Catholic Education Service fails to criticise Stonewall going into a Catholic primary school

Despite Stonewall attacking bishops of England and Wales for defending marriage their agency the Catholic Education Service has failed to criticise, let alone condemn, Stonewall going into St Mary’s Catholic primary school, Wimbledon.  The Tablet reports the response of a spokesman from the Catholic Education Service:

‘A spokeswoman for the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales said it was committed to tackling all forms of bullying in schools and that it would continue to encourage the training of staff “in a way which is in keeping with the teachings of the Catholic Church”.

The Tablet report also contains the disturbing news that hundreds of Catholic schools have requested Stonewall literature for their teachers and pupils:

‘The charity told The Tablet it has gone into “half a dozen” Catholic schools – primaries and secondaries – in England to advise staff on how to spot and respond to incidents of anti-gay abuse among pupils. According to the charity, hundreds more Catholic schools have received “other resources” from the group – including information packs and guides on how to address homophobia, and a training DVD for primary school teachers. Stonewall said that its work is specifically tailored to avoid contradicting church teaching on issues  such as gay marriage but its presence in Catholic schools is opposed by some parents.’

Protect the Pope comment: It is right that Catholic schools deal with all forms of bullying among their pupils, and teachers, including homophobic bullying. But the Catholic Education Service, and Diocesan Education boards, need to be realistic about Stonewall’s real goal, which is to overturn the Church’s doctrine on the depravity of homosexual acts and the disordered nature of homosexual desire.  Stonewall is using scare tactics to get access to our schools in order to attack our beliefs. Promises that they will conduct their anti-bullying workshops with respect to Catholic morality are just incredible.

76 comments to Catholic Education Service fails to criticise Stonewall going into a Catholic primary school

  • I have just blogged about precisely why it is wrong for any Catholic School to invite Stonewall in – even if only to talk to teachers about a ‘benign’ subject like tackling bullying.

    • Wake up England

      Ben: Stonewall does promote same sex “marriage” you can’t have visited their web-site.

      Visit their website

      It says

      “Say I DO to Equal Marriage”

      “Long term same-sex relationships are being publicly compared to bestiality, slavery and child abuse by opponents of equal marriage- who will stop at almost nothing from preventing Britain’s lesbian, gay and bisexual people from enjoying this last measure of equality.

      Organised opposition from groups such as the so-called Coalition for Marriage AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH are attempting to gain momentum and media coverage to whip up a public frenzy”

      “Some girls marry girls get over it” Some boys marry boys get over it.

      And Stonewall advisors are being invited into our Catholic schools to give advice!
      Our leaders in religion and Catholic education must have gone stark raving mad.

      • Yes, yes I know that. I meant, ‘even if in their propaganda visit to a junior school they don’t…’ etc. But I agree that any who believe themselves to be Catholic and invite Stonewall into our schools have completely lost the plot, as I hope my blog post made clear.

  • Wake up England

    In October 2010 Stonewall announced:

    “We seek to secure Marriage for gay people as a civil vehicle on the same basis as heterosexual marriage”

    How can any right-thinking headteacher or board of governors invite Stonewall into our primary or secondary schools in the full knowledge that they promote “Same Sex “Marriage”?

    Doubtless the Marie Stopes “family planning” clinics are sitting up and taking lessons.

  • Deacon Tony Flavin

    Criticise the Education Service all you like on this Nick. I fully agree with BT that the invitation to Stonewall was not appropriate. But naming the school and putting the families and staff in the spotlight is really poor form. As I said previously, I am bitterly disappointed in that action.

    I would dearly love to know who the source of the school’s name was. For your information, I had not come across the school until this story broke.

