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Scotland's Catholic leaders urge Gordon Brown to defend fathers

 Scotland's two most senior Catholics, Cardinal Keith O'Brien and Archbishop Mario Conti have written to Prime Minister Gordon Brown asking him to urgently review the timetable for the ongoing public consultation on the 'Human tissue and embryology Bill' arguing elements of the draft legislation could be very harmful to the long term welfare of children. In their letter, made public yesterday, they highlight the proposal to remove the current reference in legislation to a child's need for a father, saying: "this means that prior to provision of fertility treatment, there will no longer be any requirement, nor guidance, to consider the child's need for a father." They claim the proposal in Part 3 of the proposed Bill constitutes "a sweeping attempt to rewrite traditional concepts of parenthood and the family." Cardinal O'Brien and Archbishop Conti conclude: "We believe that the state should not deny the child,s need for a father nor ignore a wealth of social research findings upholding the notion that deliberately planning to have fatherless children is inimical to their long-term welfare." Source: SCMO