Tag Archives: freedom of religion

Travelodge removes Bibles from its Hotel Rooms

Travelodge, the budget hotel chain in the UK, Ireland and Spain has announced that it has removed Bibles from its hotel rooms. The chain claims that it has made the decision “in order not to discriminate against any religion”, although it appears that there had been no complaints previously about the presence of Bibles in the rooms.

CU Chairman Robert Rigby commented “This action is at once bizarre and sinister. The Bible is a hallmark of our European and indeed to some extent, our global culture. Not only do millions believe it to contain the Word of God, but it is also well on the way to being the best-selling book of all time, with over 100 million copies sold each year. For countless people, the Bible is a source of encouragement, comfort and indeed prayer. It contains some of the most stirring accounts of the history of a people’s growing relationship with God, as well as pieces of the most sublime love poetry ever written, such as the Song of Songs and those great pieces of description of the human drama in relation to God – the psalms. Such a move on the part of Travelodge is likely to do little to bolster its budget image , displaying as it does a corporate view and appreciation of strictly secular values, over the more human and emotional aspects of its clientele and others”.

ZENIT, the Online Catholic Newswire Service published a report on this issue, following the Catholic Union’s statement.

Guidelines for Hospital Chaplaincies – a response from the Catholic Union

Following the recent announcement of proposals for guidelines across the NHS in England & Wales, regarding the role and status of hospital chaplains, CU Chairman Robert Rigby has written to the Health Secretary, below:

Catholic Union Letter to Secretary of State for Heath Aug 14

Readers may also be interested in the enclosed article from the Tablet (7th August 2014), by Bishop Tom Williams, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool.

 

Catholic Schools Admissions Policy Debate in the House of Commons April 2014

Members and others may be interested in the following extract from Hansard, which covers a recent debate in the House of Commons on the admissions policy for Catholic (and other faith) Schools.

Catholic Schools admission debate 30 Apr 2014

The information and exchanges within the debate will provide useful material for anyone involved or interested in the provision of Catholic education in this country.  School Governors in particular are being asked to take on an increasingly visible role within the admissions and administrative processes of schools which they govern and will find the debate useful as additional source material.

Catholic Union says Religious Education Council report “inadequate”

The following press release was issued by the Catholic Union today, Wednesday 18th December 2013

A report on religious education by the Religious Education Council was criticised as “unrepresentative” and “inadequate” at a meeting of religious organisations and parliamentarians at the Palace of Westminster today.

The meeting consisted of those representing the Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Catholic, Anglican, Evangelical and Free Church faiths.

“Very few mainstream faith groups were properly consulted for this report and yet it claims to be representative and to influence the RE curriculum”, said James Bogle, Vice-Chairman of the Catholic Union of Great Britain.

“Clearly the minister, Michael Gove, was misled into thinking otherwise, since he claims that it has been endorsed widely. As our meeting today shows, that is not so and there is considerable dissent from the report’s view.”

“The 1944 Education Act and the Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education have provided an excellent framework for providing an education that families and communities can support and that promotes harmony and tolerance,” said Mr Bogle, “yet, without properly consulting the statutory bodies, this report claims to speak for mainstream faith communities whilst largely excluding them.”

The new working group will be producing an alternative report to submit to the All Party Parliamentary Group which will receive it in the New Year.

The new report is expected to say that Religious Education must be informed by the actual faith and practice of faith communities and should not be confused with a museum or “gold-fish bowl” approach that looks at religion as one might look at animals in a zoo rather looking at religion as a living faith.

“Religion is fundamental to the development of a young person’s culture and identity, their character and their ability to relate to others and wider society” said Mr Bogle.

He added “those who think that secular humanism is simply a neutral approach to religion overlook the fact that secularism is, itself, a belief system. To impose this belief-system upon faith communities is neither tolerant, nor respectful, nor just. Moreover, religious education is not merely religious studies.”

The new working group expects to produce an interim report in the New Year and then, later, a final report. The group will also be writing to the Secretary of State to express its dissatisfaction with the Religious Education Council’s report.

CU Vice Chairman becomes President of The International Federation of Una Voce

Jamie BogleWe offer our hearty congratulations to Catholic Union Vice Chairman, Jamie Bogle, on his election as President of Una Voce.  The International Federation of Una Voce works to uphold the living Tradition of the Church especially through the the Traditional Liturgy of the Roman Rite.  Further details can be found here

Catholic Union Chairman Robert Rigby commented “I offer my heartiest congratulations to Jamie on this important appointment.  I know he will bring to Una Voce, the same spirit and enthusiasm, he shows in his work with the Catholic Union and I hope that in due course the two organisations might work on related topics, which seek the furtherance of the Common Good in today’s society.”