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      I note that the person who broke the news has waited 10 months to do so, as reports state the workshop was held last September. Can we suppose that the source tried other avenues to have this issue addressed, as usual hit a brick wall of indifference and therefore decided to go to the Catholic press? That person should receive our thanks and support for challenging this really bad decision on the part of the school and the Archdiocese. Protect the Pope thanks him or her for the courage to do this and for showing fidelity to the Catholic Church and faith. Deacon Nick

    • Wake up England

      I heartily disagree with you. Any Catholic school which is so misguided richly deserves to be identified in the public domain. It’s precisely the namby pamby approach to “not rocking the boat” that has led us into the dreadful situation in which all this is possible. Of course Catholic schools are accountable to the Catholic community; after all, we paid for them. Keep it up Deacon Nick and thank you for giving us the unvarnished truth.

      • Matthew Booth

        The Church pays 10% of capital costs. 90% of capital costs and 100% of operating costs are met by the tax payer. Voluntary aided schools like St Mary’s are mainly accountable to their secular paymaster. Catholic Independent schools are a different matter as they are not funded by the tax payer.

        • ms Catholic state

          Catholic tax payers pay for Catholic schools. St Mary’s are accountable to the parents of their children! And they must explain themselves pretty pronto.

          • Karla

            Exactly. Catholic taxpayers are contributing to Catholic schools too and people of no faith and non Catholics are desperate to get their children into Catholic school so many non Catholics do not have a problem with contributing to Catholic schools.

        • Wake up England

          The Catholic Church built them with money our grandparents and great-grandparents contributed.

        • Genty

          Catholic taxpayers also pay heavily towards non-faith schools, so presumably Catholics should have some say in what goes on in them.

    • Rifleman819

      For Deacon Tony Flavin ,

      Isn’t it even “really poor form” for Stonewall to be scandalously invited into a Catholic primary in the first place?

      I am “bitterly disappointed” in the school’s invitation and the ADS’ acquiescence in that action.

      You hold the castle of the Catholic Faith yet allow the enemy free entry and proselytise amongst the junior , least resistant parts of the garrison.

      Utterly disgraceful and 500% pathetic.

    • Deacon Tony, I am rather concerned that you seem more intent on finding the source of this report than you are intent on seeing that your archdiocese does something about it. Why the interest in discovering the whistle-blower – do you think you will be able to intimidate them into silence on other matters?

  • Genty

    Hear, hear, Deacon Nick.
    There was also the admission by Archbishops Nichols and Smith, reported in the Catholic Herald, that neither realised the extent of change to marriage proposed by the SSM legislation. The rest of us seemed to know. Is our hierarchy naïve, or what?

  • SimonR

    The news about the school is profoundly saddening. It falls under the “you just couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried” category. I remember George Weigel’s words about what is needed: “fidelity, fidelity, fidelity”.

  • ms Catholic state

    I think it is disgusting behaviour from any school staff….Catholic or not. To stigmatise and criminalise children in this way….is disrespectful to Children and is grotesque bullying. Also remember…Catholic doctrine states a child hasn’t reached the age of reason until 8….but secular doctrine is now in place…and even very young people can be stigmatised and labelled homophobes. It’s just sheer evil….and must be fought tooth and nail.

    How dare any teacher behave in this way towards any child! Leave our children alone!

    • ms Catholic state

      I am of course referring to the statement from the Head teacher that all homophobic ‘bullying’ is being recorded! For whom and for what may we ask. Creepy and disgusting.

      • Haslam

        what so teachers should just ignore bullying!

        You are very good at being outraged, but what may I ask would you have a teacher do if a child is being bullied because of their percieved sexuality? allow the bullying to continue or take some kind of action?

        • ms Catholic state

          If a child is bullying….all adults will know how to deal with him or her. If they don’t….then they shouldn’t be teaching. Competent 12 year olds can deal with bullying children easily. It’s not rocket science. All parents know how to….and we don’t need the ‘heavy squad’ to show us how.

          And so-called ‘gay bullying’ is no different to other types of bullying. Gays are not superior to anyone else….so no special treatment is needed. (i am of course not referring to children here…who don’t know the meaning of homosexuality.) Does this head teacher think of inviting Weight Watchers in for ‘fat’ type bullying. And if not…then why not?!

