Recent queries and comments – 28th October

More answers to queries and comments

Below are further responses to queries and comments that have been made over the past couple of weeks or so; however, they may not provide the answer sought as in a number of cases, the search terms were more cryptic than normal and our response is based on a “best guess” This post also includes some Q&A from Fr Z’s blog, “Clear, straight commentary [from the US] on Catholic issues, liturgy and life by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf”. 

General searches 

Question Quick Answer L&RUK Answer
charlie gard law Ormond Street Hospital v Gard [2017] EWHC 1909 (Fam). Charlie Gard: the wider implications, (170728).
mosque cathedral Cordoba Ownership disputed, but no judicial clarification. Who owns the mosque-cathedral of Córdoba? (160321).
faith-based laws in britain for the church See Lord Carey’s unfortunate  intervention in McFarlane v Relate Avon Ltd [2009] UKEAT 0106 09 3011
2 words disallowed on marriage registration forms in england and wales from december 2005 Sorry, we don’t do the “pub quiz” type of question…  …but we’ll put it in the 2017 Annual Quiz. [Answer in January 2018].
disestablishment of welsh church Disestablishing the Church in Wales – at last?, (130615).
does human rights [law?] have rights [provisions?] over bibical beliefs? § No. It doesn’t work like that.
ground water draining from cemetery. Environment Agency new position statements on groundwater protection, 14 March 2017 Groundwater pollution from cemeteries, (170322).
gender imbalanced cps, [re: abortions?] Gender-specific abortion: the CPS Statement, (130903). Gender-specific abortion – some action, but little progress, (151106).
number of abortions in 2016 in uk Information at Office for National Statistics, (ONS)
nic for local religious centres Our 2013 post Churches, employment and real-time information for PAYE has been replaced with an update, q.v.. Churches, employment and Real-Time Information for PAYE: update. (171025).
united kingdom muslim polygamy There are no official statistics of polygamy in the UK. For law, see HC Briefing Paper, Polygamy, (170621).
are exorcisms legal in uk It depends upon the context. Exorcism, “witchcraft” and religious abuse, (160919).


Case law related searches

Question Quick Answer L&RUK Answer
belkacem v. Belgium Belkacem v Belgium [2017] ECHR No 34367/14.  Hate-speech not protected by Article 10 ECHR: Belkacem v Belgium, (170721).
Public nudity law in Scotland “Naked rambler” arrested in Scotland considered by ECtHR. Public nudity as a human right? Gough v United Kingdom and the ECHR, (291014).
methley judgment [of consistory court?] Faculty refused for the reservation of double grave of two petitioners; no legal right to burial, although the churchyard contained the graves of parents and siblings of one. Re St Oswald Methley [2016] ECC Lee 2, (160401).
nasuwt religious observance day No results on nasuwt web page search. Generally on religious observance, see LUL case. Still no time off for religious observance: Gareddu in the EAT, (170310).

Q&A on other areas of ecclesiastical law &c

Fr Z: ASK FATHER Summaries of Fr Z’s more detailed responses are given below.

Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost?(19 October 2017) Fr Z concludes:

“…Also, over time it seems that translators had a strong feeling for “ghost” as a personal being, though not in the sense of a phantasm that needed “busters”.  I wonder if, today, with the way “spirit” has become so diluted in meaning, “ghost” might not make a profitable comeback.

Any way, I don’t like the idea that we have to surrender to contemporary fashion in language.  Old language is also good, so long as it communicates what it is intended to communicate.  I don’t think all the old words are about to give up the ghost quite yet”.

Latin misspelling? “eundem” or “eumdem”? (19 October 2017)

“…don’t see any pattern of preference.

It could be that there were regional preferences.  If could also be that orthography variations and the helpful “corrections” of copyists played a role.  Either way, both forms are legit, though eundem is correcter [sic] than the other”.

Cri de Coeur: What recourse do we [Roman Catholic] laypeople have? ..“Do we just have to sit around and remain silent because we do not have proper authority to speak up? (19 October 2017).

“…once you are well-prepared, and you know your sources, and you know how – this is important – how to look things up, the start asking questions.  Start asking and keep asking.  If you don’t get answers, ask and ask and ask, Catechism in hand.  If you get a question that is inadequate, go back and ask more questions.  Don’t let your priests or bishops off the hook… not for a moment.  Be the ‘troublesome widow’ at their closed door.  They are, after all, ordained and placed precisely with the mandate of teaching and explaining the Faith for the sake of the salvation of souls”.


So, what has Henry VIII have to do with Brexit? A summary of the use of “Henry VIII” clauses and their use by the UK government to convert thousands of European rules into UK law before Brexit is completed in mid-2019.

Links to sources of frequently sought data

UK legislation, including CofE Measures: 

UK statistics, various areas: Office for National Statistics, (ONS)

Unless marked §, the questions are the search terms used, verbatim;  questions arising externally to the blog, (twitter/other), are marked ‡; the dates in parentheses are in the format (yymmdd).

As stated in our General Terms and Conditions, at L&RUK we do not give legal advice, or purport to do so. This post is a summary of recent enquiries and comments, and links to relevant coverage in this blog and elsewhere. With regard to on-going issues, the date of this sourced material is of particular importance. For specific queries on the application of the legislation, professional legal advice should be sought.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Recent queries and comments – 28th October" in Law & Religion UK, 28 October 2017,

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