Only ‘legal miracle’ would force faith groups to marry same-sex couples
“For the European Court of Human Rights to compel a religious body or its adherents to conduct a religious marriage of a same sex couple would require a legal miracle much greater than the parting of the Red Sea for the Children of Israel to cross from Egypt,” stated Lord Pannick QC.
Mid Staffordshire – change culture, don’t just scapegoat or restructure
A report on why Mid Staffordshire hospital failings went unchecked for so long makes important points. Robert Francis QC, who led the inquiry, avoided the temptation to blame all that went wrong on a few people who could then be punished, or call for yet another round of reorganisation. Instead he revealed disturbing flaws in the culture of the NHS and other agencies linked with health and social care.
Sexuality: Evangelical Alliance responds unconvincingly to Steve Chalke
Evangelical Alliance general director Steve Clifford has criticised the influential evangelical leader Steve Chalke for changing his stance on homosexuality. UK-based Baptist minister Chalke now believes that the Bible does not rule out faithful, committed same-sex partnerships. While Clifford raises important issues, he is ultimately unconvincing.
Sri Lanka: defending democracy as chief justice impeached
Sri Lanka is facing a constitutional crisis after the chief justice was impeached, in a process ruled unlawful by the supreme court. The bid by cabinet members to replace her with one of their own legal advisers has been widely criticised as an attack on the independence of the judiciary. Pro-democracy activists are challenging the move, despite the danger they face from an increasingly dictatorial regime.
Nigerian bishops’ threat to Church of England on sexuality
Nigerian Anglican bishops have condemned the Church of England decision to allow celibate clergy in civil partnerships to be bishops, threatening further action. The statement highlighted ambiguous attitudes to the Bible among Church of Nigeria leaders.
The UK government’s Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill will hit even seriously ill people and their families, specialists have pointed out. The controversial measure involves limiting increases in most working-age benefits to one per cent a year for three years from 2013-14 – a drop in real terms, since the cost of living is rising considerably faster.
Uganda archbishop highlights Anglican differences on sexuality
Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda has condemned the decision by Church of England bishops to allow celibate clergy in civil partnerships to be bishops, claiming this violated biblical faith and Anglican agreements.
The Church of England and gay bishops – has sexuality policy shifted?
Clergy in civil partnerships can become bishops provided they are celibate, the Church of England House of Bishops agreed. Though this falls far short of full equality, some have labelled it a major shift in church policy.
Proposal to cut obese and unhealthy people’s benefits is unjust
Overweight or unhealthy people who fail to attend exercise sessions should have their benefits cut, the Local Government Information Unit proposed. Such a measure, included in a report produced with Westminster Council, would be unjust and do more harm than good.