Press Roundup Monday 13 July 2009

By Press Office
July 13, 2009

A selection of stories from today's press and other media that relate to Ekklesia's work, produced daily by James Vincent and covering papers such as The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent and Guardian.

Religion & Society

Church of England faces calls for cuts in the number of bishops - The Church of England is considering cuts in the number of bishops and dioceses amid growing complaints that its structure is top-heavy and out of step with falling congregations.

Church of England Synod rejects bishops’ call to cut its councils - The General Synod yesterday asserted its representative authority and refused to mandate the abolition of the boards, councils and committees of the Church of England that do so much work in fields such as mission and education.

Archbishops snubbed over power-grab plans - The archbishops of Canterbury and York were today delivered a resounding snub to their plans to centralise power in the Church of England.

More bishops needed, says General Synod - The Church of England's governing body last night rejected proposals to save money, by saying that more bishops were needed, not fewer.

A secret shame: Inside the latest scandal to rock the Catholic church - When Todd Carpunky was 16, he joined the Legion of Christ. I his six years with the Catholic order, he bore witness to a culture of sexual abuse that rocked the Church.

Archbishop of York compares teen murder victims to John the Baptist - The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has likened the "meaningless" murders of innocent teenagers such as Ben Kinsella and Rhys Jones to the death of John the Baptist.

Comment: Metaphysical mistake - Confusion by Christians between belief and reason has created bad science and inept religion.

Letter: Christianity and female disciples - Christ was born into a male-dominated culture, but he did not only have male disciples.

Letter: When should Christians ignore the Bible? - When ignoring the Bible is the Christian thing to do.

Peace & War

Gordon Brown backs the war in Afghanistan as public support wavers - In his letter to the Liaison Select Committee on Saturday — highly unusual for its timing — Gordon Brown insisted that the case for intervention in Afghanistan in 2009 was just the same as in 2001.

Red Cross worker freed by militants after six months in Philippines jungle - An Italian Red Cross worker has been freed after six months captivity in the Philippines jungle by al-Qaeda linked militants.

Public support for war in Afghanistan is firm, despite deaths - Exclusive poll shows backing for UK involvement in Afghanistan has risen.

Iran prepares package to offer West - Iran is preparing a new package of "political, security and international" issues to put to the West, its foreign minister said today.

U.K. hits Israel with partial arms embargo over Gaza war - Britain has slapped a partial arms embargo on Israel, refusing to supply replacement parts and other equipment for Sa'ar 4.5 gunships because they participated in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip earlier this year.

Comment: Enough. This senseless folly in Afghanistan must stop - Our soldiers are dying in a false, hopeless war. The true battle for security is about hearts and minds in Pakistan.

Community & Family

Discrimination against northerners to be banned under Harriet Harman plans - Discrimination against northerners by public bodies could be banned under plans being considered by Harriet Harman, the equalities minister.

Comment: Teenage pregnancy: a national talking point - Why is the UK the teenage pregnancy capital of Europe, asks Max Pemberton.

Comment: Don't marry in haste and divorce at leisure - George Pitcher says Tory plans to enforce a cooling-off period for couples will not strengthen the institution of marriage.

Crime & Justice

Taylor will tell court: 'I'm a peacemaker' - For one year, prosecution witnesses accused the former Liberian President Charles Taylor of atrocities that ranged from cannibalism to commanding Sierra Leone rebels who had hacked off villagers' limbs.

Spanish bishops apologise for silence over killings - Spanish bishops broke decades of silence at the weekend to apologise for the killing of 14 priests by Francisco Franco’s troops during the civil war.

Ecology & Environment

Number of wind turbines to quadruple under Renewable Energy Strategy - The number of wind turbines is set to quadruple over the next decade.

The planet's future: Climate change 'will cause civilisation to collapse' - Authoritative new study sets out a grim vision of shortages and violence – but amid all the gloom, there is some hope too.

Economy & Politics

Let voters decide aid projects, say Tories - 'X Factor'-style contest will determine where overseas aid money goes.

Comment: This Bill is a panic measure in a tarnished age - Labour’s attempt to restore standards in Parliament further strips away power from the elected heart of our democracy.

Comment: Pope Benedict is the man on the money - The best analysis yet of the global economic crisis tells how people, not just rules, must change.

Globalisation & Development

Starvation kills hopes of South Africa’s rubbish-tip refugees - Incomers hoping for opportunities from the 2010 football World Cup are instead finding xenophobia, poverty, poor wages and squalid death.

International development minister urges firms to pool HIV patents - Drug companies should give up their patent rights to HIV medicines to help prevent the deaths of millions of people in poor countries, a British government minister will say this week.

Race & Identity

Two jailed for inciting racial hatred online - Two men have been jailed after becoming the first in the UK to be convicted of inciting racial hatred online.

Letter: Unity is deep in China's blood - The violence in Xinjiang has been horrific. But it is wrong to frame it as an ethnic conflict.

British population to pass 70 million, forecasts Migrationwatch - The population of the UK will still pass the 70 million mark despite policies planned by both Labour and the Conservatives to stop it, a right-wing group claims.

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