Loophole leaves Church safe

8th April 2005 at 01:00
One must wonder on what authority Michael McGrath can claim that teachers'

sexuality "is not an issue to the (Roman Catholic) Church" (TESS, March 25).

It certainly isn't on a theological level as the Vatican made its stance clear when, in 2002, it decreed homosexuality is an "intrinsically evil" act. So, when Bishop Joseph Devine stated that gay teachers should not be employed in Catholic schools as their lifestyle was "incompatible" with the Church's beliefs, he was only following his own religion's doctrine.

Neither can Mr McGrath, director of the Catholic Education Service, claim to be speaking on a legal basis as all teachers in Catholic schools must be approved by the local diocese as to their "religious belief and character", as enshrined in the 1918 Education Act (Scotland). This all-encompassing clause is a legal loophole which leaves the Catholic Church free to interpret it however it so chooses without any redress for those who have been discriminated against.

You are therefore wrong to claim in your editorial that "employers would be breaking the law if they practised such blatant discrimination". It already exists (and has done for nearly a century) and it is not illegal.

David Nicol Milnpark Gardens Glasgow

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