Saturday, July 18, 2009

What is "Catholic"?

So what does it mean when an organisation has the backing of the the Church in England and Wales?
According to Catholic Culture:

The head of a marriage-counseling agency sponsored by the Catholic bishops of England has advanced the claim that same-sex couples can be as successful as heterosexual married couples in raising children. Terry Prendergast, the director of Marriage Care, said:

Statistically, children do best in a family where the adult relationship is steady, stable and loving. Note that I stress adult, not married, since there is no evidence that suggests that children do best with heterosexual couples.
Prendergast's statement is at odds with the body of evidence showing that children are most likely to thrive when living with a mother and father. It is also at odds with Church teaching, which says that placing adoptive children with same-sex couples is an injustice against those children.

So what is to be done?

When one writes to such organisations invariably one is fobbed off.

When one complains to the Bishops responsible one is greeted with silence, if one is a priest there is a suggestion one is being disloyal, or even damaging the Church if one gets a reply at all.


leutgeb said...

'does best' I always wonder what that means.

As if human beings are may be reduced to exam results, jobs, ability to keep away from crime... All very one dimensionable.

Presumably, these 'Catholic' organisations are the ones that get funded from those big Second Collections that I forget to put money in.

me said...

Pray against the false teachings with the Rosary, as a blog group maybe,with faith.I would certainly take part in such a request,the Rosary is changing my life.Thank God.
"The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin and dispel heresy".(one of fifteen promises given by Our Lady for those who recite the Rosary regularly and prayerfully).

Patricius said...

It would be interesting to know how people get these "top jobs" for laity in the Church in England and Wales. Clearly there is no guarantee that even the most orthodox might not go off the rails at some stage but we have this example from Marriage Care, a lady at the CES with apparently very liberal ideas on sex education and a longstanding scandal regarding a former CAFOD official. Do they get them "on the nod" as "a friend of a friend" or are they well-placed to "know the right answers" as former seminarians/religious? Whatever the case it appears that some more rigorous form of selection is necessary.

English Pastor said...

Marriage Care is a counselling service, and the counselling world is full of person-centred theory; a theory which aims to help you free your 'authentic self' (which is regarded as good at the core) from the oppression of the 'self-concept' (or false self) which we manufacture to please others (and by which we submit to external authority). This focus on the self leads to the subjective morality present in counselling today, and since marriage care is a counseling service we cannot expect anything else from the service but subjective morality. It is my contention that by focusing on the "organismic self" and living "without eternal oughts and shoulds" (external authority), much counselling merely gets the person to perpetuate the original sin of Adam and Eve: "I" will; "I" won't, "my" needs etc. Counselling can be done in a Christian fashion but not if we follow the idea of the non-directive approach.

I very much doubt the Bishops will do anything about Marriage Care; they seem very naive about the whole counselling thing, as do many priests who are trained in Person-centred theory. They seem to see in it the injunction 'do not judge', which we know to be good, and can avoid directing people into dependency upon the priest, which can also be good. I don't believe the Bishops or counsellors are people of bad motive, but I think modern Counselling facilitated the development of our current secular and atheistic society, Fundamentally, I don't see how one can be a good priest and follow the non-directive approach. But I stand to be corrected by sound theory and evidence to the contrary.

fidelisjoff said...

When Bishops support what is opposed to Church teaching e.g. Marriage Care and Cabrini Children's Society they force disloyalty to them upon the faithful. It is a grievous moral matter which eventually cannot be escaped. Clearly the renewal of Catholic identity in England and Wales needs to permeate every Catholic institution but first with the family, then the seminary, then the parish then the hierarchy - then true salt!

George said...

This guy is OFF HIS HEAD!!!! Catholic status and funding should be withdrawn as of immediate effect as patently their ideology is directly opposed to the Church's moral teaching. To boldly state as Mr Prendergast has (and where's his evidence?) that, "Statistically, children do best in a family where the adult relationship is steady, stable and loving. Note that I stress adult, not married, since there is no evidence that suggests that children do best with heterosexual couples".

