Women bishops approved: welcome step towards inclusion
The Church of England’s general synod has given the go-ahead for women to be bishops. The move won the required minimum of two-thirds of votes among bishops and both lay and clergy representatives at the gathering in York. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20648) For some synod votes, the three ‘houses’ vote separately and a simple majority is not enough.
Lethal proposal for people with depression unable to work
People in the UK unable to work because of depression may have their benefits stopped if they do not undergo cognitive behavioural therapy, which it is assumed will cure them, a newspaper has reported. If this plan goes ahead, sizeable numbers of mentally ill people are likely to die.
Low share prices when the UK government privatised Royal Mail cost the taxpayer around £1 billion, a parliamentary committee has reported. Meanwhile the National Health Service and social services are in financial crisis.
A Church of England bishop has refused a licence to Jeremy Pemberton, a hospital chaplain, because he married his partner Laurence Cunnington. This may prevent him from taking up a new job closer to his home. This has further strained church’s leaders’ already tense relationship with those seeking greater inclusion.
Clergy and laypersons should not get into trouble for marrying their same-sex partners, the Methodist Church in Britain agreed. For the time being, only opposite-sex couples will be allowed to marry in church. But a two-year period of study and discussion will examine whether this should change.
US Presbyterian pastors free to marry same sex couples
Pastors can, if they wish, marry same-sex couples in areas where this is legal, the Presbyterian Church (USA) has decided. The general assembly also called for a change in how marriage is defined, if a majority of presbyteries agree.
Is harshness to sick, disabled and poor people increasing ‘welfare’ costs?
Successive UK governments have made it harder for people in need to get social security, at a devastating human cost. Public services have also been cut, supposedly to save money. Might this have ended up costing taxpayers more?
At least three Muslims were shot dead in southern Sri Lanka after a hardline ‘Sinhala Buddhist’ group went on the rampage. Dozens more were injured and buildings set alight as the Bodu Bala Sena marched on Aluthgama and surrounding areas.
The use of food banks in the UK rose dramatically in 2013/14, a report published on 9 June revealed. A gripping documentary shown on the same day focused on the experience of children living on or below the breadline.