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10 / 10 / 2008 - Ruth Kellys `Opposition` to HFE Bill Questioned by Pro-lifers
LONDON - Ruth Kelly, formerly Gordon Brown's Secretary of State for Transport, in an exclusive interview with the Times newspaper this week denied that she stepped down from the Cabinet because of what she said was her opposition to the government's plans over embryonic stem cell research. She reiterated that the real reason was to spend more time with her family.
The Labour government has been heavily criticised by Catholic Church leaders and pro-life advocates over its proposed Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) bill that allows the creation of human/animal hybrid clones and the creation of human embryos for experimentation.
Ruth Kelly had announced during the recent Labour party conference in Manchester that she would be stepping down from her cabinet position. The statement reportedly came as a shock to party insiders and media speculated that the decision came after Kelly was confronted with a demand by the party that she support the anti-life bill.
But pro-life leaders say they have not been impressed with Kelly's actions during their fight against Labour's myriad attacks on human life and the family and question her opposition to the bill.
Kelly told the Times she was annoyed by the attacks in the media over her Catholic faith, which she regards as completely normal. "Faith isn't just about going to church on Sundays," she said. "It's about trying to live your life to your best ... People should accept that politicians have faith."
But when the time came to put her faith into action and vote on second reading of the HFE bill earlier this year, Kelly reportedly arranged with Gordon Brown to be absent in Brussels to avoid a conflict between her party and her beliefs. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Andrew Pierce said that her evasion was "hypocrisy." "If Kelly is true to her beliefs," he said, "she could not possibly deliberately contrive to miss the vote."
Dr. Thomas Ward, Corresponding Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, agreed, calling the bill's provisions to create human/animal hybrids a "crime against humanity."
Dr. Ward wrote to the National Association of Catholic Families saying, "A Catholic does not have the moral right to abstain from voting because such a grave omission is to refuse to protect human life at its most vulnerable ... Furthermore [Kelly] is now the best known Catholic Member of Parliament in the country and the scandal of her evasion of her moral duty as a legislator will do great damage to the Church."
In her Times interview, Kelly spoke briefly of her position as Britain's most prominent Catholic MP: "People set up this big conflict between reason and faith. I don't believe that it exists. I think that faith is completely rational. The debate in Britain has become incredibly secularised. Religion is seen as something a bit strange, in the margins. Politics is much the poorer for that because you want people who believe in things to go into politics."
But Kelly's opposition to the Labour party's position on embryo research, expressed in her voting, was only recently acquired. In 2005, while Education Secretary, Kelly said her religious convictions would not affect her readiness to implement government policies on stem cell research.
She told BBC Radio 4's Today program at that time, "The position I hold is one I have made absolutely clear, that I am a member of this Government and I will not only stand by the policies of this Government, but also, where I am responsible for implementing them, I will implement them as well."
Kelly's questionable record does not stop with support of Labour's anti-life policies. She supported the work of the homosexualist political movement in 1999 by voting in favour of the equalisation of the age of consent (at 16) for homosexual acts. In 2007, Kelly, while Communities Secretary, attended a political reception by Stonewall, Britain's foremost homosexualist lobby group and the organisation that is said to dictate policy to the Labour party, to thank politicians for their support of their agenda.
Source : Hilary White - LifeSiteNews.com