For a start statistics are no substitute for good judgement! It is every child's right to be loved by a MOTHER and a FATHER and be brought up in a loving, stable, family home with siblings. The heterosexual, married and stable relationship is the model that should be promoted and supported by society.

This should everyone's aspiration, 'that one day they will meet the right person of the opposite sex, fall in love, marry, set up a home, nurture their loving relationship and being open to life and God willing have children'.

What the evidence does show is that homosexual relationships are very short lived, rarely stable and in most cases are entered into for the purposes of acting out sexual deviancy and gratification only. Not a healthy environment in which to bring up adopted children!

This was in the news last month:

DURHAM, North Carolina, June 30, 2009 ( - An openly homosexual Duke University official has been charged with delivering up his 5-year-old adopted African American son to sexual predators online.
Frank Lombard, the 42-year-old associate director of the Center for Health Policy and a licensed clinical social worker, was arrested Wednesday after he invited an undercover police officer to take advantage of one of his two sons, whom he had adopted with his male partner. According to the arrest warrant filed by D.C. Metropolitan Det. Timothy Palchak, Lombard told the undercover detective that he had raped his son on several occasions since infancy, and that "the abuse of the child was easier when the child was too young to talk or know what was happening, but that he had drugged the child with Benadryl during the molestation."

Family Research Institute Chairman Dr. Paul Cameron has said that the case appears to coincide with a pattern of abuse established in a recent review of the literature describing the impact of homosexual fathers on their children. The review by Dr. Cameron, published in the peer-reviewed Psychological Reports, noted that such children were more frequently exposed to parental molestation.

Cameron, an expert in homosexual foster parenting and adoption, also said it is likely the child victim "developed interest in gay sex through these activities."

Cameron cited a 1978 Kinsey Institute study that found 23% of surveyed homosexual men admitting to having had sex with boys.
"The cant that 'gay parents are no more likely to molest' is not based on evidence but liberal ideology," said Cameron.
"By endorsing gay adoption, President Obama, the state of North Carolina, and Duke University share blame for this tragedy. These policy makers let dogma blind them to evidence that has been in the literature for years."

The Catholic Bishops in E&W must act on this decisively now, before something similar occurs through Marriage Care led by this irresponsible and misguided man's poor judgement and ignorance of (or contempt for) Catholic Moral Teaching.

The Church in E&W does not need scandal - it must proclaim the Truth 'in and out of season'.

Elizabeth said...

Here is one example of FAQs in Marriage Care:

Q: Will you want us to stay together?

A: It is a myth that Marriage Care will "make you stay together". We help people make their own decisions and plan their own future. By listening to clients and being objective the counsellor will help you find your own answers.

My response: I don't need to find my own answers, I have aleady come up with those that's why I'm here. Reflective Psychology means I may aswell speak to myself. I have come to a Catholic Marriage Care agency to be told what God wants me to do in this marriage - I am lost and need guidance.

But rest assured you will not get Catholic guidance from this agency not when the Director Terry Prendergast believes the Government cares more about families than the church, because it supports people who are unmarried and allows same-sex civil partnerships (as reported in the Daily Telegraph)

"Mr Prendergast said: "We see, for example, that statistically children do best in a family where the adult relationship is steady, stable and loving – you should note here perhaps that I stress adult, not married, since there is no evidence that suggests that children do best with heterosexual couples."

He claimed that God was present in the relationships of married, homosexual and cohabiting heterosexual relationships where there was "commitment, consent and covenant".

So what kind of Catholic Marriage Counseling agency is at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church, one promoted by satan - get rid of them. They will do more harm than good. The little good they do will merely be a cover up for the the bad. Pull Catholic money out!!!!

Ma Tucker said...

Prendergasst is a very poor choice for this role. He is either ignorant or willfully lying regarding the data on child welfare and marriage proper. Either way, his incompetence is manifested.

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Ring Terry on his mobile & leave a message!

