Author: Keith Porteous Wood

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Ealing Abbey

IICSA's Ealing hearings showed the Catholic Church can't be trusted to police itself

Posted: Mon, 25 Feb 2019 by Keith Porteous Wood

An inquiry has highlighted the Catholic Church's lamentable failings over child abuse at an abbey and school in west London. Keith Porteous Wood says the episode has shown the need for mandatory reporting of abuse. Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Catholic Church

Pope

21 steps the pope would take if he was committed to tackling child abuse

Posted: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 by Keith Porteous Wood

As the Catholic Church unveils another inadequate plan to tackle child abuse, this open letter from Keith Porteous Wood highlights some steps the pope could take if he was committed to taking effective action. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse, Pope

Pope Francis

The pope's empty words and meaningless gestures won't tackle clerical abuse

Posted: Mon, 07 Jan 2019 by Keith Porteous Wood

One of the pope's Christmas messages urged clerical abusers to hand themselves in. Keith Porteous Wood asks how effective it will be in bringing perpetrators to the courts and assesses the pope's progress over abuse. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

The Catholic Church’s record on abuse demands accountability, not more meaningless apologies

The Catholic Church’s record on abuse demands accountability, not more meaningless apologies

Posted: Fri, 24 Aug 2018 by Keith Porteous Wood

As the pope prepares to visit Ireland, NSS president Keith Porteous Wood says the international community must confront the Vatican over its shameful record on child abuse and demand action to bring secular justice.

Forty years ago, mass attendance per capita... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Catholic Church

Religious power and privilege failed the victims in the Peter Ball affair

Religious power and privilege failed the victims in the Peter Ball affair

Posted: Sat, 11 Aug 2018 by Keith Porteous Wood

In this long read NSS president Keith Porteous Wood explains how all arms of the law co-operated to protect the now former bishop Peter Ball for decades and refutes claims that "it couldn't happen now".

Peter Ball started misusing his religious power to sexually... Read More »

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

Anglicanism's 'purple circle' of bishops cannot be trusted over child abuse

Anglicanism's 'purple circle' of bishops cannot be trusted over child abuse

Posted: Sat, 28 Jul 2018 by Keith Porteous Wood

NSS president Keith Porteous Wood reflects on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse's hearings into the case of the abusive bishop Peter Ball.

Under the guise of schemes with names such as "Give a Year to God", former Church of England bishop Peter... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse

Church dysfunctionality laid bare by child sexual abuse inquiry

Church dysfunctionality laid bare by child sexual abuse inquiry

Posted: Sun, 11 Mar 2018 by Keith Porteous Wood

As the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse turns its attention to the Church of England, Keith Porteous Wood says it must act on evidence which has highlighted the desperate need to hold the C of E to account.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual... Read More »

Tags: Church of England, Child Abuse

Cardinal Murphy O'Connor's cover-up of child abusers must be a lesson to the Catholic Church

Cardinal Murphy O'Connor's cover-up of child abusers must be a lesson to the Catholic Church

Posted: Fri, 08 Sep 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

Cormac Murphy O'Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster, died on 1 September. NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood seeks to set the historical record straight with this alternative obituary. This piece was originally published on Conatus News. It... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

Ireland’s hospitals: some welcome secularisation

Ireland’s hospitals: some welcome secularisation

Posted: Fri, 01 Sep 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood detects a long-overdue and decisive turn towards secularism in publicly funded healthcare in Ireland, an area in which the Catholic Church has until now been predominant.

The Catholic Church in Ireland has, until recently,... Read More »

Tags: Ireland, Healthcare, Catholic Church

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.

Should priests be legally bound... Read More »

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.

An insurance company connected... Read More »

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.

Homosexuality, or at least homosexual activity, especially by men, has been a long-standing subject... Read More »

Tags: LGBTQ 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... Read More »

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'.

Andrew Foreshew-Cain, the first Anglican vicar to have... Read More »

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.

It is difficult to envisage now, but when the UK... Read More »

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.... Read More »

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.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has launched... Read More »

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.

Both Norway and the United Kingdom have populations that are very secular in outlook, with... Read More »

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.

The former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres has been officially appointed as the next... Read More »

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.

With the... Read More »

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

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.

The UN recently recommended that the UK "repeal legal provisions... Read More »

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.

A book on 'Religious approaches to Human Rights' has just... Read More »

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.

Spotlight, a film released this Friday (29 January), follows the Boston Globe's dogged... Read More »

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.

Former Bishop of Gloucester Peter Ball was... Read More »

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 religiously neutral 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,... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Remembrance, France

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