CNA Staff, Jul 29, 2020 / 05:00 am
Catholic bishops have said that proposed hate crime legislation in Scotland could criminalize the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
“We are also concerned that section 5 of the Bill creates an offense of possessing inflammatory material which, if taken with the low threshold contained therein, could render material such as the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other texts such as Bishops’ Conference of Scotland submissions to government consultations, as being inflammatory under the new provision,” they said.
The bishops made the comments in a submission to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee, which is scrutinizing the bill. The bill was introduced by the Scottish Government April 23.
The proposed legislation creates a new crime of stirring up hatred against any of the protected groups covered by the bill, which include race, religion, sexual orientation, and transgender identity.
The bishops cited their recent submission to the government on the proposed revision of the Gender Recognition Act 2004, in which they set out the Church’s teaching “that sex and gender are not fluid and changeable, and that male and female are complementary and ordered towards the creation of new life.”
They said: “Such pronouncements, which are widely held, might be perceived by others as an abuse of their own, personal worldview and likely to stir up hatred.”
The bishops also noted that recently public figures have been accused of “transphobia” for arguing that men cannot become women and vice versa. They include the “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, who lives in Scotland.