Dear Mr EnglandRather than clarifying anything this only adds confusion, the bill itself gives the Secretary of State the right to determine at will what will or will not be taught in schools. It seems very strange that the Government is accused of giving misinformation about its own bill whilst the CES has been correcting this.
Thank you for your email of 23 February 2010.
The Catholic Education Service which I chair has been working very hard to secure the rights of parents and school governors as the Children, Schools and Families Bill passes through Parliament.
There is no question of the CES colluding with the Government. Negotiation is not collusion. I also believe that confrontation with the Government over this Bill would not achieve anything.
There has been much wrong information put about by campaigning groups and indeed the Government itself. The CES has had some of this corrected. As the Bill stands at the present time, it will not be made statutory for Catholic Schools to promote abortion, contraception and homosexuality.
Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon OP
Bishop of Nottingham
Yet under the CES Connexions has been given ready access to Catholic Schools.
"Negotiation is not collusion." says the Bishop. Yet hasn't this bill already passed through the House of Commons? It might be arrogant to ask his Lordship ...but should he trust our Government, is he aware that the majority of people in this country, for good reason, don't trust the Government?
There is a great risk today in Bishops not being clear and unequivocal in the their words, it is that failure which leads to suspicion and mistrust. We must learn at least that from thesituation Irish bishops.