          • Sam Mace

            weight watchers just specialize in people losing weight not in defending their clients. Indeed since they actively tell people to lose weight i imagine if someone was bullied because of their weight bringing weight watchers in would actually harm the child. To compare the two organisations is ludicrous and shows what a mendacious argument you have made. Actually while gay bullying is bullying it is still a problem which may need specialist help in dealing with it. To contact stonewall was a sensible move and since the incidents for gay bullying in schools is shocking any help in crushing homophobic bullying can only be a good thing. It isn’t about gay people being superior but that if gay people are bullied for their perceived sexual orientation then bringing in a group like stonewall to advise and inform students in a sensible way that gay people are the same as straight people.

          • ms Catholic state

            Gay so-called bullying does not demand specialist attention. Stonewall should keep out of our Catholic schools….as they promote sinfulness and attack children’s purity. Any Catholic head that does not know this…betrays the children entrusted to them. Sexual matters should never be presented to primary school children.

            All people are equal….but not all behaviours are. Secondary school children may be taught this…without going into detail. And Catholic teachers should call on the Master’s commands to teach children to love everybody. No need to bow to sin peddling Stonewall. Pathetic that a Catholic school doesn’t know this!

        • Wake up England

          No-one, no-one is suggesting teachers should ignore bullying in schools. The point is Haslam, that this primary school has invited Stonewall to advise the teachers there when Stonewall publicly promotes and supports ideas which are contrary to Catholic teaching, and which attacks the Catholic Church for teaching what she teaches.

          • Wake up England

            If you were a head teacher, Haslam, would you seek-out the guidance of Stonewall?

        • ‘Perceived sexuality’ at junior school? Only thanks to the idiocy of Stonewall and their fellow travellers. Junior school kids should not even be thinking about this stuff. ‘Let such things not even be named amongst you, as becometh saints’ as St Paul said. The sexualisation of young children is precisely one of the reasons that Stonewall should be allowed nowhere near a junior school, whether to corrupt the kids or the teachers.

        • Denis

          Teachers must take action against all forms of bullying. When they fail schools really can take on a nature red in tooth and claw aspect. The problem is can Stonewall discuss homophobic bullying without reference to their clearly stated opposition to the Church’s teaching on morality? If not a Catholic school should not invite them to speak.

          • ms Catholic state

            The problem is that schools seem to give consideration only to ‘gay and islamophobic’ type bullying….while ignoring other bullying, even if it is severe! They must be brought to book for this disasterous failing.

            All bullying should be dealt with equally and swiftly….without demonising children and without calling in outside ‘heavies’. Otherwise…maybe a career in glass blowing or some such other, would be more suitable for some of these child-educating ‘experts’.

          • Sam Mace

            mrs catholic state any statistical evidence that other types of bullying isn’t monitored? also these are not outside heavies at all, simply an outside group who are experts in this type of situation. Denis if that is the case then state schools shouldn’t teach any view which goes against the state’s views on homosexuality which is that it is fine. Of course you would be in uproar if that were to happen, for instance if r.e. wasn’t taught on sexual ethics. However as a person who respects different viewpoint and recognizes that education isn’t about indoctrination but about thought then i don’t see why people with different views cannot come and help out with problems the school may have.

        • Genty

          If a child is being bullied for whatever reason it is up to the adult, I repeat adult, teaching staff to stop it. The only outsiders they need to call in are the parents of the bully, if it’s ongoing.
          We are talking about very young children who are prone to say the first thing which comes into their heads and it’s often cruel.
          Don’t tell me educators are such wimps they can’t deal with it. Because if they can’t they should be doing another job more suited to their skills.
          To assume the child in question was being homophobic says more about the adults’ minds than that of the child; a catastrophic failure of common sense.

      • Sam Mace

        Teachers shouldn’t record bullying? I imagine like all bullying so they can keep it on record. What is wrong with inviting a group in whom specialize in homophobic bullying (which you all claim you’re against) to advice the school on the matter who are probably not experts? What behavour from the school staff is disgusting? how is consultation disgusting? what is wrong with asking for materials? maybe they were going to be used for R.E. purposes and explaining why some people hold a different view to what may be considered the norm in the school. You all claim the importance of R.E. in secular schools don’t you? education isn’t just about enforcing your own opinion on children you know. Also secular doctrine isn’t in place, if it was you wouldn’t have catholic schools and you wouldn’t get a voice in the public square. I would advise you read Ward or Mcgrath on this subject.

