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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 March, 2005, 13:45 GMT
Bishop's unease with gay teachers
Bishop Joseph Devine
Gay teachers would not fit in to Catholic schools, says Bishop Devine
A senior Scottish Catholic has said there is no place for homosexual teachers in faith schools.

Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Devine, was referring to a code which could stop openly gay teachers being appointed in Catholic schools.

He spoke about the issue in an article in the Sunday Herald newspaper.

But local government body Cosla said councils would not agree to discriminating against a teacher because of their sexual orientation.

The Charter for Catholic Schools outlines 10 elements of the church's philosophy of education which can be found in Catholic schools throughout Scotland.

Bishop Devine said: "Being openly gay would not at all be compatible with the charter."

The charter embodies the essential elements of the Catholic Church's philosophy of education
A Charter for Catholic Schools
The president of the Catholic Education Commission added: "It would cut across the whole moral vision enshrined in the charter and it would be offering a lifestyle that is incompatible with Catholic social teaching.

"Being openly gay could well affect promotions."

The charter is a mission statement specifying what exactly the church expects from schools and teachers.

The bishop said he could appreciate the fears of parents who did not want their children taught by homosexuals.

However, councillor Rev Ewan Aitken, Cosla's education spokesperson, told the paper: "Local authorities would never countenance discriminating against a teacher because of sexual orientation."

'Community of faith'

The charter was launched in June last year by Bishop Devine and Michael McGrath, director of the Catholic Education Service.

The bishop said at the time: "The charter embodies the essential elements of the Catholic Church's philosophy of education which is based on its understanding of each human person created in the image of God, uniquely gifted for life and worthy of the utmost respect and nurturing.

"The charter stresses the Catholic school's role as a community of faith and learning with a responsibility to provide an integrated approach to learning and formation, based on explicit values which are shared and celebrated, and promoting the importance of service to the common good."

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