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45 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 22 August 2010

The Charity Commission has rejected an appeal by the Roman Catholic Agency Catholic Care to be allowed to discriminate against homosexual couples when placing children for adoption. Gay Equality Laws passed in 2007 meant that Catholic Care, along with a dozen other Catholic agencies in England and Wales, were forced to change their policy towards homosexual people. Many either closed or cut their links with the Church. But Catholic Care tried to change its constitution so that it would be committed to Catholic teaching and placing children only with heterosexual parents. Now the Charity Commission has decided that Catholic Care's religious views do not justify it's continued discrimination. Jane Little finds out what this now means for the Agency's future with their Solicitor Benjamin James.

In the second of our series on Follies, Geoff Bird heads to North Yorkshire and the Swinton Estate, home to an artificial Druid's circle. Dating from the early Nineteenth Century, the folly marked a growing interest in pre-Christian mysticism.

Seventy years after the Battle of Britain we reflect on the vital role played by the Forces Chaplains. Jane speaks to Reverend Squadron Leader Jonny Wylie, RAF Chaplain at Leuchars, about the work of the Chaplain back in 1940 and why they still play a vital role today.

At what age can a child make an informed choice about faith? The Vatican is considering a proposal to allow Catholic children under the age of seven to take their first Holy Communion. It follows original guidelines by Pope Pius X that stated children should take their first communion at the so called "age of reason". Jane will be talking to Father Phil Sumner and Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand and asking if 7 years old is far too young to understand much about the faith they are committing to.

Three weeks after the start of devastating floods in Pakistan, there's still no let-up in the monsoon rains. An estimated 20 million people have now been affected and 1,600 killed. Donors have pledged more money following the United Nation's emergency appeal, with the UK doubling their contribution to more than 60 million pounds. Trevor Barnes reports from Birmingham and a street where nearly every house has friends or family affected by the Pakistan floods. He hears how British Muslims have mobilised themselves to help people caught in a crisis thousands of miles away.

Secular Christening Ceremonies are a proposal being put forward by the Government's Poverty Minister Frank Field, as part of David Cameron's 'Big Society'. The plan is to provide a better support network for parents by getting a whole community involved in welcoming a child into society. Frank tells Jane about the details and why he thinks it would work.

In the United States plans to build a Muslim cultural centre and Mosque and Islamic Community Centre near Ground Zero in New York have turned into a national debate following President Obama's comments on the project. Initially he appeared to support the site by saying that America's commitment to religious freedom must be "unshakeable", and that Muslims in America had every right to practise their faith, including the right to build a place of worship on private property in lower Manhattan. Then he later modified his comments by saying that they only referred to the right of Muslims to build their centre, not the wisdom of choosing a site so close to Ground Zero. But the proposals are nevertheless said to have infuriated some of the relatives of those killed in the attacks on the World trade Centre on September 11th 2001. Jane looks at the arguments and asks if there can be any solution to suit both sides.

E-mail: sunday@bbc.co.uk

Series producer: Amanda Hancox.



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