Cake now off the Brexit menu…
…though not in the House of Lords for Pride 2017…
— David Clark (@dwclark79) July 7, 2017
…but gluten-free is off the menu at Mass
Yesterday the BBC reported that the Vatican had ruled that the bread used in celebrations of the Eucharist must not be gluten-free. In a letter published by Vatican Radio, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, reminds diocesan bishops of the Circular Letter to the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which states, inter alia, that:
“Hosts that are completely gluten-free are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist. Low-gluten hosts (partially gluten-free) are valid matter, provided they contain a sufficient amount of gluten to obtain the confection of bread without the addition of foreign materials and without the use of procedures that would alter the nature of bread.”
Scots with no religion at record level
The latest Scottish Social Attitudes survey reveals that the proportion of Scots describing themselves as having no religion at all has reached its highest-ever level. Nearly six in ten (58%) now say that they have no religion, up 18 points on 1999 when the figure stood at four in ten (40%). Young people are least likely to be religious: three-quarters (74%) of 18-34s say they have no religion compared with 34% of those over 65. Around half as many people (18%) now say they belong to the Church of Scotland as in 1999 (35%). The proportion of Roman Catholics (10%), other Christian affiliations (11%) and non-Christian religious people (2%) has remained relatively stable over the same period.
Consistory court judgments
Following the publication of the round-up of the June consistory court judgments, work on July’s has commenced.
The judgment in Re All Saints West Burnley  ECC Bla 6 contains a discussion by the Chancellor on the nature of the Church Buildings Council Guidance on Seating and its application within the consistory courts, aspects of which we covered in Pews vs Chairs: Application of CBC Guidance.
Neutral case citations for consistory court judgments began on 1 January 2016 and Ray Hemingray has helpfully listed all judgments under this scheme: 2016 Judgments – diocese and 2016 Judgments – alphabetical; and 2017 Judgments – diocese (to early July) and 2017 Judgments – alphabetical (to early July).
Defamatory statements are not protected by Article 10
In Medzlis Islamske Zajednice Brcko and Others v Bosnia and Herzegovina  ECHR (no. 17224/11), the Grand Chamber ECtHR held by 11:6 that the right to freedom of expression of a Muslim religious community and three NGOs representing ethnic Bosnian Muslims had not been infringed by a defamation judgment entered against them. The applicants had sent a letter sent to the authorities of the Brčko District’s multi-ethnic radio station objecting to the appointment of Ms M.S. as director of the station. Among other things, the letter claimed that she had stated in an interview, commenting on the destruction of mosques in Brčko, that Muslims were not a people and did not possess culture and that destroying mosques could not, therefore, be seen as the destruction of cultural monuments. It also alleged that, as an employee of the BD radio, she had torn to pieces the calendar showing the schedule of religious services during the month of Ramadan. The letter concluded: “We firmly believe that the above-described acts absolutely disqualify Ms M.S. as a candidate for the position of director of the multi-ethnic Radio and Television of Brčko District and that a Bosniac should be appointed to that position…” She sued successfully for defamation.
The applicants complained that the damages awarded against them for defamation had violated their right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 10 ECHR. The majority concluded, however, that the domestic courts had struck a fair balance between the applicants’ interest in free speech and M.S.’s interest in the protection of her reputation.
Secretary General, Modern Church
On 3 July, Modern Church announced the appointment of the Very Revd Dr Jonathan Draper, former Dean of Exeter Cathedral, as General Secretary of Modern Church; this is a paid part-time post marking a first in Modern Church’s 119-year history. A farewell service, an Orchestral Eucharist (Mozart Mass in F, K192), in the Cathedral at 10 am on 2 July, marked his retirement from stipendiary ministry. Friends and colleagues from his previous ministries in London, York and Oxford were present to help mark the achievements of both Jonathan and his wife, Maggie, and to express their support over recent events.
- Church of England General Synod July 2017: Questions of which notice has been given under Standing Orders 112–116.
- Church of England General Synod 2017: Table of legislative and non-legislative business transacted – 2015 to 2020. Updated June 2017. A useful summary of legislative and other business, up to and including the February 2017 Synod.
- Ecclesiastical Law Society: Gospel and Law, Trinity Edition: upcoming events, a short report on the recent London Lecture by Nigel Baker OBE MVO, lately HM Ambassador to the Holy See – and more.
- Rosalind English, UKHRB: Whose womb is it anyway? NI Court shrinks from abortion law reform.
- Historic Religious Buildings Alliance (HRBA): June e-newsletter.
- Lucy Moxham, UKHRB: Implementation of ECHR judgments – have we reached a crisis point?
- Junaid Nabi, thebmjopinion: Can addressing the spiritual needs of patients help us deliver high quality end of life care?: “… medicine, with all its modern complexities and ever-evolving technologies, is still a form of art. And the best practice of this art is through the proper study of our patients’ concerns and by making sure that they receive dignified treatment—in sickness and in death.”
- National Archdeacon’s Forum, Archdeacons’ News: Bulletin No 25, June.
The BBC reported that the RSPCA were called to St Mary Magdalene Church in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, where a fox had made the “grave” error of becoming wedged between two headstones. It may have been distracted by the Government’s latest manifesto U-turn on hunting or have suspected that the incumbent had been granted a licence to permit grazing in the churchyard. Nevertheless, no faculty was required as it was unnecessary to move either of the headstones – and since it was not a legal person, the fox was not subject to S1 Occupiers Liability Act 1984 so it is unlikely to press for damages.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has become the Department for “Digital, Culture, Media and Sport” – but, says the Government, will continue to be referred to as “DCMS” in all communications. Words like “Titanic” and “deckchairs” come to mind…