A committee in the British House of Commons will investigate Catholic schools following the Bishop of Lancaster’s instructions to schools to place crucifixes in every classroom and stop “safe sex” education, the Independent reports.
Patrick O’Donoghue, Bishop of Lancaster, had circulated a 66-page booklet instructing Catholic schools to stop “safe sex” education. Bishop O’Donoghue wrote, "The secular view on sex outside marriage, artificial contraception, sexually transmitted disease, including HIV and AIDS, and abortion, may not be presented as neutral information."
Additionally, he told the schools not to support charities that support abortion. He singled out Amnesty International, which recently renounced its neutrality on abortion and now favors the abortion of children whose mothers were raped in war zones.
The government’s investigating committee is chaired by Labour Party member Barry Sheerman, who is reportedly concerned the Church is adopting a “fundamentalist” line.
"A lot of taxpayers' money is going into church schools and I think we should tease out what is happening here," he added. "We seem to have a shift in emphasis on the ground despite what the reasonable voices of the leadership are saying,” Sheerman said.
"Two years ago, it was possible to set up an inter-faith academy in Liverpool (jointly run by the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England)," Sheerman recalled.
However, a similar attempt in the area that Sheerman represents was abandoned after a letter was read in all area parishes before a meeting dedicated to discussing whether politicians were trying to dilute Catholic education.
“I just want to know why it is not now possible to set up an inter-faith school," Sheerman said.