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The television version of Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall is the latest account to challenge St Thomas More’s reputation as a courageous defender of the rights of conscience. Was he, in truth, a liberal icon, a religious fanatic or something in between?
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The Minister for Faith and Communities is to give the second Pope Benedict XVI lecture on 2 December. Baroness Warsi will speak on the topic of “Freedom of Religion in the Public and Private Sphere” at the University of Notre Dame in central London. The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, will chair the lecture, which will be followed by a question and answer session.
The Pope Benedict XVI lecture was established by the bishops of England and Wales as part of the legacy of the 2010 papal visit. The first lecture was delivered by the then-Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks.
In a lecture last week at Georgetown University in Washington, Baroness Warsi said that Christians face extinction in large parts of the world and called for greater action by politicians to prevent persecution. The Bishop of Clifton, Declan Lang, chairman of the bishops’ Department for International Affairs, praised her Georgetown speech adding: “The minister has given consistent and courageous leadership in promoting religious freedom and protecting the rights of minorities.”