News in Church Issues

Making your own mind up on role of religion and belief in UK public life--

Making your own mind up on role of religion and belief in UK public life--

by: Gwen Griffith-Dickson - The Tablet in Church Issues,

The Commission’s vision report: a nation with a deeply-rooted Christian history, but which has accommodated others at an ever-accelerating pace. It argues that all should be treated with equal respect and concern, knowing that their culture, religion and beliefs are embraced and valued as contributing to the nation’s common life.

English Bishops: BBC's cuts to religion aid extremism

English Bishops: BBC's cuts to religion aid extremism

by: John Bingham, BBC Religious Affairs Editor in Church Issues,

Corporation is preparing significant cuts to its religion and ethics budget despite accusations that it has already sidelined faith issues. Rt Rev Rachel Treweek remarked that the decision to cut religious programming had presumably been taken 'to reduce the possibility of offending people with too much God stuff over the holiday'

When our Children stop going to Mass

When our Children stop going to Mass

by: Sandra Carroll & John J. Dietzen - UCA News in Church Issues,

 Whereas ‘ceasing to attend Mass is an early phase of the process of disconnecting from the Church, disidentification is the final step’. What is interesting is that the report notes that, although the participants have stopped going to Mass, most are still connected in some way to Catholic life and faith. We need to listen to these people….

Britain’s landscape in terms of religion and belief has been transformed beyond recognition

Britain’s landscape in terms of religion and belief has been transformed beyond recognition

by: Harriet Sherwood - The Guardian, Religion correspondent in Church Issues,

“Britain’s landscape in terms of religion and belief has been transformed beyond recognition,” says the report, Living With Difference. It points to three “striking” trends: • The rapidly increasing number of people with non-religious belief and identities, now almost half the population. • The decline in Christianity, now a minority of the population. • Increased diversity in faith and rapid demographic growth of Muslim, Sikh and Hindu populations in the UK.

Lord's Prayer cinema ad ban in England

Lord's Prayer cinema ad ban in England

by: Caroline Wyatt-BBC Religious affairs correspondent in Church Issues,

The Church of England has said it is "disappointed and bewildered" by the refusal of leading UK cinemas to show an advert featuring the Lord's Prayer. The Church called the decision "plain silly" and warned it could have a "chilling" effect on free speech. It had hoped the 60-second film would be screened UK-wide before Christmas.

The Guardian view on the pope’s divisions: he should choose what’s best for women

The Guardian view on the pope’s divisions: he should choose what’s best for women

by: The Guardian Editorial- 25/10/2015 in Church Issues,

It is an extraordinary reflection that one of the groups that has the greatest influence over women’s lives today is composed of celibate men. Yet the decisions made by the pope and his bishops affect hundreds of millions of women. The Catholic church is one of the largest providers of healthcare and education in the world. 

No going back. This synod will be decisive

No going back. This synod will be decisive

by: Brendan Walsh - The Tablet in Church Issues,

 No going back. This synod will be decisive, according to a cardinal who is close to Pope Francis and is hopeful of an outcome that will bridge the gulf between church teaching and practice.

Is Hell a thing of the past?

Is Hell a thing of the past?

by: Ian Jack - The Guardian in Church Issues,

Hell is history. That’s good news for Jerry Lee Lewis, but bad news for Scotland’s Christian heritage. I doubt my ancestors shared the rocker’s panic about the eternal fire, but the presence of the devil was a cultural touchstone. The Broad and Narrow Way, which became enormously popular as a guide to biblical texts, as well as to desirable human conduct.

Pope Francis reforms marriage annulment process

Pope Francis reforms marriage annulment process

by: Christopher Lamb in Rome-The Tablet in Church Issues,

Pope Francis today announced a reform of marriage annulments delegating power to local bishops to oversee a speedier and simplified process. The Pope has given power to the local bishop to judge annulment cases and allowed for “increased brevity” in the legal process by removing the requirement for a second judgment. 

Year of Mercy: Pope Francis grants all priests faculties to forgive abortion

Year of Mercy: Pope Francis grants all priests faculties to forgive abortion

by: Reporters - BBC in Church Issues,

The Pope said many women who sought an abortion did so because they "believe that they have no other option". He added that he had "met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonising and painful decision". The easing of the rules is being seen as a shift in Catholic Church policy, reflecting the Pope's outspoken views on compassion and mercy.

Continent is ‘hostile to religious freedom’

Continent is ‘hostile to religious freedom’

by: Jonathan Luxmoore-The Tablet in Church Issues,

A Vatican diplomat has claimed there is a growing lack of religious freedom in Europe and warned countries against violating religious rights. “The Holy See has always worked to ensure that, within international relations, respect is shown for the values of faith and inviolability of each person's conscience,” said Archbishop Antoine Camilleri, Under-Secretary for Relations with States. 

Mainstream martyr for our time

Mainstream martyr for our time

by: The Tablet in Church Issues,

The beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero is a watershed moment in the recovery of a fundamental truth. The key question that Romero’s life and death asks of the faithful everywhere is whether the Christian duty to evangelise and the Christian calling to be holy are inseparable from the Christian duty to work for a better world by opposing exploitation and injustice.

Six ways to repair the Church-Government relationship in the UK

Six ways to repair the Church-Government relationship in the UK

by: Mark Hoban-The Tablet in Church Issues,

Despite the success of the papal visit, the strong relationship between Cafod and DfID and the work on human trafficking led by the Home Secretary, Theresa May and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the relationship between the Church and the last Government was not easy. The greatest tension between Church and Government was a result of fiscal consolidation and welfare reform.

Top Catholic school takes fight for admissions policy to court

Top Catholic school takes fight for admissions policy to court

by: The Guardian in Church Issues,

The religious ethos of one of England’s oldest state-funded Catholic boys’ schools is at risk after an education watchdog attacked its admissions code, the high court has heard. The London Oratory is challenging findings by the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) that many aspects of its admission arrangements for 2014 and 2015 breached the schools admissions code.