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27 Apr 2016 Europe Comments (2)

Austrian bishop refuses to allow border fence for keeping out refugees on Church property

Bishop Agidius Zsfikovics said he understood people's concerns, but the Christian answer could not be fences and walls An Austrian bishop said the government m…

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02 Jun 2015 Vatican No comments

Liverpool stages biggest Marian procession in decades

Last Saturday’s Marian procession in Liverpool was the biggest for decades, according to organiser Jim Ross. Over 500 people took part, more than twice as many …

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27 Jun 2016 Americas Asia-Pacific Australia Europe Middle East News USA Vatican No comments

Former Holy Land ‘custos’ named apostolic administrator of Jerusalem

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem and appointed Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, former “custos” of…

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02 Jun 2015 Vatican No comments

The devil knows Christians are one, says Pope Francis

While Christians may think of themselves as divided into different churches and denominations, the devil actually sees that they are one in their faith in Jesus…

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05 Sep 2014 Vatican No comments

Peres says Francis only leader capable of ending today's wars

Peres said that “perhaps for the first time in history, the Holy Father is a leader who’s respected, not just by a lot of people, but also by different religion…

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02 Jun 2015 Vatican No comments

Cardinal Pell: I did not try to bribe child abuse victim

Cardinal George Pell has strongly denied allegations that he tried to bribe a victim of clerical child abuse, that he ignored another victim’s complaint, and th…

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29 Jun 2016 Americas Europe News USA Vatican Comments (1)

Pope Francis prays for victims of Istanbul airport attack

Pope Francis has prayed for the victims and family members of the Istanbul airport attack that took place on Tuesday. The Pope expressed his condolences duri…

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10 Sep 2014 USA No comments

Amid mounting religious freedom threats, role of laity highlighted

Phoenix, Ariz., Sep 10, 2014 / 04:35 am .- As domestic religious freedom threats reach unprecedented levels, the lay faithful must play an active role in promot…

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09 Sep 2016 News No comments

Nun murdered in drive-by shooting

The other sisters were 'in a state of shock.' As the world turned its focus on Rome for the canonization of Mother Teresa last weekend, another religious sis…

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May to lift admissions bar that stops Church from opening new free schools

The Government is to remove limits on faith-based selection, paving the way for new Catholic schools

The Government is to relax restrictions which stop oversubscribed Catholic schools from selecting more than half their intake by reference to faith.

The move is part of wider plans to overhaul the schools system, with proposals to open new grammar schools expected in a green paper on Friday.

A No 10 source said that the admissions cap had failed in its objective of making faith schools more diverse.

“But it has prevented new Catholic schools from opening, which are more successful, more popular and more ethnically diverse than other types of state school,” the source continued.

“We’re going to change the rule, so we can allow new Catholic schools to open, while making faith schools of all kinds do more to make sure their pupils integrate with children of other backgrounds.”

A spokeswoman for the Catholic Education Service said it welcomed the Government’s proposal to remove the cap on faith-based admissions: “This will enable the Catholic Church to meet the current parental demand for thousands of new Catholic school places across the country,” she said.

The Catholic Education Service has long lobbied for a removal of the cap. Paul Goodman, executive editor of ConservativeHome, saidMay’s decision corrected a “burning injustice” against Catholic schools.

The cap, he suggested, was there largely because ministers were “terrified of the electoral consequences of allowing more or larger Muslim schools”.

But he argued that the policy had failed to make Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu schools more diverse because these schools were unlikely to appeal to parents of other faiths.

The rule was “effectively discriminatory” for Catholics, he said. Quoting another author on the site, he explained: “It prevents them from opening new free schools because it is almost certainly against canon law for a Catholic bishop to set up a school that turned away Catholic pupils on the basis of their Catholicism”.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May told Conservative MPs she wanted “an element of selection” in the education system, but that new grammar schools would not be forced on areas that did not want them.

Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, said when answering questions in the Commons that she recognised the debate over grammar schools was “emotive”, but that forthcoming policy was “absolutely not about going back to the past”.

The Conservative 2015 manifesto promised to “allow all good schools to expand, whether they are maintained schools, academies, faith schools or grammar schools”.


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