H. White said...

You write to the AB of Westminster, Vincent Nichols who is named as president of Marriage Care. of course, AB Nichols himself has nothing to do with it. The charity simply has in its constituting documents the proviso, left over from its early days int he 1940s, that whoever is the sitting AB of Westminster, is president. But the Archdiocese of Westminster maintains a presence on the board of Marriage Care, Fr. Michael Cooley. There is also growing evidence that Marriage Care has been openly and vocally opposing Catholic teaching on marriage, the family, sexuality and (surprise!) contraception for decades. Mr. Prendergast told me that he had great admiration for Cardinal Hume, who, he said, was very supportive of the new direction of the group.

Write to the diocese. At least it is possible to hope that the funding commitment of Catholic parishes and dioceses could be reexamined.

Et Expecto said...

I suggest writing to the papers about it.

Red Maria said...

I'm a big believer in the power of the press and it's good news that the Catholic press is taking a strong interest in this story; it means that the Bishops won't be able to bury their collective heads in the sand and ignore it.

The more coverage, attention, comment and reaction it gets, the more likely that the bishops do something about it.

Hope Father Ray gets the email I sent him.

gemoftheocean said...

Churches need to ACTIVELY preach against assisting this organizations in ANY way, money, time, talent, etc. Until those responsible are FIRED.

Bishops, sometimes, unfortunately, pretend to take no notice of anything....but when the money stops flowing all of a sudden it's an "attention getter."

I suggest you urge your parents in such away that it disturbs such bishops' ADD.

That particular news item also made -- where the reaction was angry -- Catholics (pretty much that catholics that frequent there are much more likely to be practising Catholics) were angry. the protestants were angry and/or ignorant about "what goes on" in these type of organizations.

pattif said...

Mr. Prendergast is being disingenuous in bringing Cardinal Hume into it. It was Cardinal Hume who had Quest (the organisation Mr. P was addressing) removed from the Catholic Directory for dissent from Church teaching.

Moreover, studies in fact show that children who grow up in families with a father and a mother who are married 'do better' on almost every measure - emotional, behavioural, academic - than children brought up in any other setting. Children whose parents are married are six times less likely to experience the break-up of their parents before their fifth birthday than children whose parents are not married.

Having been widowed when my son was a baby, I can offer first-hand testimony that the Lord knew very well what he was doing when he designed two-parent families.

Volpius Leonius said...

These people are not just damaging the Church they are damaging humanity itself.

Kate said...

I, too posted about this scandalous situation. One interesting aspect is that Marriage Care's funding comes substantially from the Department for Children, Schools and Families- headed by Ed Balls M.P.
In the financial report (08) required by the Charity Commission, Prendergast speaks of Marriage Care's indebtedness to the DCSF both financially and in terms of strategic leadership.
He who pays the Piper calls the tune?

pelerin said...

I see from one of his interviews that Mr Prendergast has said that "defining the word 'family' is a notoriously difficult task."

Really? I can't see anything difficult in this. A man and a woman fall in love and marry - they are then a couple. Later their first child is born - they have become a family. They have more children - they have become a larger family. That, in my humble opinion, is the only definition of a family.

Michael Clifton said...

The Tablet deals at length with the statement this week and has an article by Prendergast who this day is addressing the notorious Quest organisation on this matter. It looks by his remarks that he is indeed a member of Quest ! Incidentally it was only after much prompting by myself and a few others that Cardinal Hume arranged for Quest to be removed from the Catholic Directory.
Another point, Bishop John Hine is also represented as on the board as he is the Bishop responsible for marriage and family life. It is essential that either Prendergast resigns or better the Catholic Church ceases in any way to support it.

Anonymous said...

"Statistically, children do best in a family where the adult relationship is steady, stable and loving. Note that I stress adult, not married, since there is no evidence that suggests that children do best with heterosexual couples."

This "absence of evidence" is absolute lies. There is a very solid evidence for significantly (very much indeed) increased homicide rate in step-families compared to natural families (Daly and Wilson, mostly Canadian data).

As to school achievements, a very short search reveals just the reverse that this nonsense. For example this.

