Act now on 'conversion practices' proposals

Catholics are being asked to make their voices heard by responding to a Scottish Government consulation on 'conversion practices'.

The new law proposes banning ‘conversion practices’, which are broadly defined as practices which aim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Government claims such a law is needed to catch “the most serious and harmful forms of conversion practices”.

The Catholic Church unequivocally condemns violent, abusive, coercive practices.

The proposals, however, risk criminalising innocent, harmless behaviour, including the mainstream pastoral work of churches, and parental guidance given lovingly and in good faith.

It is vital that Catholics and all those concerned for freedom of expression, religious freedom and the rights of parents, respond to this consultation.

What to do

The Catholic Parliamentary Office has prepared a guide to help you answer the questions in the consulatation. Find it here:

The closing date for responses is Tuesday 2 April 2024

Scottish Government 'hell bent' on making home abortion permanent

The Scottish government has been accused of deliberately diminishing the views of thousands of individuals who responded to a consultation on home abortions in July.

Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, has condemned the decision to nullify the responses of the majority of people who took part in the consultation and opposed the government’s stance.

Mr Horan said: "Additionally, more than 600 medical professionals signed an open letter to the Scottish, Welsh and English governments calling for an end to “at-home” abortion because of concerns about abortions occurring beyond the ten-week limit and about women and girls being coerced into an abortion against their will.”


“Yet, despite this, the Scottish Government shockingly sought to downplay those individuals who raised concerns, labelling a significant number of the responses as “organised by pro-life or faith groups” as if to downgrade their importance. The same treatment was not given to pro-abortion groups.”

Mr Horan describes the Scottish Government’s publication last week of its Women’s Health Plan which sets out the government’s intention to “make telephone and video consultation universally available as an option for abortion services” as a “deeply concerning” development which undermines the government’s own commitment to “commission an independent evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the current approach, including in relation to safety”.

Mr Horan describes the Scottish government as being “hell bent on making the (home abortion) arrangements permanent” and claims “the Scottish Government is risking the health and wellbeing of vulnerable women and their unborn children and riding roughshod over democratic convention.

"It is dangerous for women, and it is dangerous for democracy.”

Paul Atkin, The Archdiocese's Pro-Life Officer, said: "Scotland has a massive inequality for women in the most deprived areas who have abortion rates twice as high as those from wealthy areas.

"Instead of making abortion easier Scottish Government should be supporting positive choices for pregnant women who are being forced into abortion by poverty."

Read Anthony Horan's article on the website of the Catholic Parliamentary Office.  

Government mix up means church closures brought forward

The Scottish Government has apologised for 'inconsistency in messaging' as it confirmed that places of worship should be closed now.

The First Minister originally confirmed that places of worship would be closed from Friday 08 January as part of new lockdown measures. However, a note to faith communities from the government last night changed this guidance.

It stated: "It is now a legal requirement to stay at home unless it is essential. The Stay at Home guidance is now in regulations and came into force at 0001hrs today and there is no exemption to attend a place of worship between now and Friday.

"This effectively means that Places of Worship should be closed for both congregational worship and individual prayer with immediate effect.

"Additionally given the current position in relation to the pandemic the Scottish Government would also discourage more than 5 (or 6, if an interpreter is required) from attending a marriage in a level 4 area before Friday. All associated guidance is being amended now to reflect what will be the regulatory position from Friday.

"We apologise for the degree of inconsistency in messaging."

Archbishop Cushley has updated clergy and shared the latest guidance for places of worship.