Neil Addison, the Catholic barrister and Director of The Thomas More Legal Centre, has told Protect the Pope that the Scottish government should provide financial support to St. Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society so it can challenge the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator’s threat to remove its charitable status. Neil Addision describes the Regulator’s decision as a ‘disgraceful abuse of regulatory power.’
Mr Addison writes:
‘The threat by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) to remove the Charitable status of the St Margarets Adoption Agency is a disgraceful abuse of regulatory power which ignores the clear provisions of the Equality Act.
Section 193 of the Act permits Charities to restrict their services in accordance with their constitution and that is all that St Margarets was doing. The ruling by OSCR that St Margarets cannot be a Charity if it restricts its services in accordance with s193 is a completely circular argument because only a Charity can take advantage of s193.
Parliament passed the Equality Act including s193 and only Parliament has the right to change the act, not an unelected bureaucracy like OSCR. By its decision OSCR has in effect subverted the clear intentions of Parliament as expressed in s193 and it is to be hoped that the Scottish Government will offer financial support to St Margarets in the legal fight it is now faced with.’
Protect the Pope comment: The arbitrary and partisan application of the law by institutions of the State, such as the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, in order to impose a secular ideology on Catholics, and other Christians, shows that we are descending into a lawless culture. The exercise of power is supplanting the rule of law, as it does in all tyrannies.