"Family Structure and Children's Educational Outcomes
Research Brief No. 1, November 2005 - Center for Marriage and Families

Executive Summary

A comprehensive review of recent academic research shows that family structure — whether a child’s parents are married, divorced, single, remarried, or cohabiting — is a significant influence on children’s educational performance. Family structure affects preschool readiness. It affects educational achievement at the elementary, secondary, and college levels. Family structure influences these outcomes in part because family structure affects a range of child behaviors that can bear directly on educational success, such as school misbehavior, drug and alcohol consumption, sexual activity and teen pregnancy, and psychological distress. There is a solid research basis for the proposition that strengthening U.S. family structure — increasing the proportion of children growing up with their own, two married parents — would significantly improve the educational achievements of U.S. children.

...Children living with their own married parents are more likely to be involved in literacy activities (such as being read to or learning to recognize letters) than are children from single-parent homes. Not growing up with their own married parents appears particularly damaging for young children, ...

...Living in a single-parent family is linked with decreases in children’s math scores. Lack of income or other resources explains some, but not all, of the worse outcomes experienced by children from non-married parent families. Marriage itself also has a measurable impact on these educational outcomes....

....For example, young people from non-intact families are significantly more likely to drop out of school, compared to students living in intact families.
Studies comparing the effects of family structure on educational attainment in the U.S. and Sweden yield fascinating results. In both countries, children living in non-intact families do worse educationally, such that each additional year a Swedish or an American child spends with a single mother or stepparent reduces that child’s overall educational attainment by approximately one-half year. These similarities between U.S. and Swedish children in non-intact families are particularly striking in light of these two nations’ dramatic differences in both family policy and in areas such as income inequality....

...This study suggests that remarriage, as well as marriage, might act as a demonstrative or socializing tool in preventing teen pregnancy. However, the effects of remarriage on teen pregnancy remain inconclusive, with earlier studies showing no such protective effect..."


motuproprio said...

I am astounded that this still considers itself a Catholic organisation, why else did they drop Catholic from their title?

johnf said...

It's yet another example of something created by the Catholic Church and infiltrated by people with a different agenda.

According to the Charity commission Website, the aims of Marriage Care are:

1.To help people in the spheres of marriage, relationships and family life by providing Relationship counselling services Marriage preparation services, Relationship education services in schools and elsewhere
2. Any other services whose purpose is to promote and support marriage and family life in accordance with the church's vision of marriage as a vocation of life and love

The names of the trustees and the contact address are set out on the Charity commissions website which can be reached via this link

I shall write to the trustees and also Prendergast to express my concerns and more.

motuproprio said...

It appears that Mr Prendergast is a former member of the Montfort Fathers married to a former member of the Montfort Sisters - I'm afraid quite a common situation for dissident Catholics.

Dilly said...

It is your last paragraph that saddens me more than anything else in this article.

Patrick Sheridan said...

God help the children being brought up in such abominable unions; they'll end up just as warped and perverted as the adults.

big benny said...

Terry Prendergast is quite right. There is a considerable body of evidence to show that children living with couples in steady, stable and loving relationships do generally show better psychological adjustment but this does not necessarilly equate with marriage. Couples in stable, steady and loving relatioships are often married but not always. A child living with a steady, stable and loving non-married couple is as likely to be as well adjusted as if the couple were married. It's not marriage per se that makes the difference but the quality of the relationship. What we do know is that children from families where their parents' relationships are poor are less likely to be as well adjusted and more likely to experience psychological problems. Indeed they would be better living within a single parent family in such circumstances.

Father, you misrepresent the psychological evidence on this subject. If you can cite some scientific studies published in peer reviewed journals to support your claim then i would be very interested. To support your claim you would need to show studies which investigated whether there were any differences in child development specifically between those living with married or non-married parents in similar circumstances.

Patricius said...

If I understand Motu Proprio correctly Marriage Care is headed by a priest who ran off with a nun? There is a television sit com in this, surely!

big benny said...

