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UK : Why Is the Home Office Turning Priests Away? (Comment) CLERICAL WHISPERS - March 19, 2017 ... cannot adduce wives and families as evidence of an incentive to return home after their studies. One would think the Home Office would want to hold up St Anselm's as a shining example of probity, because 100 per cent of its students do complete their courses and return home; but instead it has removed that college's Tier 4 status (which enables institutions to take in over-16s on student visas). The reason given is that revocation is automatic following the refusal of more ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2017/03/uk-why-is-home-office-turning-priests.html

HOLY SEE : Papal Agency Marks 90 Years of Quietly Serving Poor From Ukraine to India CLERICAL WHISPERS - March 19, 2017 ... Service (CNS). The mission of the organisation is to serve and accompany Eastern Catholic churches in pastoral and humanitarian activities, generally at the level of the diocese or eparchy, Mgr Kozar said. A secondary mission is to share the needs of the Eastern churches with people in North America who may be confused about where Eastern churches fit in the larger Catholic picture. Eastern Catholic churches have their origins in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, India or ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2017/03/holy-see-papal-agency-marks-90-years-of.html

UK : Foreign Office Training in Religion Labelled Inadequate by Senior Government Defence Adviser CLERICAL WHISPERS - March 18, 2017 ... faith and communities minister, Baroness (Sayeeda) Warsi, gave people only an intellectual understanding of the role of religion in geopolitics. The persistent belief at the Foreign Office that religion did not matter had begun to shift, he said. Asked about the impact of the course, Major General Cross, a practising Anglican, said he had "a lot of time" for Baroness Warsi. "The trouble is that if you believe that you are – I call them 'intellectual idiots' – ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2017/03/uk-foreign-office-training-in-religion.html

IRL : Good Friday Pub Closures 'Pointless', Says Limerick Priest CLERICAL WHISPERS - March 11, 2017 ... amount of drink being consumed at home. Publicans organisations are lobbying politicians to allow pubs open on Friday, April 14, claiming the closure at the start of the Easter holiday was hitting tourism. Fr Young, said: "People should be allowed make up their own minds on whether to drink alcohol on Good Friday, regardless of whether it is in a pub. "It would not bother me at all if pubs opened on Good Friday. But I think the real issue is getting lost in this debate: why ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2017/03/irl-good-friday-pub-closures-pointless.html

CHINA : Shaolin Abbot Shi Yongxin Cleared of All Charges CLERICAL WHISPERS - March 1, 2017 ... Han Minjun an 80 per cent stake in Shaolin Intangible Assets Management Ltd, owner of the Shaolin brand, worth about US$ 145,000. According to the government inquiry, the abbot always administered the temple's finances in the latter's interest. Under Chinese law, religious organisations can engage in economic activities for themselves and their community. With respect to the claim that the monastery owned 15 luxury cars, four imported, the ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2017/03/china-shaolin-abbot-shi-yongxin-cleared.html

New Religion and Ethics Course Is "One Initiative Too Many" CLERICAL WHISPERS - February 21, 2017 There is not a demand in the educational community for an extra course in Education about Religions and Beliefs and Ethics (ERBE) at primary level, as teachers are already suffering from "curriculum" and "initiative" overload, according to the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association (CPSMA). Mr Seamus Mulconry, General Secretary of CPSMA told CatholicIreland that much of what was being proposed in the new course was already covered in the ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2017/02/new-religion-and-ethics-course-is-one.html

Citizens' Assembly Underwhelmed by Public Submissions on Abortion CLERICAL WHISPERS - February 5, 2017 ... impress the assembly members, their tactics would appear to have backfired. The facilitator at table one said its members were unanimous in their view that the "pro-life submissions offered no solutions and they did not analyse or address the complexity of the situation". The members at that table were also uncomfortable about receiving individual submissions. Religious submissions The religious nature of many of the public contributions were ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2017/02/citizens-assembly-underwhelmed-by.html

Catholic Schools Might Use Parish Boundaries for Admissions CLERICAL WHISPERS - January 29, 2017 ... the consultation document adds. Minority faith schools The document also explores a range of measures that could be used to ensure that minority faith schools such as Church of Ireland are in a position to protect their ethos. For example, if the option of an outright ban on using religion in admissions is pursued, it notes that minority schools may only be able to admit very few children from their own religion. In this case, the document suggests that a percentage of places in minority faith ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2017/01/catholic-schools-might-use-parish.html

A Golden Year for Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral CLERICAL WHISPERS - January 25, 2017 http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2017/01/a-golden-year-for-liverpools.html

School Baptism Rule to Be Scrapped CLERICAL WHISPERS - January 16, 2017 ... a religious school to give preference to children of its own religion in respect of only a certain proportion of places, meaning the remaining places would be allocated based on other admissions criteria, such as proximity to the school or a lottery. Outright prohibition on religious schools using religion as a factor in admissions, meaning all places would be allocated based on other factors. Adoption of any option faces considerable obstacles because of the ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2017/01/school-baptism-rule-to-be-scrapped.html

