The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week.
Christchurch woman concerned about religious influence
Radio NZ reports on the looming battle in New Zealand between the Secular Education Network and the government over religious favouritism in state schools. A spokesman for the Secular Education Network claimed that Christianity is being given preferential treatment in the classroom and that, “it is saying that Christianity is superior”.
This news comes as a Christchurch mother pulled her children out of school because they were put back into an RI class in school after opting out and were being badgered for not believing in God. The children were also told they would go to hell if they didn’t believe in God during the class.
Irish doctor having nun of that hospital plan
The Guardian reports on one of Ireland’s top obstetricians resigning from a maternity hospital board after plans were revealed to transfer the hospital’s ownership to a religious order that has been plagued by historical abuse scandals.
Dr Peter Boylan’s resignation is just the latest development in a growing saga around Catholic institutions providing public services.
Emily Duffy, a campaigner against the transfer, said, “I’s hard to imagine what the [health minister] Simon Harris and the Department of Health are thinking, handing over a €300 million hospital to a group with such a history of immoral, untrustworthy, and abusive behaviour.”
Making Religious Liberty Great Again!
CBN News covers the latest on the executive order around religious liberty signed by President Trump. The order effectively weakens the ability for the government to enforce churches staying away from politics, provides regulatory relief to religious groups who morally object to health-care contraception mandates and declares a policy directive for the executive branch to protect and promote religious liberty.
Trump said at the signing ceremony, “We are giving churches their voices back … faith is deeply embedded into the history of our country, the spirit of our founding and the soul of our nation. We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.”
Cathedral numbers to crash, desperate for cash
The Guardian reports on the financial crisis facing England’s Anglican cathedrals with as many as half risking closure due to escalating costs.
Adrian Newman, bishop of Stepney and former dean of Rochester Cathedral, said, “My finger-in-the-wind estimate is that perhaps half of cathedrals are facing some significant financial challenges … it is possible to imagine a situation where an individual cathedral could get into a situation so desperate that there is no obvious solution.”
Few cathedrals charge an admission fee yet the cost of maintenance is increasingly expensive.