Unfortunately the Panel has not put the decision on its website which is frustrating so I will have to comment in detail once I get hold of a copy of the decision itself however the background to the case and my views on it can be read in my earlier Blog 23 June 2013 where I contrasted the legal route taken by St Margaret's with the, ultimately unsuccessful, legal route taken by the English Catholic Adoption agencies which I blogged about 2 November 2012 with links in there to earlier Blogs on this legal saga.
Whilst I have had no direct involvement in the St Margaret's case I feel personally vindicated by their victory. I have always said that the English Agencies were going down the wrong legal route. The English Agency was trying to amend its Charitable Constitution to say
and I always argued that this attempt was doomed to failure. I advised that the Agency should instead amend its Constitution to say that ALL its services were to be provided
"in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church."
Well hey presto what does the Charitable Objects of St Margaret's say ?
The Society is established to promote (irrespective of creed) the welfare of children, whose interests are paramount, to foster the stability of family relationships and to assess the suitability of applicants as adoptive parents, all in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
This is exactly in accordance with the form of words I have been advising since 2007. St Margaret's is the only Catholic Agency which has acted in accordance with my legal opinion and it is also the only Agency that has won a case so forgive me if I seem a little smug this morning.
I now hope that OSCR will leave St Margaret's alone and let it get on with its job of helping Children which it has done successfully and compassionately for years.