Scottish Priest Endorses Anti-Bullying Programs for Nation’s Schools

Fr. Paul Morton

A Catholic priest in Scotland has come out in support of LGBT education programs in the nation’s schools, a step in which other church officials will hopefully join him to help support and protect LGBTQ youth.

Fr. Paul Morton is joining other religious leaders in a call for schools to have LGBT-related curricula that seek to end bullying. Morton, who is pastor at St. Bride’s Church in Cambuslang, said bullying must be “a thing of the past.” The Scotsman reported:

“[Morton] has endorsed the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign, which is working with the Scottish Government to introduce a programme of LGBT inclusive education into all Scottish schools as part of a new national approach to tackle high rates of homophobic and transphobic bullying. . .

“‘As a Catholic priest I have met many people who struggle with their sexuality, and I know the great harm that this has done in the lives of many men and women. I want this to be a thing of the past and I believe that this is the intention behind the TIE Campaign,’ Father Mason said.

“‘It is clear the TIE campaign is on the front-line of reaching out to young people in Scotland who are trying to understand both their sexuality and their identity. I cannot help but be impressed by both the clarity and vision that they have for their work. Most of all I want to give my unequivocal support to those who will benefit from it – a huge number of young people across the length and breadth of Scotland.

“‘In times gone by the Church was always a building which people went to for sanctuary – it is my hope that the Church can be that once again for LGBTI people.'”

While not endorsing TIE, the Diocese of Motherwell did not criticize Fr. Morton. Other figures were, however, quite supportive of the priest’s public statement. TIE’s Jordan Daly said the organization was “delighted and encouraged” by a “culturally and historically significant” event. Labour MP Gerard Killen said the priest’s comments “represent a very important step forward for the TIE campaign.”
This endorsement is not Fr. Morton’s first public LGBT-supportive act. Earlier this year, he posted two welcoming statements through the St. Bride’s social media presence, saying, “In God’s house all are welcome and are the blessed and loved children of God. There should be no place in our language or our attitude which allows for prejudice or exclusion.”
Church leaders in Scotland have not necessarily opposed LGBT-related training for educators, even in Catholic schools, but how any such training is developed and implemented within the church has been an open question. One positive step has been a plan for every secondary Catholic school in the nation to host a gay-straight alliance or similar group. Also, in May, there was a notable apology by a school official at one institution where homophobic literature had appeared. Now, church officials should take the next step and join Fr. Morton in being vocal proponents of LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying education throughout Scotland.
Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, November 9, 2017
1 reply
  1. Friends
    Friends says:

    Let’s hope he becomes a Bishop…then an Archbishop…then a Cardinal…and then maybe, finally, at long last, we’ll start to see a glimmer of pastoral illumination, and an outreach of Christian kindness in this vexed and troubled Church. Pope Francis is doing his best to help…more or less. But he needs all the assistance he can get from his ground troops in the global Diocesan administrations. At the moment, he certainly isn’t getting very much. And it shows, in the massive attrition of young Catholics of high school and college age — who want nothing to do with the social directives issued by our current crop of mostly far-right-wing bishops.

    Reply

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