    • Pedro de Luna

      “….but secular doctrine is now in place…”

      How ironic, when the very existence of sectarian schools is for the sole purpose of indoctrination.

  • Joseph Matthew

    Deacon Tony, I hope Catholic parents at this school will ask questions and pull their children out if need be.

  • Rifleman819

    Haslam ,

    I taught in secondary schools for 22 years and never , ever had anything like this sort of nonsense-it is a charade, a ploy to get these people into Catholic schools. A try-on -plain and simple.

  • The CES needs to wake up but, above all else, where are the Bishops? It does make one think rather unchristian thoughts….

  • Tony Flavin

    Rifleman: “You hold the castle of the Catholic Faith yet allow the enemy free entry and proselytise amongst the junior , least resistant parts of the garrison” Do I? I missed that, how did you draw that conclusion please?

    Deacon Augustine: Did I say I was more concerned in finding out how the news broke, I feel equally concerned, glad to clear up that confusion.

    • Rifleman819

      Deacon Tony ,

      Your job as an ordained member of the Catholic church is a simple one.

      To uphold and sustain the Catholic faith-so why are you appearing to defend the indefensible decision to invite any contact between Stonewall and Catholic primary school children?

  • Mike2


    You are just not paying attention.

  • Peter Northcott

    What puzzles me about all of this is that traddies/LMS seem to have their nose so far up careerist Malcolm McMahon’s backside (I can’t bear calling him a Bishop) because he celebrates Pontifical Masses for them, whilst they know his views on women priests (‘Christian Order’ and the like have publicised them in the past). But, he’s also head of the CES, and recently, he appointed an ex-Anglican priestette as head of our Education service in Nottingham which is still teaching the same flower-power drivel it was 20 years ago when it’s radical Modernism was seen as a paradigm to be followed nationally…

    Are traddies committed to the Magisterium/Gospel, or just having a church ‘meet my needs’, just like my Evangelical Protestant friends who commute to Churches and pastors who ‘meet their need’? It seems to be just the Catholic version of what Dr Bryan Cross calls Ecclesial Relativism/Consumerism. ‘Well, he celebrates Latin Masses for us, doesn’t he, so we’ll be ‘tolerant’ of his manifest dissent…’.


      Well, I’m a “traddie”, and member (X)MCCLXIII of the LMS to boot. And I don’t put my nose any where it doesn’t belong, and I strongly resent the implication of hypocrisy in your post, Peter.

  • Bob Hayes

    St Mary’s ‘Equality information and objectives’ statement (dated 6 April 2012) states, ‘We are working very closely with Stonewall to join their School Champion programme’(p. 11). Clearly school management not only sought a means of tackling homophobic bullying (a laudable objective) but it specifically aspired to be associated with Stonewall. Now a search of the word ‘Catholic’ on the Stonewall website links to eighteen articles. Three are information sources and neutral in tone. The other fifteen are all hostile to the Church. This begs the question: Why does the school – seemingly with diocesan and CES support – wish to be associated with an organisation hostile to the Faith?

  • P.D.

    Perhaps what is needed is a CLEAR separation of church and state?

    If Catholics (or Anglicans or Jews or Muslims for that matter) want children educated within their own particular creed, then shouldn’t parishioners and dioceses put their money where their mouths are and stop accepting government money and run their own schools. He who pays the piper, calls the tune! As we’ve seen with the Leeds Catholic Care debacle – when an organisation is reliant on the taxpayer for 90% of its funding, it can’t really get overly picky about what legislation it wants to accept and what it doesn’t. I think Catholic schools are in a similar dilemma (and by the way – where is their evidence that Stonewall is ‘Hostile to Faith’?). No put Catholics should pay for their own schools and they can then be much more proscriptive about who comes into those schools and what legislation they wish to abide by and what they wish to reject. But of course that would be costly faith… And it is much preferable to let the taxpayer foot the bill and then whine about what that brings…

    • Wake up England

      The Catholic Church and laity built and paid for most of the Catholic state schools in Britain the 19th century.

