The current economic system is “unjust at the root”, Pope Francis declared. In a major new document, he urged Roman Catholics to work with fellow Christians and others towards a more humane and peaceful world.
The Church of England’s decision to move a step closer towards allowing women to be bishops is a welcome move. By 378 votes to eight, General Synod backed a package of proposals to take forward legislation which may be approved in 2014.
Abusing human rights: playing the ‘anti-colonial’ card
As the UK Prime Minister and other leaders prepare to attend a Commonwealth gathering in Sri Lanka, its government has criticised his pledge to flag up concerns about human rights. It is estimated that tens of thousands of civilians were killed by the regime and Tiger rebels at the end of a brutal civil war.
The UK government’s cuts to spending on public services are for ideological reasons, not just because of the deficit. In a speech at the lord mayor’s banquet in the Guildhall, Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intention to build “a leaner, more efficient state. We need to do more with less. Not just now, but permanently.”
Bedroom tax: much-needed affordable homes face demolition
Because of the bedroom tax, many much-needed affordable homes may be demolished, despite the housing shortage. The Observer reports that several housing associations, unable to let three-bedroom homes because of this controversial UK government measure, are planning to knock some of these down or considering doing so.
Commonwealth gathering in Sri Lanka tainted by atrocities
Sri Lanka’s regime is preparing to host a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in mid-November. Embarrassingly, however, a disturbing documentary containing evidence of atrocities towards the end of the island’s civil war was broadcast by Channel 4.
The UK supreme court has confirmed that the government had broken the law through failing to supply adequate information about its work-or-starve schemes for jobless people. Yet, by and large, ministers are succeeding in inflicting terrible hardship on many unemployed and sick people, as Citizens Advice Bureau research reveals.
Anglicanism: GAFCON, condemnation and communication
At the second Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), which met in Nairobi from 21-26 October 2013, senior clergy from certain provinces firmly condemned fellow Anglicans with views different from their own.
“Health tourism: the TRUE cost”: “Foreigners using NHS cost Britain up to £2 BILLION a year, government reveals – 100 times more than previously claimed” declares a Daily Mail headline. Yet the reality is very different, and there is little evidence that many people visit the UK for the purpose of getting free medical treatment.