Fri, 23 Mar 2018

‘Cardinal O’Brien’s tale was a betrayal of hope and trust’

Rosemary Goring says that throughout Keith O'Brien's career he was "cocooned, chastised and cared for by the institution in which he had flourished".

The Herald

Parents complain over gay forum poster in Catholic school

A Catholic grammar school is facing a complaint after pupils were given promotional material advertising a gay youth forum aimed at 12-25 year olds.


‘On retirement, I could openly admit I didn’t believe in God for the first time’

Peter Gunning writes that being an atheist principal and managing a Catholic school was a difficult balance to maintain in Ireland.

The Journal (Ireland)

As Poland mulls new abortion bill, women head to Germany

Poland has some of the most restrictive laws in Europe when it comes to abortion. Now, the government is pushing through a new bill targeting abortions where the foetus is damaged. Some women are responding by heading to Germany for the procedure.


In Indonesia, a shadowy campaign to stoke unrest as elections loom

Intelligence officials believe political forces are behind what they describe as a shadowy "black campaign" in Indonesia. The campaign, they say, is designed to whip up fear that Islam itself is under siege under the leadership of President Joko Widodo.


Boko Haram’s last remaining girl captive ‘refusing to convert to Islam’

A Nigerian schoolgirl remains in Boko Haram's captivity after she refused to convert to Islam, her mother has said. Her 104 classmates were released.

The Independent (Ireland)

Thu, 22 Mar 2018

Archbishop of Canterbury “ashamed” of Church over abuse

The archbishop of Canterbury has said how "ashamed" he is of the Church of England in evidence to the IICSA child sex abuse inquiry.


IICSA: the dean’s bonfire and the destroyed report at Chichester Cathedral

Witnesses to the IICSA inquiry have given evidence on the mishandling of safeguarding in Chichester Cathedral.

Church Times

Damian Hinds comments on home schooling and illegal schools

The education secretary appeared before the parliamentary education committee yesterday. He did not rule out including home schooled children in a review of exclusions practices and said councils have "more power than is sometimes supposed" over illegal schools.

Schools Week

Community leaders tell justice minister that equal treatment coroner “must be made accountable”

Jewish 'community representatives' have told justice minister Phillip Lee that a senior London coroner who does not prioritise treating bodies for religious reasons "must be made accountable for her actions".

Jewish News

Top judge slams Catholic Church for being "in denial” over sexual abuse

A top judge has slammed the Catholic Church for being in "denial" over sexual abuse problems within the priesthood.

Liverpool Echo

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh’s charity to be wound up

A charity launched by senior SNP activist Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh with £16,000 worth of taxpayer support is being wound up amid a misconduct probe. The Scottish Asian Women's Association's stated aim was to "promote religious and racial harmony".

The Herald

Pope will not visit Northern Ireland this year

The pope has announced that he will make the first papal trip to Ireland in nearly 40 years in August. There had been speculation that he would also visit Northern Ireland, but he said his visit would be limited to Dublin.


'It’s time to end education’s historic deference to religion'

Andrew Copson writes that the support of successive governments for faith schools has encouraged religious groups to believe they have total control over children's education.


Boko Haram demands returned schoolgirls give up education

Boko Haram has released more than 100 of the schoolgirls it abducted last month, returning them to their village in north-east Nigeria. It has told the girls they will abduct them again permanently if they do not give up going to school.

The Guardian

Austin bomber was ‘introverted Christian conservative’ but officials unsure of his motive

A serial bomber has blown himself up as authorities closed in on him in Texas. A portrait has emerged of him as an "introverted Christian conservative" who wrote about his opposition to gay marriage and abortion. But officials say they still don't know how or why he chose his targets.

Los Angeles Times

Doctor fined for problem with circumcision in Canada

A doctor in the Canadian city of Regina has been officially reprimanded and ordered to pay more than $10,000 after the circumcision of a baby boy went wrong.

Calgary Herald

Wed, 21 Mar 2018

'Christianity as default is gone': the rise of a non-Christian Europe

Europe's march towards a post-Christian society has been starkly illustrated by research showing a majority of young people in a dozen countries, including the UK, do not follow a religion.

The Guardian

Clergy burnt church files after being accused of covering up abuse, inquiry hears

A senior clergyman burnt church files, an inquiry heard yesterday, after he failed to report the systematic abuse of children by a priest to the police.

Christian Today

YouTuber who taught dog Nazi salute faces jail for hate crime

A man is facing jail after he was convicted of a hate crime for uploading a video of him teaching his girlfriend's dog to give a Nazi salute and respond excitedly to the phrase "gas the Jews".


Muslims see national and religious identities as important, says study

Muslims in the UK attach more importance to being British than the general population, according to a report from Ipsos Mori. The report also found that 94% of Muslims considered their religious identity extremely or very important.

The Guardian

Abortion rates go down when countries make it legal: report

Abortion rates have fallen over the past 25 years, even as more countries have made the procedure legal and easier to get, according to a new report released Tuesday. The study also found that countries with the most restrictive abortion laws have the highest rates of abortion.

NBC News

Scottish Rugby to probe sectarian incident in Rome

Scottish Rugby has launched an investigation after supporters were filmed using sectarian language during the recent trip to Rome.

The Scotsman

Outdated blasphemy law set to be repealed in New Zealand

New Zealand's justice minister has introduced legislation to repeal the decades-old law prohibiting blasphemy.

Radio NZ

Dutch animal welfare party proposes ban on non-stun slaughter

The Dutch animal welfare party has submitted draft legislation proposing to ban all slaughter of animals without stunning.

