Week commencing 30th January 2023

The Guardian reports on comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury, concerning the continuing debate about same-sex marriage. Justin Welby states that he would rather the Church of England be disestablished than see a schism caused by different beliefs about sexuality.

The Guardian covers non-religious campaigners’ calls on the government to adjust public policy for the UK’s “non-religious” future. This follows the 2021 census, where for the first time in history, under 40’s in England and Wales declared that they had “no religion” more frequently than they identified as Christian.

The Guardian also reports that hundreds of protesters gathered outside St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, during the funeral service of Cardinal George Pell. The campaign group, Community Action for Rainbow Rights, condemned Pell’s record on same-sex marriage, women’s rights, and protecting children from sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

Al Jazeera reports that police have banned a planned Quran burning protest outside the Turkish embassy in Oslo, Norway. The police emphasised that Quran burning is a legal political statement in Norway, but that this particular event could not go ahead due to security concerns.

Religion News Service covers active protests by Jewish and Christian clergy over legislation targeting transgender children in Missouri. The six proposed bills would limit medical care and athletic participation for transgender children living in the state. 

AP News carries a story on a new public holiday in Ireland, which will celebrate St. Brigid of Kildare. St. Brigid is considered by some to be a matron saint of Ireland and embodies women’s empowerment, environmental care, and peacemaking. The official holiday is Monday 6th February.