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Author: Keith Porteous Wood

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The confessional shouldn’t shield child abuse from reporting

The confessional shouldn’t shield child abuse from reporting

Posted: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Australian abuse commission is right not to exempt the confessional from reporting obligations, and its rigour should provide a model to reverse the backsliding already all too clear in the UK, argues Keith Porteous Wood.

Tags: Child Abuse, Catholic Church, Australia

Church of England’s links with insurer undermines justice for survivors of clergy abuse

Church of England’s links with insurer undermines justice for survivors of clergy abuse

Posted: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

Anglican abuse victims believe the Church's close links with its insurer results in lower settlements to victims. NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood thinks they've got a point, and offers solutions to put things right.

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Child Abuse

The greater the religious fervency, the greater the homophobia

The greater the religious fervency, the greater the homophobia

Posted: Fri, 07 Jul 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

On Pride weekend, NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood highlights the interconnectedness between the fight for secularism and equality for LGBTQ people

Tags: LGBT rights, Equality & Human Rights

Irish National Maternity Hospital: “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries!”

Irish National Maternity Hospital: “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries!”

Posted: Mon, 05 Jun 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

The determination to give a hospital to a disgraced religious order, in spite of public outrage, is the very antithesis of secularism. But the episode has prompted calls for fundamental changes in the relationship between church and state, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Tags: Catholic Church, Ireland, Healthcare, Reproductive Rights

Anglican stance on women and gays could trigger disestablishment

Anglican stance on women and gays could trigger disestablishment

Posted: Sun, 14 May 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood argues that, with the CofE's hierarchy so at odds with the values on equality held by the country at large, an Anglican vicar is right to question its status as the 'national church'.

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

Who is running Ireland – the Government or the Church?

Who is running Ireland – the Government or the Church?

Posted: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

The reach and power of the Catholic Church has waned considerably in recent years in Ireland. But there are troubling signs that its undue influence over the country is returning, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Tags: Catholic Church, Ireland, Child Abuse

Mass grave full of children's remains at Catholic home reveals atrocities on a massive scale

Mass grave full of children's remains at Catholic home reveals atrocities on a massive scale

Posted: Tue, 07 Mar 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

With the latest revelations about human remains in an Irish Mother and Baby home, Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, seeks answers about how such atrocities could have happened on such a scale, and what can be done now.

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse, Ireland

Stop pharmacies refusing prescriptions for emergency contraception on religious grounds

Stop pharmacies refusing prescriptions for emergency contraception on religious grounds

Posted: Fri, 17 Feb 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

With the regulator considering curtailing 'conscience' objections to contraception prescriptions, Keith Porteous Wood urges supporters to respond to the consultation in the interests of vulnerable patients.

Tags: Secular Medical Forum, Healthcare, Reproductive Rights

Norway’s separation of Church and State: a work in progress

Norway’s separation of Church and State: a work in progress

Posted: Wed, 04 Jan 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

Norway's supposed separation of Church and State, effective from 1 January 2017, is a very positive step, but it's still a work in progress, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Tags: Church & State, Norway, Secularism

The new UN Secretary General must not allow religion to override human rights

The new UN Secretary General must not allow religion to override human rights

Posted: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

UN Secretary General designate needs to ignore Catholic pressure to row back on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Gay Rights, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Tags: United Nations, Catholic Church, Abortion, Reproductive Rights

The House of Lords and religion

The House of Lords and religion

Posted: Fri, 12 Aug 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Parliamentary recess provides welcome respite from the frenetic activity of the political battles being fought out in the chamber and corridors, allowing us to stand back and have a wry look at the institution itself, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Tags: Church & State, Parliament, House of Lords, Church of England

Church and State united in denying religious freedom to young people

Church and State united in denying religious freedom to young people

Posted: Tue, 05 Jul 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood writes on the union between church and state that is denying freedom of religion to young people – in defiance of the United Nations and human rights.

Tags: Church & State, Equality & Human Rights, Collective Worship, United Nations

Do we need ‘religious approaches’ to Human Rights?

Do we need ‘religious approaches’ to Human Rights?

Posted: Thu, 17 Mar 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood offers a critical review of a new book that claims Human Rights owe their existence to religion – when the greatest modern threat to Human Rights comes from organised religion.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights

Spotlight: This hard-hitting film salutes the journalists who exposed the power of a deeply corrupt institution

Spotlight: This hard-hitting film salutes the journalists who exposed the power of a deeply corrupt institution

Posted: Thu, 28 Jan 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood previews Spotlight, the hard-hitting film which depicts the Boston Globe's investigation into the cover-up of child sex abuse by the Catholic Church.