The Times of Israel

‘I stayed silent on child abuse. And I blame religion for that’

Katie Edwards reflects on the role that religion played in encouraging her not to speak up about sexual abuse.

The Guardian

Japan prepares to execute up to 13 members of Aum Shinrikyo cult

Japan is believed to be preparing to execute as many as 13 members of a doomsday cult which lauched a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995.

The Guardian

Tue, 20 Mar 2018

Serious abuse by priests could still go unreported, Church's safeguarding chief admits

Rape and other serious abuse carried out by priests and bishops today may still be ignored and not properly reported, the Church of England's head of safeguarding admitted yesterday.

Christian Today

Church must create ‘culture of challenge’, Peter Ball survivor tells IICSA

A survivor of sexual abuse carried out by the disgraced former bishop of Gloucester Peter Ball has criticised the Church for rejecting "open" and "frank" communication in favour of power and control.

Church Times

Police call for 'counter-terrorism citizens'

Police are asking the public for more help in thwarting terror attacks after more than a fifth of calls to them yielded useful intelligence last year.


‘Ministers need to beef up anti-terror Prevent programme’

Jawad Iqbal says the case of the teenager found guilty of last September's Parsons Green Tube bombing raises urgent questions about the government's counter-terrorism strategy.

The Times (£)

Pope to have final word on plans for funeral of disgraced cardinal Keith O'Brien

Pope Francis will have the final say over funeral arrangements for Cardinal Keith O'Brien, as the Catholic Church looks to draw a line under the scandal which ended his career.

The Herald

Charedi school chief appeals for Theresa May meeting over Ofsted ‘agenda’

The head of a Charedi school in Stamford Hill has made a dramatic appeal to Theresa May for an urgent meeting. The request comes after it was revealed that the school had censored references to homosexuality and female empowerment from its textbooks. The head claims he wants to stop the "secularist agenda" of the inspection service Ofsted.

The JC

‘Help me find the antidote to fight extremists in our own communities’

Sara Khan, the new commissioner for countering extremism, says we need to have a powerful response so extremists do not divide our country.

The Sun

‘Abuse perpetrated under the cloak of religion sets a trap which lasts a lifetime’

Charles Moore tells the story of an abuse survivor he met and says his experience "shows how difficult it is to escape when trust is betrayed".

The Telegraph (£)

Mississippi governor signs US’s toughest abortion ban into law

Phil Bryant, the governor of Mississippi, has signed a law that makes his state the most difficult in the US to get an abortion.


'Clock boy' Ahmed Mohamed's lawsuit dismissed

A federal judge in the US has dismissed a lawsuit by the father of a teenager who was arrested after bringing to school a homemade clock that was mistaken for a bomb. The case gained international attention when the incident happened in 2015.

Dallas News

Hijab removal by New York police prompts lawsuit

Two women have filed a lawsuit with the US District Court in Manhattan after police officers in New York told them to take off their hijabs for official mugshots.

The New York Times

Mon, 19 Mar 2018

SNP governing body pressed to back scrapping Scotland's blasphemy laws

The SNP's governing body will discuss a move to scrap Scotland's centuries-old blasphemy laws this week.

The Herald

Bishop backs calls for independent oversight of safeguarding within C of E

The bishop of Buckingham has said the IICSA child sex abuse inquiry has exposed "stupidity, incompetence and lying" at the highest levels of the Church of England. He has also called for an independent body to oversee safeguarding policy.

The Times (£)

Cardinal Keith O’Brien dies

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, formerly the Catholic Church's most senior cleric in Britain, has died at the age of 80. The cardinal, who resigned as archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh in 2013 after admitting sexual misconduct, was recently injured in a fall.


‘The battle for the soul of RE’

As the RE Commission compiles its recommendations for the subject, the battle lines have been drawn.


Education system a ‘blindingly obvious’ way to improve integration, says Dame Louise Casey

The government's former integration tsar has said it would be a mistake to scrap the cap on faith-based admissions to religious schools without doing more to ensure the curriculum is being properly taught. She has also spoken up about issues such as grooming, the Prevent strategy and the hijab in school.

The Times (£)

UK government will not intervene on abortion in Northern Ireland

Parliamentary questions have revealed that while the UK government might consider imposing same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, it would not intervene on the issue of abortion. Meanwhile police in the Republic of Ireland are investigating an abortion performed on a 12-year-old Irish girl in the UK earlier this year.

Belfast Telegraph

Judgment reserved on Northern Ireland couple's same-sex marriage legal challenge

Judgment has been reserved in a gay couple's legal fight to have their same-sex marriage recognised in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph

British hospital cuts abortion services to Irish women

One of the main UK hospitals offering abortion services to Irish women in cases of fatal foetal abnormality has scaled back access due to staffing issues.

The Irish Times

‘Religious extremism inspired my abusers in Rotherham’

Ella Hill says grooming gangs are not like paedophile rings; instead, they operate almost exactly like terrorist networks, with all the same strategies.

The Independent

Jeremy Corbyn’s drive for tolerance ‘gave platform to extremists’

A campaign against anti-Muslim hatred launched in parliament by Jeremy Corbyn gave a platform to supporters of jihad, a report says today.

The Times (£)

Richard Dawkins will give away The God Delusion in ‘Muslim world’

Richard Dawkins is to make a number of his books available free of charge in parts of the world with large Muslim populations after an Arabic translation of The God Delusion was downloaded illegally millions of times.

The Times (£)

Fri, 16 Mar 2018

Church's approach to abuse was to 'stonewall' and 'say nothing', says Rowan Williams's former aide

Rowan Williams's former spin doctor yesterday admitted to the IICSA child abuse inquiry that the Church of England's policy was to "stonewall" victims.

Christian Today

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