Controlled drugs, religion and Article 9: Beneficent Spiritist Center União Do Vegetal

Background

The Beneficent Spiritist Center União do Vegetal is a religion with Christian and reincarnationist foundations; its declared objective to contribute to the spiritual development of the human being and the improvement of his or her intellectual qualities and moral virtues, without distinction of race, sex, creed, social class or nationality. In its rituals it uses hoasca tea (also known as ayahuasca). Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 30th July

A busy week, dominated by the tragic case of Charlie Gard.

Charlie Gard

We have been following the recent Charlie Gard case, but we refrained from reporting on day-to-day developments in the case because we felt that the issues involved were beyond our remit and the medical aspects were well outside our specific expertise. In his judgment in Great Ormond Street Hospital v Gard [2017] EWHC 1909 (Fam) Mr Justice Francis commented:

“A lot of things have been said, particularly in recent days, by those who know almost nothing about this case but who feel entitled to express opinions. Many opinions have been expressed based on feelings rather than facts” [1].

“The world of social media doubtless has very many benefits but one of its pitfalls, I suggest, is that when cases such as this go viral, the watching world feels entitled to express opinions, whether or not they are evidence-based” [11]. Continue reading

Missionary bishop’s PTO withdrawn

In June this year, the Archbishop of Canterbury sent a letter to the Primates of the Anglican Communion & Moderators of the United Churches expressing his concern at “cross-border interventions” and the planting of “missionary bishops”, whom he did not consider to be necessary. On 1 July, the Anglican Mission in England (AiME) has published a Press Release stating that Canon Andy Lines had been consecrated as a Missionary Bishop, and on 28 July Christian Today reported that the Diocese of Southwark had signalled its opposition by not renewing his permission to officiate. Continue reading

Charlie Gard: the wider implications

Whilst L&RUK has been following the recent Charlie Gard case, we have not reported on the developments; the issues are beyond our remit and the medical aspects are outside our expertise. Nevertheless, the circumstances surrounding the case have raised a number of wider, more general issues, and these are considered in the following discussion. A subsequent post will explore the use of experts and evidence-based information by the consistory courts.

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Heritage Lottery Fund Grants for Places of Worship Scheme: update

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced that from September 2017 it will support places of worship seeking grants for repairs through its open grant programmes rather than through its dedicated Grants for Places of Worship (GPOW) scheme. Historic England has now published details of the future pattern of support as follows:

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Another Great Irish Bake Off: Dublin’s own “gay cake” case

The sexuality of cakes has become an issue yet again: this time in Dublin rather than Belfast. In May 2016, an unnamed man placed an order with a bakery in Dublin for a cake  decorated with the (slightly garbled) words:

“BY THE GRACE OF THE GOOD LORD, I (name redacted), ORIGINALLY OF (address redacted) and c/o (other addresses redacted) that in my honest opinion – ‘GAY MARRIAGE’ IS A PERVERSION OF EQUALITY and the 34th Amendment to the Irish Constitution should be REPEALED.” Continue reading