News

GB news – 28th August

Bishop and Priest with motor neurone disease support High Court ruling on Tony Nicklinson case; Cardinal: disestablishment would benefit the Church of England; Jesus Christ may have suffered from mental problems; Scottish Catholic priests’ letter condemns gay marriage; Scottish Catholic attack on same-sex marriage ‘may backfire’; Church invites pro-gay Catholics to join service    
Bishop and Priest with motor neurone disease support High Court ruling on Tony Nicklinson case  
Church Times – The Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Revd Mike Hill, wrote on his blog.. that the High Court “was surely right not to allow Tony Nicklinson the right to die with the assistance of a doctor. . . It is reported that many vulnerable and elderly people suffer abuse daily at the hands of their relatives. . . A very real question is whether any change in the law to facilitate assisted dying would make such people even more vulnerable to pressure from others to end their lives.”

In a statement to the High Court, Mr Nicklinson had said: “By all means protect the vulnerable. By vulnerable, I mean those who cannot make decisions for themselves – just don’t include me. I am not vulnerable. I don’t need help or protection from death or those who would help me. If the legal consequences were not so huge, i.e. life imprisonment, perhaps I could get someone to help me.”

The Revd Michael Wenham, a retired Anglican priest who has primary lateral sclerosis, a motor neurone disorder, wrote on his blog last Friday: “Primarily, it’s good that a precedent to legalise killing has been resisted. Dress it up how you will, in whatever humanitarian, compassionate terms, deliberately to end life is killing. . . Since English law is case-law, one ruling in favour of assisted suicide would open the door for others – with all the adverse implications for the disabled, senile and terminally ill that could usher in.”
http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2012/24-august/news/uk/locked-in-sufferer-dies-after-losing-high-court-battle

Cardinal: disestablishment would benefit the Church of England
Catholic Herald  – The Emeritus Archbishop of Westminster, who turns 80 today, made the comment in a frank and wide-ranging interview with The Catholic Herald. The cardinal said: “People often ask me: ‘Do you think the Church of England should be disestablished?’ I say …
http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2012/08/24/cardinal-disestablishment-would-benefit-the-church-of-england/

Jesus Christ may have suffered from mental problems
Express – A suggested sermon produced by the Church of England for clerics attempting to tackle the stigma of mental health pulls no punches. Written by the Rev Eva McIntyre on behalf of the Church’s Archbishops’ Council and the Time to Change mental health …
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/341926/Jesus-Christ-may-have-suffered-from-mental-health-problems-claims-Church-of-England

Scottish Catholic priests’ letter condemns gay marriage
BBC News – Roman Catholic priests have read out a letter in each of the Church’s parishes in Scotland criticising the Scottish government for plans to introduce gay marriage. The leader of the Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, broke off personal discussions on the issue with the First Minister, Alex Salmond.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-19383571

Scottish Catholic attack on same-sex marriage ‘may backfire’
Ekklesia – Catholic priests in Scotland have read out a letter in each of the Church’s parishes attacking the Scottish government for plans to introduce same-sex marriage.
But the reaction to the move, which followers Cardinal Keith O’Brien breaking off personal discussions on the issue with First Minister Alex Salmond, has been decidedly mixed.

A number of Catholics and many people from other communities say that it is a mistake to make a political attack on a move by the civic authorities which does not require the Church to change its stance or to conduct any ceremonies it does not wish to.

“This could seriously backfire and leave the Church facing more hostility and isolation,” one insider told Ekklesia. “Trying to impose Church teaching on wider society is a mistake, just as it would be a mistake if the civil authorities tried to force the Church to comply with actions that go against its conscience. We cannot have it both ways.”

The Scottish government says it is right to introduce same-sex marriage for those who want it, and has stressed again and again that no priests or clergy will be forced to carry out the ceremonies.

The letter from the Catholic hierarchy criticises the Scottish government, announces the launch of a National Commission for Marriage and the Family, and promises to coordinate a continuing campaign against same-sex marriage.
http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/16976

Church invites pro-gay Catholics to join service  
Herald Scotland – A Scottish churchman has been accused of an “unprecedented attack” on the Catholic Church by inviting members disaffected by its anti-gay marriage stance to join his congregation.

The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth of the Scottish Episcopal Church is to hold a special open service at his church, St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, tomorrow in direct opposition to the Catholic Church’s National Marriage Day.

The Catholic Church, which has been hugely critical of plans by the Scottish Government to legalise same-sex marriage, has reacted with fury.

But Mr Holdsworth defended the service, saying it is being held for anyone who wants to be able to worship in a church “where gay people are welcomed and not marginalised”.

Mr Holdsworth said he, and some of his colleagues, have been approached by members of Catholic congregations who are upset at being told what to think by senior bishops and members of the clergy.
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/church-invites-pro-gay-catholics-to-join-service.18679227