Catholic schools ban Comic Relief events

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of pupils from Catholic schools in south Wales have been banned from raising money for Comic Relief because church officials say money raised has been used to support abortions.

Hundreds of pupils from Catholic schools in south Wales have been banned from raising money for Comic Relief because church officials say money raised has been used to support abortions.

Pupils from several schools in the Diocese of Menevia, which covers south-west Wales, will not be able to join Friday's charity event. Officials say some of the money raised by the charity over the past 20 years has gone towards supporting abortions in Third World countries.

Father Michael Burke, spokesman for the Diocese of Menevia, said he had contacted Comic Relief about the matter. "We have advised the schools not to raise money for Comic Relief this year simply because, in the past, money raised has gone to agencies supporting abortion. And the organisation has not been able to satisfy us that no money raised by our schools would go towards acts of abortion, which is against the ethos of the Catholic Church ... If people want to raise money we would suggest they send any money to organisations such as Cafod."

Schools in Swansea, Port Talbot and Llanelli are affected.

A spokesman for Comic Relief said: "In 2000, we opened dialogue with the Catholic bishops of England and Wales. They issued a statement confirming that, after careful examination of our records, they were satisfied with Comic Relief's assurance that we do not fund and have never funded abortion services or the promotion of abortions."

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