Just to clarify, I have spoken about the nuances of research investigating differences in child psychological development between non/married couples and single parent families because it is this evidence that you are inaccuratey using to substantiate your claim that children are better off with heterosexual couples. In fact I think it would be near impossible at this time to draw your conclusions from scientific evidence, not least because the phenomenon of civilly acknowledged homosexual couples with children has not been prevalent for long enough to test your assertion. Indeed, early stage longitudinal studies are showing that there is little or no difference for children living with same sex parents are as psychologically well adjusted as those with heterosexual parents.

big benny said...

I should also say that i read the article in this week's Tablet about Terry Prendergast's recent speech. As a doctor of clinical psychology I would say that he does not mis-represent the scientific literature at all, indeed he seems to have a good appreciation of the nuances which exsist within the reliable body of evidence.

That is not to say that you cannot disagree with the stance he suggests (informed by the literature) but the opinions advanced here on this blog could not be supported empirically.

Fr Ray Blake said...

You do not seem to have read the post correctly, your arguement id with Catholic Culture.

JARay said...

Is this Terry Prendergast(former priest), related to Martin Prendergast (former priest)and well known "companion" of Julian Filochowski, former Director of Cafod?

Red Maria said...

Big Benny,

There's no easy way to say this but in your rush to to play the contrarian you're talking absolute rubbish.

Terry Prendergast very deliberatly and in my view, dishonestly, set up a straw man of an argument by comparing the outcomes of long-lasting cohabiting couples with long-lasting married couples because as you know and I do, cohabitation is intrinsically fragile.

And that, by the way, is its point. Cohabitation is quite deliberately free of the commitment inherent in marriage. Hence cohabiting couples are far more likely to split up within five years of a child's birth than married couples and hence it is far more difficult to find a representative sample of long-lasting committed cohabiting couples because frankly, on the whole there aren't that many of them to be found. Or to put it in the social-worker jargon you use, the quality of cohabiting relationships is not likely to as good as those of married couples.

Talking about stable, committed cohabitees is like talking about healthy smokers. Certainly they exist, particularly when younger, or in the earlier stages of their relationships but just as smokers are far more likely to develop fatal respiratory diseases than non-smokers, cohabitees are far more likely to split up than married couples.

Incidentally, your defence of Prendergast is so hopeless that it runs aground by admitting the obvious fact that the strength of same-sex unions cannot be determined either way, due to lack of evidence. Plainly, therefore, confident statements ala Prendergast that same-sex families are as durable as heterosexual families are, yet again, totally dishonest. Similarly, statements that children living with parents whose relationships are poor (I think you mean high-conflict) would be better off with single parents, are so idiotically expressed, so flippant with the realities of single-parenthood that they cannot be taken seriously. So I have no intention of doing so.

I put it to you, Big Benny, that you are misprepresenting the evidence of children's outcomes in family situations. That you do so concerning the welfare of children is, I submit, particularly egregious on your part. A period of silence on your part would not go amiss.

I'm a professional journalist, and unlike Big Benny, I happen to have read all of Terry Prendergast's speech. Most of it is banal waffle, studded with sections of pseudo-Engels rad-fem PC rubbish, which, like Big Benny seriously misrepresents the preponderance of evidence on children's outcomes in different domestic situations. That's bad enough but even worse it amounts to a public declaration that Prendergast does not accept the Magisterium.

Of course, Prendergast is only publically declaring what has long known to be a fact about Marriage Care; that is it does not follow or promote Church teaching in any way whatsoever, indeed on occasion acts in such a way as to be complicit in serious sin.

The evidence is there on its website and in its accounts for anyone who cares to look.

This is scandalous and cannot be tolerated. Yet as Father Ray Blake said complaints to bishops are typically met with silence or even the suggestion of disloyalty.

So what is to be done?

I suggest collective action in the form of a letter or petition.

A highly paid Church bureaucrat who publically winks at Church teaching brings the faith into disrepute. That cannot be.

Norah said...

If a letter to Mr Prendegast and his organisation is ignored, if a letter to the bishop is ignored a letter should be sent to firstly the English bishops' commission and if nothing is done, the appropriate congregation in Rome should be notified by a letter containing copies of all letters. This may be time consuming but it is the only way to get anything done. I have heard that a personally delivered letter by a trusted person is the best way to prevent anything 'going missing'.

