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In the Press

  • Conservative MPs are scrambling to prevent a push by Liberal MPs to allow a free vote on same-sex marriage, warning "this is not a fight we should be having now".

    The chances of the issue being debated in the partyroom meeting scheduled for this week receded on Monday, swamped by the revelation that South Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi planned to resign as soon as Tuesday and set up a new party.


  • "Trapped" and feeling like a "monster" is how one young person has described their struggle with mental health.

    They were just one of more than 50,000 children and young people who turned to Childline last year because of a serious mental health problem.

    New data from the NSPCC shows one in six Childline counselling sessions is now about serious mental health issues.

    Those aged 12 to 15 made up a third of sessions, with girls almost seven times more likely to seek help than boys.

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  • At nine, Tom was so worried about not being able to do his class work that he kept running out of the school gates.

    More than once he tried to escape out of a first-floor window, convinced his teacher was criticising him.

    He is not alone - research among 700 children aged 10 and 11 for the mental-health charity Place2Be suggests almost two-thirds worry "all the time".

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  • A Christian evangelist was accused of a hate crime and locked up in a cell after preaching from the Bible to a gay teenager.

    Gordon Larmour, 42, was charged by police after telling the story of Adam and Eve to a 19-year-old who asked him about God’s views on homosexuality.

    The street preacher referred to the Book of Genesis and stated that God created Adam and Eve to produce children. 

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  • Roughly 40 years ago, at supper when a student in Cambridge, I met the young chaplain to the Bishop of St Albans. I laughed all evening, so droll was his way of looking at the world. That chaplain, Richard Chartres, became Bishop of London for 22 years. This month he is retiring.

    Bishop Chartres has had a very untypical episcopacy. The congregations of his diocese have grown. He has opened a new theological college to train future priests. He has never closed a single church. How has he done it? By a clever combination of being traditional and up-to-date.


  • It's reported Muslim children outnumber Christian children at over thirty church schools in England.

    A study by the Sunday Times found that one Church of England school had a 100 per cent Muslim population.

    St Thomas in Werneth is reported by its diocese to have no Christian pupils while another school in West Yorkshire had 98% of pupils from a Muslim background.

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  • The United Kingdom has among the highest rates of family instability in the developed world, a study by an international group of academics has found.

    Three in five (62 per cent) British children born to unmarried parents living together experience family breakdown before they hit their teens.

    In contrast, only 45 per cent of American children, 15 per cent of Belgian children and six per cent of Spanish children born to cohabiting parents undergo the same seismic shift in their family dynamic by the age of 12.

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  • Civil war has erupted in the church. This time it is not over women's ordination or same-sex marriage. This time it is not between Protestants and Catholics or evangelicals and liberals. The civil war among 21st century Christian leaders is over the immigration of Muslims to the post-Christian West.

    The catalyst for the civil war is President Trump's 90-day moratorium on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and his preferential option for Syrian Christian refugees over Syrian Muslim refugees. 

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  • A transexual murderer who was allowed to serve his sentence in a women's prison has been moved amid claims he was having sex with female inmates.

    Paris Green, 23, who was born Peter Laing but identifies as a woman, had been staying on the female wing at HMP Edinburgh.

    But Green, who is awaiting sex-change surgery, has been transferred back to the male block amid suspicions she was involved in sexual relationships with other convicts there.

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  • Whether what is heard in the confessional box should continue to stay there will be considered by the child sexual abuse royal commission as it again turns its focus to widespread offending in the Catholic Church in Australia this week.

    The former Victorian priest Paul David Ryan, jailed in 2006 for 18 months for indecently assaulting one victim, revealed during a 2015 private hearing that he confessed his sexual activity with adolescent boys to his confessor on multiple occasions.

    Asked if that was the way he reconciled his actions with God, he said: "Yes. Well I thought I was. I know that was very seriously flawed."

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