Author: Keith Porteous Wood

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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. 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

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. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

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. Read More »

Tags: Ireland, Healthcare, Catholic Church

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. Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Catholic Church, Australia

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. Read More »

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

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!”

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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. Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Reviews

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

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

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

The National Secular Society has been closely monitoring... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church of England, George Carey

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. Read More »

Tags: Assisted Dying

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 BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day but it now seems as though the BBC will not even consider objections to the programme, raising questions about how the Corporation... Read More »

Tags: BBC, Thought for the Day

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.

Two orders of nuns have sought and failed to frustrate... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

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. Read More »

Tags: Marriage Equality, Ireland

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... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Marriage Equality, Ireland

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