A situation in Australia was brought to a head by this method.

George said...

Big benny - where is YOUR evidence for this ridiculous and outrageous statement -

"early stage longitudinal studies are showing that there is little or no difference for children living with same sex parents are as psychologically well adjusted as those with heterosexual parents".

Please provide us with the references you claim support this non-sense!

Homosexuals can NEVER be parents as it goes against Truth, Reason and Common Sense. Neither should they be given children as if it's some sort of 'right'. Children are not 'objects' to own they are gifts from God to Heterosexual couples.

Read my earlier comment to see where this kind of 'Homo-sex adoption gay marriage politically correct agenda' non-sense can lead!!!

So, give us your evidence to support your claims.

Elizabeth said...

JARay: I thought there was a relationship between the two but one is Prendergast while the other is Pendergast. But i'm sure they share the same views if not parents.
Why don't these people just go and start their own religions - like Luther ex-priest and his ex-nun wife.
they have to stay and damage, in whatever way they can, the one true Catholic Faith. No chance, they have satan on their side we have GOD.

Red Maria said...

The always excellent website, Independent Catholic News has published this response to Prendergast's remarks by Father Aidan Murray.

I think it's fair to say that Father Aidan strongly disagrees with Prendergast's sentiments.

Do leave a comment on Murray's response, or the Prendergast story itself. You have to register on the site to be able to use the comments facility but it's well worth doing so - I've always found ICN excellent and frequently ahead of Catholic papers in terms of scoops.

big benny said...

Fr Ray, i haven't misread your posting. I have taken issue with the following assertion which you have made to counter Prendergast's statement, ie:
''Prendergast's statement is at odds with the body of evidence showing that children are most likely to thrive when living with a mother and father.'' You may believe that children are better living with heterosexual married couples but that belief can't really be backed with empirical data. Children can be equally well adjusted living with heterosexual non-married couples (if the quality of the relationship is good, ie steady, stable and loving). There are also many examples of chidren fairing very well with steady, stable and loving same sex couples although the phenomenon isn't statistically prevalent enough yet to design studies which could provide robust data to directly compare outcomes. Again, I hand the issue back to you to cite the literature to support such a claim.

Red Maria - we're well aware of the way journalists often misrepresent and misunderstand the conclusions drawn from scientific studies. This topic would be another good example of how complicated findings are often simplified and debased by the media in the pursuit of an agenda. Therefore i have no intention of remaining quiet as you suggest.

George - ''Homosexuals can NEVER be parents as it goes against Truth, Reason and Common Sense.'' The reality is that homosexuals are parents and have probably always been for various reasons. In the past, it was often because they bore children as part of a heterosexual couple before relationship breakdown and subsequently establishing a same sex relationship. In more recent times, children of homosexual individuals or same sex couples has been made possible by other means (ie the turkey baster or other medical means) but that does not stop the reality and fact that these individuals are still the biological parents and often meet their parenting responsibilities despite difficulties.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Big Benny,
Read the Cath Cult article, they are words from their article. I am a priest not a sociologist, I have not studied the studies.
His arguements are repugnant to me on grounds of faith not sociology, though I question the method taken to assess the data.

George said...

Big benny says,
"In the past, it was often because they bore children as part of a heterosexual couple before relationship breakdown and subsequently establishing a same sex relationship. In more recent times, children of homosexual individuals or same sex couples has been made possible by other means (ie the turkey baster or other medical means).



Dilly said...

"the phenomenon of civilly acknowledged homosexual couples with children has not been prevalent for long enough to test your assertion".
So says Big Benny.
Therefore it follows that there is no evidence to support your assertion that these children will benefit from adoption by homosexual couples in the longer term.
Yet this policy is being pushed wholesale, rather than as an experiment.
Rabbit proof fence, anyone?

Anonymous said...

"Terry Prendergast is quite right."

"but the opinions advanced here on this blog could not be supported empirically."

