CNI – MEDIA REVIEW February 28

Today’s overview of news reports with links

Belfast Church denies its running gay cure event
An east Belfast church has denied suggestions it is hosting an event next week aimed at “curing” gay people, saying it just wants to help them remain celibate and Christian. Willowfield Parish Church on My Lady’s Road is to host an Evangelical Alliance-led event on March 8 entitled Is Your Church Biblically Inclusive? It’s claimed the course is designed for those who are, or want to be, a committed Christian but identify as homosexual.

Ardglass church wall collapse leaves huge hole in side of home as insurers dither
“John just happened to open the door into the room facing the church. “He said to me: ‘Noreen, the room’s wrecked!'” He was ashen, Mrs McCartan said. “I walked into the room and I couldn’t believe it,” she added. “There was full 50 tons of rubble in it, where the church wall had come through the wall of …

Coventry of one mind with EU negotiators

NI may become part of EU customs territory

All eyes on Irish border as Brexit draft text to be finalised today
The draft will give a legal basis to last December’s preliminary agreement.

EU will fight to keep NI under EU customs, EU talks chief

Progressive Belfast shows the quarrelsome North a way forward, Andy Pollak
Depression over the latest failure by the DUP and Sinn Fein to agree a formula for the return of power sharing in the North has been my dominant emotion over the past fortnight. However I was not at all surprised, having been told by a leading unionist commentator and several former loyalist paramilitary leaders on…

‘Untrained’ investigators: Garda approach in child sex abuse cases criticised
Chief Inspector Mark Toland said that “child sexual abuse is one of the most serious types of crime” that Gardaí deal with.

Breda O’Brien: Bruton ignores practical problems of letting students opt out of religion class
Principals are tearing their hair out trying to find substitutes in subjects such as Irish, German, French, and home economics. So, last Monday, Minister for Education Richard Bruton issued a circular on religious instruction in community and ETB (formerly VEC) second-level schools. Guess which event …

Religion teachers say opt-out rule will ‘undermine progress’
The Religion Teachers’ Association of Ireland has written to the Minister for Education to express dismay over language used in the new circular and calling for it to be corrected or withdrawn. It says the circular refers to “religious instruction”, without clarifying the difference between this and “religious …

Pupil numbers grew 10% at multi-denominational schools
… patronage or trusteeship of more than one religious faith. The remainder of second-level pupils attended multi-denominational schools (4 per cent), which are defined by the department as those that do not provide faith formation, such as Educate Together, and Church of Ireland schools (3 per cent).

Enrolment in Catholic schools continues to grow in R of I

Una Mullally: Pope welcome to visit but must pay own way
But ultimately the idea that people would be rattling buckets for an organisation as rich as the Catholic Church is laughable. … Some €209 million has been paid by religious groups, while the Government, aka the Irish taxpayer, has spent €1.5 billion on the redress scheme, inquiries and so on.

Phil Coulter reveals internment rage at heart of Derry anthem

McKinsey tasked with bringing City Christians into Church of England fold
The firm has been tasked with broadening the Church’s appeal to Christians working in the City, months after Accenture completed a redesign of the Catholic Church’s Vatican News network, in order to broaden its relevance. It might allegedly be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than …


Discussion on bereavement and faith with Maureen Greaves, whose husband Alan, a church organist, was murdered, and Margaret Pritchard Houston, St Albans Diocesan Children’s Mission Enabler, whose son Isaac died at birth in 2015. Discussion follows BBC Radio 5 Live interview with Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas about the death of his wife Gemma shortly after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09sm8k6 (from around 2.38 and 33 seconds)

Further coverage of interview given by Andrew Brown, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Church Commissioners, to the Press Association.

Report that St Anne’s Church in Leicester has acted as a rest centre for residents affected by the explosion on Sunday in which five people died. The Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow, is quoted.

Reports that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City has reopened three days after Christian leaders shut its doors to protest against plans for a new tax and proposed legislation that would allow church property to be claimed by the state.

News article on unregistered schools

Coverage of the annual Easter egg hunt sponsored by Cadbury on National Trust properties.

Obituary – The Rt Rev John Bickersteth

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