Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Judge: Justified Government Hostility toward Church

~from LifeSite. Thomas More Law Center is challenging a federal judge's ruling.

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District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, a President Carter appointee and one-time counsel for the National Organization for Women (NOW), ruled that the Board resolution condemning Catholic moral teaching on homosexuality and urging the Archbishop of San Francisco and Catholic Charities of San Francisco to defy Church directives does not violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national Christian legal advocacy group based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is appealing the ruling on behalf of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and two Catholic residents of San Francisco.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, observed, "Judge Patel clearly exhibited hostility toward the Catholic Church. During oral argument and in her written decision she claimed that the Church 'provoked the debate' by publicly expressing its moral teaching, and that by passing the resolution the City responded 'responsibly' to all of the 'terrible' things the Church was saying...

...In her written opinion upholding the resolution against the Law Center's constitutional challenge, the federal judge defended the City by essentially claiming that the Church invited the attack by publicly expressing its teaching on moral issues. The judge stated, "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith provoked this debate, indeed may have invited entanglement, by its [doctrinal] statement. This court does not find that our case law requires political bodies to remain silent in the face of this provocation."

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