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Catholic Church cancels gay author's visit to London school

by Kelly Valencia
Simon James Green.PNG - Banner image
@simonjamesgreen

The Catholic Church in England has come under fire after cancelling a planned visit by a gay author to a Catholic school in south London. 

Author of Noah Can't Even, Simon James Green was due to speak and sign books for World Book Day this week at The John Fisher School, a Catholic boys' secondary school in Croydon. 

But Southwark Archdiocese, which oversees the school, decided to cancel a few days before the event. 

In a statement, the education director Simon Hughes said that the author's visit fell "outside the scope of what is permissible in a Catholic school".

"In such circumstances, we have no alternative but to affirm our unequivocal and well-known theological and moral precepts and to act in accordance with them. 

"The book-signing event scheduled for the 7th of March 2022 at The John Fisher School, Purley is one such event and we have recommended that the school's leaders cancel it."

The decision followed a petition by website Catholic Truth to scrap the event arguing that going ahead with it would be "a major problem" as it would "mislead [young boys] into accepting, as normal and good, sexual behaviour which is condemned by Christ's Church." 

The Archdiocese also made redundant several governors, who had backed the event from the school's leadership. 

The National Education Union has called for them to be reinstated and the visit to be rescheduled.

Green is an award-winning author, who writes books for a range of age groups. WH Smith describes him as "one of the UK's leading writers of LGBTQ+ teen fiction".

Writing on social media, Green said: "I want the LGBT students there, for whom this sends the most terrible message, to see how much love and support there is for them all. 

"That they're fine, they're not sinful, problematic or in any way wrong."

A second event at another school St John's Primary School in Gravesend, was also cancelled, overseen by Southwark Archdiocese. 

Premier has contacted the Southwark Archdiocese for comment. 

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