The Free Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church have said the SNP’s plans to assign every child a state guardian could “undermine” family life.
The current moderator and six former moderators of the Free Church of Scotland have written to Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond urging him to drop the proposals as they “seriously overstep the mark”.
The letter said: “We do not doubt that the proposal is well-intentioned but we believe it to be fundamentally ill-conceived and liable to cause needless hurt and alarm to conscientious parents when their views conflict with the opinions of the state appointed ‘nanny'”.
Under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill, every child in Scotland will be assigned a named person – a state employee – who would be able to share information with a wide range of public authorities and intervene without parental consent.
Revd Dr John Ross, who signed the letter, said that the Scottish Government seems “intent on hijacking the legitimate rights and duties of parents to bring up their own children free of state interference”.
“It does not take a rocket scientist to foresee the potential for future conflict between Christian parents and the secular political correctness brigade”, he added.
Revd James MacIver, who also signed the letter, said: “The very concept of ‘corporate parents’ sets alarm bells ringing and is something becoming of a Big Brother state”.
The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has also raised serious concerns about the proposals.
John Deighan, parliamentary officer of the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, told the Scottish Daily Mail that the appointment of state guardians to every child could go against the church’s teachings on the family.
He said it is “highly questionable to go to these lengths to intervene” in the life of every single family.
“There’s a scope for undermining family life”, he warned.
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said the plans are approved by childcare professionals and aim to “promote the wellbeing of all Scotland’s children, including protecting vulnerable young people”.
The Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill is set to be voted on for a final time at Holyrood next week.