Catholic threat on slave rights law

The Catholic Church today caused widespread controversy when it issued a statement urging the Government to overturn a law made two hundred years ago.

Clive Adams, standing outside Saint Johns Cathedral in Norwich, read the statement: “The Catholic Church is unable to comply with the Slave Trade Act, the 1807 Act of Parliament abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire. This law is incompatible with the teachings of the Bible and we cannot in clear conscience operate under such restrictions. We ask the government to consider an opt-out clause in revised legislation.” ((In case it’s not absolutely obvious, this is a parody on the recent story that the Catholic Church is, with some support in the Cabinet, seeking an opt-out of equality legislation on religious grounds.)) Adams, an unpaid volunteer reporting to Cardinal Michael Osborn, denied that he himself was a slave.

The church suggests that past ill treatment of slaves was merely due to an incorrect interpretation of the Bible. “Sentiments of kindness and understanding vastly outnumber passages advocating beating servants and selling your daughter.”

The release also notes that the Blair administration has already repealed the Slavery Abolition Act in 1998 ((This is actually true — Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1998 — although staunch Catholics should note that this does not mean that Slavery is legal.)) and suggested that it wasn’t such a stretch to go “as far as common sense leads us.”

The government has not officially commented, although some senior members of the Cabinet are rumoured to have suggested that passing new legislation might be easier if MPs “be obedient to them that are [their] masters.”