"You may believe that children are better living with heterosexual married couples but that belief can't really be backed with empirical data."

Big Benny, on the contrary, there are numerous studies (psychological, sociological, evolutionary psychology) showing that normal biological married parents are optimal for the survival and development of children.

"Children can be equally well adjusted living with heterosexual non-married couples (if the quality of the relationship is good)."

A human being can happily be adjusted to live upside down, if certain conditions are met. We are not talking about what could occur in a particular case (rare or not so rare, does not matter), but of observed mass phenomena and general statistical trends.

"Again, I hand the issue back to you to cite the literature to support such a claim."

Here are just a few recent refs from a journal I have at hand (almost sure I could find many more later after a normal library search):

Schumm, W., 2008. Re-evaluation of the "no differences" hypothesis concerning gay and lesbian parenting as assessed in eight early (1979-1986) and four later (1997-1998) dissertations, Psychol. Rep., 103,275-304.

Cameron, P. 2009. Gay fathers' effects on children: a review. Psychol. Rep., 104,649-659.

here is a well-known older study:

Belcastrio et al., 1993) A review of data based studies addressing the effect of homosexual parenting on children's sexual and social functioning. J. Divorce and Remarriage, 20, 105-122. "The most impressive finding was that all of the studies lacked external validity, and not a single study represented any sub-population of homosexual parents. Three studies met minimal or higher standards of internal validity, while the remaining eleven presented moderate to fatal threats to internal validity. The conclusion that there are no significant differences in children reared by lesbian mothers versus heterosexual mothers is not supported by the published research data base."

Another reference which may be of general interest on this subject:

Lerner, R & Nagai, A.K.,No Basis: What the Studies Don’t Tell Us About Same-Sex Parenting”.

Most if not all studies showing "no statistically significant differences" between homosexual and heterosexual parents are actually seriously flawed methodologically and statistically (extremely small sample size, inadequatel or no control, non-random and non-prepresentative samples, scarce longitudinal evidence etc). Anyway, even commonsence and simple rational argument points that absence of evidence (non-significant results, esp. with small Ns) is not evidence of absence.

But I agree with Fr. Ray (and common sense) that the most important thing here is not empirical scientific evidence but the doctrine of faith (again, in this case Magisterium does not contradict common sense).

ANNE said...

I have emailed the Archbishop with my concerns about this.

George said...

Lizard says, "A human being can happily be adjusted to live upside down, if certain conditions are met".

Absolutely right - just look at the Australians and the only condition required is plenty of 'the amber nectar'!


Well, high time some humour was injected into this debate. Obviously big benny has a lot of reading and soul searching to be getting on with, as he/she is just so way off the 'Catholic' mark with this one as is Mr Prendergast!

Independent said...

Mr Prendergast cannot speak for sociology, indeed he does not seem to be particularly highy qualified on that score ,and cannot ,for, example, be compared to Dr Damian Thompson.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Big Benny,
I think you ought to start your own blog, if you want to put up so many and such long comments. I've rejected them all.
I am not letting you dominate discussion here

big benny said...

No with respect father, what you are doing is preventing discussion of your inaccurate commentary regarding the empirical research base. I should also have the right to reply to the many replies to my earlier comments.
I have simply given a correct summary of the psychological research about children in same sex parent families to counter your specific false claim. I have not broken any house rules in showing disrespect to other posters. I would appreciate that you at least provide the following link to wikipedia to correct the many erroneous postings in response to this blog entry. The wikipedia link provides a good summary of the literature citing reliable references on the topic of same sex parenting and clearly states that there is NO EVIDENCE to support the claims that children's outcomes are any better in families with heterosexual parents.

If you do not publish this message and link to correct the factual error that you have made then i will strongly consider writing to your bishop, kieran conry to bring the matter to his attention. As you have said, you are not a sociologist and you have made an honest mistake i am sure but that also demands that you take steps in all honesty to put the record straight. As a catholic priest blogger you may put forth your faith based opinions but you should not misrepresent the scientific literature in order to substantiate them.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Big Benny,
I didn't publish your long tedious comments because I couldn't be bothered to read them first, over a thousand words nor could I be bothered to follow the links you provided.

