- Prayer for today
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is to create a new monastic community at his London residence of Lambeth Palace. Like many experiments with innovative models of religious life, it will combine aspects ancient and modern
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- Churches ‘speak with one voice’ on Islamic State as religious leaders, politicians and scholars convene in US
- Independent Scotland would need its own papal ambassador
- Turkish officials question planned papal visit
- Vincentian order in Ireland return controversial ‘private’ Jackie Kennedy letters to her family
- If there’s a shortage of priests in Ireland, why not ordain women to the diaconate? Michael Phelan
- Christians and Yazidis in Iraq: Unwanted Guests in their own country John Eibner, Christian Solidarity International
- Church should rethink its attitude to adoption Katherine Backler
Ben Ryan on the Tablet blog says that it is worrying that "a court" had ever decided that an adoption agency could not also be a Catholic religious organisation; that however is not the case.
The original decision made by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) was a purely administrative decision made by a quango, not a court. That decision was appealed to a court, namely the Scottish Charity Appeal Panel, which gave a legal judgment accepting that St Margaret’s Children’s Society in Glasgow was acting in accordance with its charitable constitution which required it to provide all its services in accordance with Catholic teaching. This made it a religious organisation entitled to the benefit of the specific exemptions for Charities and Religious Organisations set out in the Equality Act.
The decision by the appeal panel makes it clear that Catholic charities can and should make their Catholic identity clear in their constitutions and should act at all times in accordance with Catholic teaching. The legal exemptions for religious organisations and charities are set out and explained in the CTS Booklet "Guide to Religious Freedom and the Law".
Neil Addison (Barrister), National Director, Thomas More Legal Centre