Scottish Prelates Defend Right to a Dad

GLASGOW, Scotland, JULY 19, 2007 ( Scotland’s two most senior Catholics, Cardinal Keith O’Brien and Archbishop Mario Conti, are urging Prime Minister Gordon Brown to review new legislation that would diminish the role of fathers.

In their July 13 letter, Cardinal O’Brien and Archbishop Conti, the president and vice-president of the Scottish Catholic bishops’ conference, claim the proposed Human Tissue and Embryology Bill would constitute “a sweeping attempt to rewrite traditional concepts of parenthood and the family.”

The proposed legislation would remove the current legal reference to a child’s need for a father, which, the prelates said, could be very harmful to the long-term welfare of children.

Should the removal happen, “this means that prior to provision of fertility treatment, there will no longer be any requirement, nor guidance, to consider the child’s need for a father,” they added.

Cardinal O’Brien and Archbishop Conti concluded: “We believe that the state should not deny the child’s need for a father nor ignore a wealth of social research findings upholding the notion that deliberately planning to have fatherless children is inimical to their long-term welfare.”