I publish this comment not because of the threat you make, but because it is the last comment I will publish of yours and that is not because I disagree with what you say, but because of the manner in which you choose to say it!

Fr Ray Blake said...

BB, No

Elizabeth said...

Dear Big Benny
Please don't attack and threaten good and Holy priests like Father Ray. We are so blessed to have such priests. If you are hurting then perhaps an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament would help. Anger is always the work of satan and the consequence of pride, you know that the only thing that can come from Jesus is love. If Father has decided not to print some of your comments then accept it with the virtue of humility.
None of us want to admit we are wrong and I am sure you believe that you are right, but please do research this subject with an open mind and let the Holy Spirit fill you with the truth.
You are in our prayers.

George said...

Sorry Fr Ray about the length of this response, but so much to say:

Big Benny says, "The wikipedia link provides a good summary of the literature citing reliable references on the topic of same sex parenting...."

Yeh right, been there and had a look. Funny how so much of the bibliography and referenced material is by organisations, publishers and lobby groups that are clearly pro Homosex! For example The Homosex Journal, Human Same Sex Reproduction Project, Equal Marriage for Same Sex Couples Advocacy News and of course the American Psychology Association - who did a complete U-turn on the issue of Homosexuality being a Mental Affliction after being heavily lobbied not by scientists with new scientific research but by gay groups (see articles on website).

As for homosex couples having children ...... if you consider that by chemically, biologically or otherwise creating 'female sperm' out of bone marrow, or through surrogacy, petri dish creation of hybrid embryos and IVF are the answers to creating 'happy homosex families' then you are living on another planet!

IF homosex and homosex families were as normal as you make things out to be BB, then the human race by definition would have become extinct eons ago!!!

Homosexuality was NEVER in God's plan for His creatures. It is the devil who constantly mocks God that distorts what is good and wholsome, in this case heterosexual sex, marriage, children and families.

Finally I will quote a few lines from the Gay Liberation Manifesto of 1972 (check it out yourselves):

"The oppression of gay people starts in the most basic unit of society, the family. Consisting of the man in charge, a slave as his wife, and their children on whom they force themselves as the ideal models. The very form of the family works against homosexuality".

"The family as the main source of our oppression must be

"Gay liberation does not just mean reforms. It means a revolutionary change in our whole society".

"Gay shows the way. In some ways we are already more advanced than straight people. We are already outside the family and we have already, in part at least, rejected the 'masculine' or 'feminine' roles society has designed for us. In a society dominated by the sexist culture it is very difficult, if not impossible, for heterosexual men and women to escape their rigid gender-role structuring and the roles of oppressor and oppressed. But gay men don't need to oppress women in order to fulfill their own psycho-sexual needs, and gay women don't have to relate sexually to the male oppressor, so that at this moment in time, the freest and most equal relationships are most likely to be between homosexuals".

The sad thing is that by freeing themselves from their perceived 'oppression' by the Patriarchial family structure, all they have done is enslaved themselves to their own 'psycho-sexual' desires! They have reduced themselves to mere objects for sexual gratification, whereas God created us for far greater things! He wants so much more for His creatures, wants each and every one of us, because He loves us so much and way beyond our understanding, to be the best that we can be.

We all know where this 'enslavement' to sexuality leads, and just how unhappy so many of them are living in this nightmare of a lifestyle. They claim to be advanced? Oh really?

Anyway, I'll leave it there, but if you want to read more of this hysterical garbage here's the link:

What is scary is the fact that many of the aspirations from this manifesto have already been enshrined in law!

MAKE NO MISTAKE - it is our families that are under attack, the Holy Catholic Church is under attack and the devil is playing his pipes while his minions carry out the destruction.

There is a REAL war going on around us in which we are all involved whether you are aware of it or not and our souls are the 'prize' whether we are homosexual or straight.

Holy Michael the Archangel, defend us in this day of battle.....

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...