Sunday Mirror columnist Carole Malone says that barbarism must not be allowed to hide behind religion whatever the faith
Hidden halal: Pizza Express
There is absolutely no way I want to eat animals that have died slowly and in agony in the name of religion.
Because I don’t respect ANY religion enough to have people or animals suffer for it.
Nor do I want to live in a society that donates millions to save dehydrated donkeys in Africa yet thinks it’s OK to slit the throats of terrified creatures here.
And I didn’t think I did. Until this week when it was revealed that Pizza Express, along with scores of restaurants and most of our supermarkets, is selling halal meat, too much of which comes from animals that have their throats cut while fully conscious and are then left to die.
A Yes vote for independence will lead to Scotland becoming a secular state, a leading Presybterian minister has warned.
However, the views of the former Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland Rev Dr John Ross have been challenged by fellow clergy.
His is one of four papers released by the Free Church on Christianity in post-referendum Scotland, which are due to be considered in its General Assembly in Edinburgh later this month.
The Free Church has said it will not be telling its members how to vote.
But Mr Ross, the Glenurquhart and Fort Augustus minister says in his paper: "The Nationalist White Paper states that in an independent Scotland no change will be made 'to the legal status of any religion or of Scotland's churches'. This is dishonest. The Yes campaign is not just asking us to vote for an independent Scotland but for a secular Scotland. The aim of the SNP is a secular constitution rigorously pluralist that gives every religious tradition equal status. He says "in an independent Scotland, as a matter of public policy, and for the first time since the Reformation, Christianity will be deprived of its status as the national religion."
Christians cannot vote for an independent Scotland in good conscience because it would lead to a secular state, a former Free Church of Scotland Moderator has warned.
In a paper to the Free Church General Assembly about the forthcoming referendum, Rev John Ross said a successful ‘Yes’ vote would result in Christianity “being deprived of state recognition as Scotland’s national religion” for the first time since the Reformation.
Rev Ross said the Scottish Government’s White Paper on independence was “dishonest” in claiming that separation would result in no change to the legal status of any religion or of the country’s churches.
His intervention came as the Scottish Secular Society announced its support for separation, arguing that the British state gives unfair protection to “certain forms of Christianity”.
Health professionals tell committee that 'cutters' are flown into Britain for events at which up to a dozen girls may be mutilated
Fahma Mohamed (C) and fellow anti-FGM campaigners deliver a petition to parliament. Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian
The cutting of girls at female genital mutilation "parties" is still going on in Britain and not just taking place abroad, healthcare experts have told MPs.
The Commons home affairs select committee has heard that "cutters" – often older women – are flown into Britain for the events, at which as many as a dozen girls may be operated on.
Janet Fyle, of the Royal College of Midwives, said that by the time the authorities could be alerted, the cutter would have left. "By the time the girls are cut, the woman 'cutter' is on her flight back to the country she came from. We can't go after the cutter. We don't know who she or he is. The parents have to be held responsible," she said.
The Vatican revealed for the first time the extent of the child abuse issues that have plagued the Catholic church over the last decade during an interrogation by the UN Committee against Torture (CAT).
The Holy See’s permanent observer to the UN in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi told the committee that the Vatican had defrocked 848 priests who were believed to have raped or molested children, and sanctioned a further 2,572 priests for lesser offences since 2004.
According to the AP, Tomasi also admitted that the Vatican only explicitly ordered bishops to report credible accusations of child abuse to the police as well as forward the cases to Rome for review, after finding that bishops would shuffle ‘problem’ priests between dioceses rather than imposing a church trial. However, he said that now there was a total commitment by the Vatican to clean house and prevent future abuse.