      The State then appropriated them by and large in the 20th Century.

      Your knowledge of the recent history here is obviously nil. What you are suggesting is exactly what we did – only to be de-railed by the Government.

      How about if the Church be given our schools back? Then we could, indeed, do as you suggest.

    • P.D. there is no such thing as “government money”, there is only taxpayer’s money which the government collects to use on our behalf. Catholics, along with everybody else, are taxpayers and so we have as much claim on the use of that money as anybody else does. By funding Catholic schools, all the government is doing is returning Catholic taxes to pay for the education of Catholic children.

    • Rifleman819

      This argument was settled by the 1902 Education Act-by all means let the State take over every single RC/CE educational establishment-and have taxation at 89%.
      That really would be paying the piper to call the tune, wouldn’t it?

  • Michael Petek

    Breaking news: President Hollande has today (18 May) signed same-sex marriage into law.

    The Empire of Sodom now has territorial contiguity, broken only by the North Sea, from the Arctic Ocean to the Straits of Gibraltar.

  • Tony Flavin

    They’ll certainly be delighted with the coverage from this, and other blogs. The parents at the school, however, and the governor who was upright enough to resign, I can tell you in good faith are mortified at having their beloved school dragged through a media mire.

    • ms Catholic state

      It’s not the media that is to blame. It is the Staff at St Mary’s that drew this upon themselves. Thank God it became public so we know what is happening to our children in some of these ‘Catholic’ schools.

    • Bob Hayes

      Tony, the school has been – to use your words – ‘dragged into the media mire’ precisely because its management chose to seek Stonewall School Champion status. Stonewall proclaims on its website: ‘Stonewall is renowned for its campaigning and lobbying’.
      If you get involved with a campaigning and lobby group, at ‘the cut-price membership fee of only £100 plus VAT’ you must expect to be in the media spotlight, courtesy of its ‘School Champions Members’ webpage – Surely management must have seen this coming!

    • Genty

      I’m afraid that blaming the messenger just won’t cut it. Look first to the head teacher who should have been competent enough to deal with the incident internally and, secondly, to whoever in your diocese has approved outside intervention.

    • Wake up England

      To Deacon Tony Flavin:

      The parents of children at this CATHOLIC school have very good reason to be mortified.

      An anti-Catholic organisation which inter alia promotes same-sex “marriage” has been invited by the headteacher and governors to advise the teachers on how to do their job. I am myself mortified as a Catholic.

      Hats off to the one governor who did resign, but shame on those ELEVEN who allowed this to happen (amongst whom, I see from the list of governors on the school’s web-site, is one Father S. Peat.

      Catholic children deserve better than this from their school authorities; from the Catholic Education Service; and from the Archdiocese of Southwark of which you are a part Deacon Flavin. Shame on you for the stance you have evinced on this blog regarding this scandal.

      • Wake up England

        Anyone wishing to see the school’s website and a list of its governors should Google St Mary’s School Merton. May we please know how Father S Peat (a governor) reacted to Stonewall’s invitation? Presumably the minutes of governors’ meetings of state schools are a matter of public record.


      That’s very poor indeed, Rev. Mr Flavin. The management at this “beloved school” has behaved abominably; should be ashamed of themselves, should have the decency to resign, should be sacked if not. And you blame the messenger? You should be ashamed of yourself, equally so.