Irish Bishops' Ad Limina Visit to Pope Francis and to the Holy See CLERICAL WHISPERS - January 13, 2017 ... Bishop of Achonry Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor Bishop Liam S. MacDaid, Bishop Emeritus of Clogher Bishop William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne Bishop Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick Bishop Raymond Browne, Bishop of Kerry Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Bishop Francis Duffy, Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois Bishop Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe Monsignor Michael ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2017/01/irish-bishops-ad-limina-visit-to-pope.html

Is a Christian Pastor Facing Trumped-Up Charges in Sudan? CLERICAL WHISPERS - January 11, 2017 ... for alleged breaches of the law." Open Doors' 2016 World Watch List ranked Sudan eighth in a list of 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted. Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death for alleged apostasy from Islam, was evacuated from her Sudanese homeland in July 2014. She was allowed to leave Sudan only after several months of imprisonment, and intense international pressure was brought to bear on her situation. Sudan scored a 12 out of 100 in Transparency ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2017/01/is-christian-pastor-facing-trumped-up.html

Myanmar Covers Up Evidence of Abuse Against Rohingya Muslims CLERICAL WHISPERS - January 5, 2017 Human rights activists and organisations have accused the Myanmar government of covering up acts of violence against the Rohingya in Rakhine State, western Myanmar. The clear and firm stance taken by humanitarian associations stands in contrast to the Myanmar government, which is hailing a commission of inquiry's findings that refute allegation of genocide against the Muslim group in that state. Yesterday, the commission appointed by the government of Nobel laureate Aung ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2017/01/myanmar-covers-up-evidence-of-abuse.html

Wall Round Bethlehem an Ugly Barrier to Palestinian Autonomy CLERICAL WHISPERS - December 23, 2016 ... separation barrier was in breach of international law, the primary issue it cited was its planned construction on Palestinian land. More than 90% of the barrier will run through lands envisioned (under the Oslo process, and negotiated between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority in the early 1990s) as a future, autonomous Palestinian homeland. At the Cremisan Valley, the barrier runs over 3km on the Palestinian side of the Green Line, the 1948 Arab-Israeli ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2016/12/wall-round-bethlehem-ugly-barrier-to.html

President Obama Signs Religious Freedom Bill CLERICAL WHISPERS - December 21, 2016 The US House of Representatives has passed the bipartisan Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, and the bill has now been approved by President Barack Obama. The measure gives the Obama administration and the American State Department new tools, resources and training to counter extremism and combat a worldwide escalation of persecution of religious minorities. The bill will improve US religious freedom diplomacy efforts ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2016/12/president-obama-signs-religious-freedom.html

Catholics Have Lower Breastfeeding Rates Says Report CLERICAL WHISPERS - December 19, 2016 ... natural process. All new mothers should rest anyhow but to breastfeed you do need to rest and eat properly and it is a choice you make," she said. Mothers who intend to breastfeed today or who are already breastfeeding – including those who wish to continue breastfeeding after returning to work – can turn to a range of sources for support. These include supports within the healthcare system and voluntary organisations run by mothers who have breastfed and who are ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2016/12/catholics-have-lower-breastfeeding.html

Swiss Bishop: No Last Rites for Those Seeking Assisted Suicide CLERICAL WHISPERS - December 11, 2016 ... patients to choose when to die. "The administration of sacraments of penance, anointing and the Eucharist is a source of comfort to the seriously ill and dying," said Bishop Huonder. "However, it is the grave duty of a priest in pastoral charity to discourage self-destructive projects outside the scope of eternal salvation, and to help patients to understand and obey the will of God." Assisted dying and voluntary euthanasia have also been legalised in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2016/12/swiss-bishop-no-last-rites-for-those.html

For Bangkok's Archbishop, Promoting Vocations Is the Task of All Christians CLERICAL WHISPERS - December 3, 2016 ... Similarly, "priests must be examples of disciples dedicated to a life of joyful diligence, working in fraternity and with care for the little ones." Even the place of the bishop, Mgr Kovithavanij says, is important for the encouragement of vocations. He "has to behave like a father and assist those who are called to the priesthood in every way possible." For the prelate, this particular form of vocation "is all the more necessary given the conditions in society that undermine ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2016/12/for-bangkoks-archbishop-promoting.html

Churches Should Embrace Poverty Rather Than Rely on State Handouts (Opinion) CLERICAL WHISPERS - December 2, 2016 ... in Trondheim , dedicated to Saint Olav, at the consecration of which the Pope was represented by our very own Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor. A little trip around the Cathedral website gives you a snapshot of Catholic life in Norway. The Cathedral clergy are either Polish or Norwegian converts from Lutheranism . Mass is celebrated in Norwegian, Latin, Tagalog, Polish and Tamil, though there is no Mass in Spanish "for the time being" . The Church in Norway has recently run into trouble over ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2016/12/churches-should-embrace-poverty-rather.html

Church's Backlash Blocks Change in Religion Classes CLERICAL WHISPERS - November 29, 2016 ... backlash from bishops and other key figures and organisations in Catholic education. Church opposition is underpinned by the legal rights enjoyed by denominational schools in protecting their religious ethos. The latest Church-State­education clash has come to light in a report from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), which is on the desk of Education Minister Richard Bruton. The report is based on a­public consultation process ...http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2016/11/churchs-backlash-blocks-change-in.html

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