Tuesday, 15 July 2014

UK Euthanasia Bill (2014): More People Dying?

Image courtesy of Golden Age of Gaia

The pro-euthanasia campaigners are again rallying for support as the Assisted Dying Bill gets closer and closer to be debated in parliament (Read about it <here>). This week has see two key supporters emerge... former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey (see <here>) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (see <here>).

The Dignity in Dying group (see <here>) have been trying to use social media to trying and gain further support. This is the message that has been promoted on Facebook:

However, in direct contrast, an interview extract has appeared from a former Euthanasia supporting professor from Holland. In his summary he says:
  • Beginning in 2008, the numbers of these deaths show an increase of 15% annually, year after year.
  • The annual report of the committees for 2012 recorded 4,188 cases (compared with 1,882 in 2002).
  • 2013 saw a continuation of this trend and I expect the 6,000 line to be crossed this year or the next. 
  • Euthanasia is on the way to become a ‘default’ mode of dying for cancer patients.
  • The Dutch Right to Die Society NVVE have declared they will not rest until a lethal pill is made available to anyone over 70 years who wishes to die.
  • In the first years after 2002 hardly any patients with psychiatric illnesses or dementia appear in reports, these numbers are now sharply on the rise. Cases have been reported in which a large part of the suffering of those given euthanasia or assisted suicide consisted in being aged, lonely or bereaved.
He concludes by saying:

I used to be a supporter of the Dutch law. But now, with twelve years of experience, I take a very different view. At the very least, wait for an honest and intellectually satisfying analysis of the reasons behind the explosive increase in the numbers. Is it because the law should have had better safeguards? Or is it because the mere existence of such a law is an invitation to see assisted suicide and euthanasia as a normality instead of a last resort? Before those questions are answered, don’t go there. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely to ever go back in again.

Read the full article <here>

Do you think the support of people such as Lord Cary and Desmond Tutu will be significant? Do you think the UK Government has considered the full implications of the laws? Do you think a law change would be a slippery slope? Do you think the law should change?

Plenty more on euthanasia on the blog <here>

Thursday, 10 July 2014


After a few days of 'could it be'? The two World Cup Semi-Finals have been decided and it will be Pope Francis' Argentina versus Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's Germany. This has raised much speculation of a 'lads footy night' between the two Pope's. 

Pope Francis is a big football fan and card-carrying member of the San Lorenzo de Almagro football club since childhood. On the other hand, football is not really Pope Benedict's thing, "...he is not a fan. It would be like inflicting an infinite penitence on him at the age of 87. He has never been able to watch a football match from beginning to end in his life.". The Vatican have also said it is past Pope Francis' usual bedtime but they "will see".

Despite this, the internet has gone into overdrive (apologies, I don't have credits for all of these, please email TalkingDonkeyRE@gmail.com or Tweet @TalkingDonkeyRE and credit will be added):

Father Thomas Rosica, a member of the Vatican communications, also said in a tweet: "Unconfirmed reports in Italian media: large quantities of mate and Fanta delivered to Vatican for private event Sunday" -- a reference to the famous Argentine tipple and the German fizzy drink.

The Vatican's own official daily newspaper, the Osservatore Romano predicted that Argentine and Germany would reach the final. Former footballer player and Catholic, Tommaso Damiani, said that "there could be a final that will go down in history because of its unusual supporters [Francis and Benedict]".

Despite claiming that he would not be praying for Argentina in the World Cup, the Vatican affairs news agency I.Media reported that when a group of the Vatican's Swiss Guards invited him to watch the Argentina-Switzerland game in their barracks, he declined the offer saying: "There would be a war!"

See more on World Cup Prayers on the blog: <here>

Read more on this story from:
After Germany's 7-1 victory over Brazil:


Throughout the tournament:

Monday, 7 July 2014

Y7 World Religion Wiki (2014)

Image courtesy of WHMS

7W have been working on a World Religions Wiki in groups. Please visit their wiki site: http://y7worldreligions.wikia.com/ - and then vote for which page you think is the best! Please consider content, presentation, inclusion of media, originality etc:

Which page is the best?
Poll Maker

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Bishop Alan Williams

Photo courtesy of Catholic England and Wales

1st July 2014 saw the episcopal ordination of Bishop Alan Williams in Brentwood Diocese after 34 years of long service from Bishop Thomas McMahon. He becomes the 7th Bishop of Brentwood. A previous blog post covered his appointment: <here>.

More news and links will be added here as they arrive....
  • Full set of photos <here>
  • More photos <here>
  • Video Highlights <here>
  • Various audio on Brentwood Diocese website <here>
  • Brentwood Diocese article <here>
  • Interview on eve of his ordination <here>
  • Independent Catholic News article <here>
  • Catholic Herald article <here>
  • The Tablet article <here>
  • Brentwood Gazette [Local Press] article <here>
  • "In Conversation" <here>