic? Is it the bishops? Heaven forfend... Is it some well-meaning philanthropist? Is it a gay lobbyist? Is it Stonewall itself?

That last may seem the far-fetched delusion of an over-paranoid orthodox Catholic.  And yet... We have been assured by a senior academic at St Mary's that there was no plagiarism involved. Which I take to mean that Stonewall's material was not incorporated into this document without their consent. Which seems to me to imply some collaboration between Stonewall and the CES. I could be 180 degrees wrong on this: maybe Stonewall aren't paying CES to circulate their stuff; maybe CES are paying Stonewall for the use of it. That would be scarcely less scandalous, given Stonewall exists to campaign against a Catholic understanding of human sexuality. Or maybe no money changed hands in either direction: let us hope that is the case.

But if that is the case, it still leaves the question: who paid?

And that leads us to a secondary question: did whoever paid know that the material, being circulated as Catholic, was in fact largely derived from Stonewall and its ideological allies?  If so, was that the reason for their donation? What are their interests?

And if they did not know, surely money has been taken from them under false pretences: that they are paying for the circulation of work undertaken by the CES or on their behalf by one or more academics at St Mary's.

Whichever way you look at it, there are serious questions of ethics, propriety and due diligence that the CES needs to answer as a matter of urgency.  It will be interesting and instructive to see if and how they do so.

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