‘Conversion therapy’ ban will criminalise preaching, praying and parenting, Scottish bishops warn – Catholic Herald

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Scotland’s Catholic bishops have objected to a proposed ban on so-called “conversion therapy” because they say it would effectively open the way for a persecution of the Church.

They claim that it would prevent the Catholic Church from preaching the Gospel and transmitting the faith in parishes, schools and private homes.

Priests will be banned from working in Scotland, the Catholic Church could lose its charitable status, and classroom and pastoral support teachers could also lose their jobs if the plans are accepted by the Scottish Government, the bishops say.

“The conclusions of the Scottish Government’s ‘expert’ advisory group on ‘Ending Conversion Practices’ are gravely concerning,” the bishops said in a statement. 

“If accepted, legal counsel has warned that they would outlaw pastoral care, prayer, parental guidance and advice relating to sexual orientation, expression of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, other than that which is deemed by the state to constitute ‘affirmative care’. 

 “These proposals, if passed by the Scottish Parliament, would criminalise mainstream religious pastoral care, parental guidance, and medical or other professional intervention relating to sexual orientation, unless it was approved by the State as acceptable. 

 “It could criminalise the Church’s teaching about God’s creation of the human person as male and female and the meaning of sex as within marriage, and that anyone who proposes this teaching to someone with same sex attraction or gender identity issues would face sanctions. “This would apply even if the person with these issues wanted help to follow Church teaching since this law would say they cannot consent to this teaching.”

Conversion therapy refers to professional or pastoral assistance aimed at helping people overcome unwanted same-sex attractions.

The bishops said they supported legislation “which protects people from physical and verbal abuse”. 


‘Conversion therapy’ ban will criminalise preaching, praying and parenting, Scottish bishops warn – Catholic Herald

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