Tags: Catholic Church, Reviews

Damning details emerge about establishment cover-up of Anglican sex abuse

Damning details emerge about establishment cover-up of Anglican sex abuse

Posted: Mon, 04 Jan 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

New revelations about the extent of the letter-writing campaign to help disgraced bishop Peter Ball escape charges raise urgent questions about the extent of the establishment cover-up, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse

National occasions need not be dominated by religion – as France’s commemoration ceremony so poignantly demonstrated

National occasions need not be dominated by religion – as France’s commemoration ceremony so poignantly demonstrated

Posted: Tue, 01 Dec 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

France's recent ceremony for those killed in the Paris attacks was a moving demonstration that non-religious ceremonies are a powerful way to unite people regardless of faith or politics; it is something the UK could emulate for our own public ceremonies, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Tags: Church & State, Remembrance, France

Peter Ball sex abuse case: 20 questions that must be answered

Peter Ball sex abuse case: 20 questions that must be answered

Posted: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

Any genuine inquiry into the handling of allegations of child sex abuse by Bishop Peter Ball must answer key questions about alleged cover-ups by the Church, police and CPS, argues Keith Porteous Wood

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England, George Carey

Assisted Dying Bill: The Church has no right to deny dignity in death

Assisted Dying Bill: The Church has no right to deny dignity in death

Posted: Thu, 10 Sep 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

The media give too much weight to the views of faith leaders who have failed to deal with the central issue of assisted dying, which is alleviating the suffering of others, argues Keith Porteous Wood.

Tags: Assisted Dying

The BBC is failing to respond to fair criticism of its religious output

The BBC is failing to respond to fair criticism of its religious output

Posted: Tue, 11 Aug 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

The NSS has objected numerous times over the past half century to the exclusion of non-believers from Thought for the Day, but it now seems as though the BBC will not even consider objections to the programme, raising questions about how it handles criticism.

Tags: BBC, Thought for the Day

Catholic hierarchy stand by while nuns’ orders seek to obstruct justice for their abuse victims

Catholic hierarchy stand by while nuns’ orders seek to obstruct justice for their abuse victims

Posted: Mon, 06 Jul 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

Following the failed attempt to obstruct the historic child abuse inquiry in Scotland, Keith Porteous Wood exposes the continuing reluctance of the Catholic Church to face up to and pay for its crimes.

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

The Catholic Church is now paying the price for its past in Ireland

The Catholic Church is now paying the price for its past in Ireland

Posted: Tue, 26 May 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood welcomes the Irish referendum result on marriage equality and argues that the Catholic Church's appalling recent history in Ireland shows it deserves to be discredited- as it now has been, by the overwhelming referendum "Yes" result.

Tags: Gay Marriage, Ireland

Irish same-sex marriage – is the Church trying to blackmail the state?

Irish same-sex marriage – is the Church trying to blackmail the state?

Posted: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has threatened to stop civil marriage registration if Irish law is changed to allow same sex marriages. Keith Porteous Wood argues that if it were to carry out its threat, it could inflict more harm on the Church than any change of the legal definition of marriage would.

Tags: Catholic Church, Gay Marriage, Ireland

Should taxpayers be paying for the Church’s leaking roofs?

Should taxpayers be paying for the Church’s leaking roofs?

Posted: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood argues that with the Church Commissioners sitting on a £4bn surplus, the Church of England should not be receiving additional public funds for fixing church roofs, and should concede to abolishing Chancel Repair Liability without compensation.

Tags: Church of England, Chancel Repair Liability

Assisted Dying: It is now a case of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’

Assisted Dying: It is now a case of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’

Posted: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 by Keith Porteous Wood

On Friday 7 November the Assisted Dying Bill was debated in the House of Lords. The executive director of the National Secular Society, Keith Porteous Wood, who attended last Friday's debate, reports back about the debate and the Bill's progress.

Tags: Assisted Dying

Pope's first year of papacy has been a failure on child abuse

Pope's first year of papacy has been a failure on child abuse

Posted: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 by Keith Porteous Wood

This week marks the first anniversary of the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as Pope Francis. But as far as far as child abuse is concerned, it's just business as usual at the Vatican but with better PR, argues Keith Porteous Wood.

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

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