Friday 21 January 2022
Understanding and Intelligence
It has all gone quiet over there about Pope Benedict and child abuse. In stark contrast to the specific canonical offence of sexual contact with anyone under the age of 18, the age of consent in Germany is 14.
Although even that is better than England and Wales, where as long ago as 1985, 37 years ago, the Thatcher Government secured a judicial fiat that, without bothering to ask Parliament, abolished the age of consent altogether.
Gillick competence ought instead to be called Thatcher competence, but bodies, including the State itself, that act on it have no moral authority to criticise the Church with regard to child sexual abuse.
The Major Government did write Thatcher competence into the Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991. But it is applied in Northern Ireland on no authority that is apparent to anyone. And even in England and Wales, it has never been subject to a parliamentary vote. Well, it would be if I were in Parliament. See you there.