In a hard hitting Easter message Cardinal Keith O’Brien has called on Scotland’s politicians to stop passing “frenzied regulation” and instead” educate a new generation in morality and objective truth.”
The message is contained in the Cardinal’s Easter Sunday Homily and in an opinion article in a Sunday Newspaper. Cardinal O’Brien who is President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland claims that too often public policy deals with the symptoms of social breakdown rather than the causes.
He states, that too many politicians ” take the view that “bad behaviour” whether it be public drunkenness, health-threatening overeating or teenage promiscuity are all immutable and unchangeable. The urge and desire to commit acts of this type cannot be curbed far less removed therefore public, social and health policy must all be orientated towards mitigating the effects.”
By contrast he calls for action to address the root or underlying cause which he claims is marriage breakdown and the fracturing of family life stating; “Scotland has one of the highest divorce rates in the Western world we also have one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates and STI
statistics, which are both alarming and growing. These trends are connected they are not coincidental. A report published in 2007 revealed that if you have experienced family breakdown, you are 75% more likely to fail at school, 70% more likely to be a drug addict and 50% more likely
to have alcohol problems.”
Cardinal O’Brien concludes with a call for more investment in marriage preparation reconciliation services and tax reform, saying: “For couples intending to marry we should offer at public expense universal access to marriage preparation courses, for those facing difficulties in their marriages we should ensure remedial and reconciliation services are easily and quickly available. The cost benefits of preventing breakdown hugely outweigh the gargantuan costs of dealing with the after effects. As a matter of urgency, we must (also) reform the tax credit system”