  • Keep exposing the assaults on the faith. St. Catherine of Siena said it was the laity who will save the church in the end.”Evil flourishes when good people do nothing.”
    So many “Catholics” are now co-operating with evil.Our Lord himself said
    “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea”.
    Where are the other teachers of the school and the parents,If my children were at the school I would be taking them out!
    I would like the shake the hand of the person who exposed this, shame on you Tony Flavin for wanting to know the name of this person!You should delighted at this exposure.
    Say the Rosary every day as requested by Our Lady of Fatima.
    God bless, keep the battle up you true Catholics, Our Lord has already won the battle

    • ms Catholic state

      I agree Jacinta…except I would rather see a Head teacher leave….than any child. This would be adding insult to injury. Catholic Heads should ensure the welfare of the little ones entrusted to them…like a good Shepherd would, and not open the door to ravenous wolves. And certainly not to side with the Wolves against the little children. Unbelieveable really

      Thank you so much Deacon Nick…and all other reporters…for highlighting this case. I’m sure it is making many a Head sit up and review their responsiblity to the little flocks entrusted to them in Christ’s name.

  • Joseph Matthew

    Deacon Tony, if Catholic schools invite Stonewall, at which point should they draw the line? Peter Tatchell ? Marie Stopes ?

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Tony,

    Presumably……insufficient brainpower was applied to the original decision?

    • Wake up England

      The much worse probability is that is was all very carefully thought-out and discussed amongst the Staff (at staff meetings) and amongst the Governors (causing one to resign) and at the Diocesan level too. I’m afraid quite a lot of brainpower and thought has gone into this scandal………that’s a large part of what makes it so sickening. Now we will hear nothing from the Catholic Education Service or the bishops who will maintain silence and hope it’s all forgotten in a month or two’s time. I hope people in Rome are reading all this: we Catholics in big trouble in some parts of Great Britain and many of our bishops and leaders do next to nothing. All it takes is for good people to stand by and do (and say) nothing……………

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick,

    This unfortunate case is just a blip in the seismic confrontation that is to come.
    Let’s think about Local Authority/Community schools in say-east London, parts of Greater Manchester and the West Midlands…these schools would very clearly come under DfE requirement to cover equality and diversity in PSE/Citizenship type lessons…and Ofsted has a requirement to comment on this during inspections.
    The problem will be that many schools in those areas above will be “de facto” 70-90% Muslim pupil intake.
    This will be the coming battlefield between the gay agitprop organisations like Stonewall and thousands of incandescent Muslim parents who will react to any attempt by secular Infidels to undermine what it says in the Koran.
    Equality and Diversity meets Multiculuralism-big style.
    A ticking timebomb I venture to suggest.

  • Wake up England

    Please may we hear from Father S. Peat who is (I believe) still a governor of St Mary’s school Merton. Were you, Father, in favour of Stonewall being invited to the school, or not? As a taxpayer and a Catholic I think I have the right to ask this question in the public domain. I believe many Catholics would like to know.

  • ms Catholic state

    This story was pulled from Mail Online….and is now unavailable on the Telegraph online too. Nice to have friends in high places eh?! Threats from lawyers or what?!

    Our poor children…..what smart lawyer is acting on their behalf.

  • Cecilia

    How changed must this school be from the days when my sisters and I attended in the 1960s. A pupil in Miss Champ’s class of eight year olds had the job of ringing the Angelus bell at noon every day. The whole school then stopped lessons to pray.

  • Lola

    If Catholic Education Services continue to lend a deaf ear with regards CINO schools, then it is time that Catholics in the pew withhold all contributions to annual CES Diocesan collections in Southwark.

    • ms Catholic state

      Great suggestion Lola. If those high up the tree won’t do anything….then let parents and parishioners do something ourselves! And I would add….stop all weekly contributions to the coffers too. Then we might get a reaction.

  • Peter Northcott


    Just provide me with evidence that he’s now faithful to the Magisterium and not his career as a Bishop, and I’ll take back my words. The Eucharist is source and summit, not replacement for, sound doctrine. Surely ‘Clown Masses’ then become just as valid to my mind if doctrine doesn’t count.
    Is ‘doing the red; saying the black’ all there is to it?

    If it is, it’s no wonder that for decades the laity have believed faith is just a mechanism like a vending machine where internal conversion, and what goes with it, is irrelevant – and now they’re leaving in their droves – and who can blame them?

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