Readers’ recent queries and comments – mid-June

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.

Question Quick Answer L&RUK Answer
clergy retirement age CoE: Age Limit Guidance, (171003). Age-related milestones in the church (141002).
Cardiff law and religion, Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff. [The University site is currently being updated] Canon law at Cardiff: the new scheme, (150421).
ashers bakery case citation Lee v McArthur & Ors [2016] NICA 29.
seal of confession uk police act 1996 Police Act 1996 is concerned with policing. Articles 8 & 9 and the “seal of the confessional”: are communications between clergy and penitents privileged?, (130723).
religious exemptions in uk law E Lim, Religious Exemptions in England, Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, [2014] 3, (3), 440–461. (£)
how old can cremate the baby Issues are: minimum age in law for which cremation or burial is required; practicalities of cremation and the retention of “ashes”. Cremation, incineration and the foetus, (140327).
Infant cremation: UK Government consultation response, (160707).

Q&A on other areas of ecclesiastical law

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

Do I have to say “Amen” for weird Prayers of the Faithful at Mass? (180602) “…Do you have to say “Amen!” to something that you know is off the wall? No; however, if the prayer is in the least reasonable, as the first part of the prayer you mentioned was reasonable, then you probably should say “Amen” and sincerely mean it…”

Can lay people baptize? (180602) “…If you are not trapped in a hunting lodge surrounded by wolves 30 miles from the road during the winter when your wife gives birth, I’d wait for the baptism to be in church by the priest. If you are trapped, however, by all means, administer baptism right away…”

“Canon Law Made Easy, Cathy Caridi

When Can You Have a Catholic Wedding Without a Mass? (180614). Canonical form Canon 1108 CIC does not require a marriage to be celebrated in the context of a Mass.

Links to sources of frequently sought data

For those for whom the architecture of the Church of England’s revised web site is still problematic, 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, "Readers’ recent queries and comments – mid-June" in Law & Religion UK, 20 June 2018,

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