Recent queries and comments – early May

More answers to readers’ queries and comments

Below is a further compilation of “Quick Answers” to questions which have arisen from searches of, or comments during the past couple of weeks, providing links to our blog posts addressing these issues.

As before, the topics covered in these occasional posts do not necessarily represent our most-read blogs, but reflects the current interests of readers accessing the site on (mostly) contemporary issues.

General searches 

Question Quick Answer L&RUK Answer
relationship between church and state in Ireland  Ars longa, vita brevis Relationship between Church and State is one of prudent distance – Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, (170708). 
what is the academic colour for canon law at Cardiff   post 2005: Cardiff red hood, lined with royal blue silk, (David’s).
pre-2005: Red shot with purple, (Frank’s).              Cardiff University was part of the University of Wales until 2005. 
listed places of worship grant scheme Listed Places of Worship Grants to 2020, (170912).
Elliott review Safeguarding – Elliott Review progress report, (170331).
can you be a regular communicant if you have not been confirmed Depends on context: admission to Holy Communion, or membership of a church body. See Philip Jones, Church Membership: Religion and Representation, (121025).
buckfast abbey trustees registered Monks’ charitable status challenged, (170411).
can i be buried in my back garden “this is for the third time of asking”… here’s a different response (and Comments), Exhumation after home burial(140117).
Ngole and univeristy of Sheffield Social work, controversial views and fitness to practise: Ngole, (171102).

Case law related searches

Question Quick Answer L&RUK Answer
 echr 60342/16 A v Switzerland [2017] ECHR (no. 60342/16) Muslim asylum-seekers and conversion: A v Switzerland, (171223).
fernandez martinez v spain Fernández Martínez v Spain [2014] ECHR 615 Marriage, Roman Catholic clergy and Article 8 ECHR: Fernández Martínez v Spain, (140616).
lee v mcarthur (2016) Lee v McArthur & Ors [2016] NICA 29
Pemberton v Inwood Same-sex marriage and C of E clergy: Pemberton v Inwood, (180323).

Q&A on other areas of ecclesiastical law

Canon Law Made Easy, Cathy Caridi

Is My Confession Valid, If the Priest Changes the Words of Absolution? (180503). Cathy Caridi concludes “whilst there is a lot of leeway regarding the circumstances and location where it may be heard, the correct formula of absolution is vital and cannot be tinkered with. However, for an earlier view on this topic, Fr Z ranted: “Another nitwit priest changes words of absolution” (150926); he said “I am not the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the dicastery that makes determinations about the validity of sacraments in specific, concrete circumstances.  That said, I suspect that the absolution was valid. I suspect your sins were forgiven. If you are not sure, go to confession again, explain what happened, and confess your sins, preferably to a different priest”.

Links to sources of frequently sought data

For those unfamiliar with the architecture of the Church of England’s revised web site, we have posted some quick links to areas of potential interest to ecclesiastical lawyers (and clergy), here, (law & policy); here, (clergy and General Synod) and here, (legal opinions and other guidance).

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. 

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Recent queries and comments – early May" in Law & Religion UK, 5 May 2018,

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