Pope Benedict has used the occasion of the official receipt of the credentials for the new Italian ambassador to the Holy See to issue a defence of the alliance of church and state, an arrangement facing increasing criticism in a plural, post-Christendom Europe.
Even in modern Europe, there is an undercurrent of racism often linked with the notion of preserving 'a Christian heritage' says Savi Hensman. Minority groups are excluded and people are made to feel insecure. A better theology and practice of God's radical grace is needed.
The place of baptism in the Established Church, and consequently wider society, has changed greatly in the last century, a new book from the Church of England acknowledges. It offers assistance with developing the rite but does not explore post-Christendom in any depth.
Following an earlier comment about the unravelling of establishment, the Church of Ireland's new primate, Archbishop Alan Harper, has warned churches that they can no longer base their mission on the idea of having “a place as of right” to exert influence in the public arena.
Anglican churches will soon return to their mission to alleviate poverty, disease and injustice and abandon a "fixation" with homosexuality, says Anglican Bishop Trevor Mwamba, the recently-appointed dean of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa.
Backers of Lydia Playfoot, the schoolgirl who unsuccessfully asked the High Court to be allowed to wear a silver ‘chastity ring’ to a school where it broke the uniform policy, have still not decided whether to go to the European Court.
The uncomfortable fact is that the church's Christendom ('Christian country') assumptions put it into the position of arguing the same political point about national identity as the BNP. A different way forward is needed.
The growth of Islam in Europe is challenging deeply-held notions that faith is a private matter which should be banished from public life, a prominent sociologist of religion has told a gathering of European Christian leaders - writes Stephen Brown for Ecumenical News International (ENI).