church in scotland Photo: Vatican News

Scotland: Church voices concern as government looks into banning ‘conversion practices’

While the Church supports legislation which protects people from physical and verbal abuse, a fundamental pillar of any free society is that the state recognises and respects the right of religious bodies and organisations to be free to teach the fulness of their beliefs and to support, through prayer, counsel and other pastoral means, their members who wish to live in accordance with those beliefs

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(ZENIT News – SCMO / Edinburgh, 01.10.2024).- As the Scottish Government launches a consultation (tuesday 9 January 2024) on banning what it refers to as ‘conversion practices’ the Catholic Church has expressed serious concern at the nature and scope of any such legislation. A spokesperson for the Catholic Church said:

“While the Church supports legislation which protects people from physical and verbal abuse, a fundamental pillar of any free society is that the state recognises and respects the right of religious bodies and organisations to be free to teach the fulness of their beliefs and to support, through prayer, counsel and other pastoral means, their members who wish to live in accordance with those beliefs.”

“We would urge the Scottish Government, not to criminalise mainstream religious pastoral care, parental guidance, and medical or other professional intervention relating to sexual orientation, which is not approved by the State as acceptable. The worrying lack of clarity about what is meant by the term ‘conversion practices’ could create a chilling effect and may criminalise advice or opinion given in good faith.”

“The church will now take time to consider the consultation document with a view to submitting a response in due course.”

 

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