Abbey bans naming the sick

 Clergy at Westminster Abbey have been told not to announce the full names of people who are sick, in order to avoid risking being sued for breaching their right to privacy. Only Christian names are now being read out during the Anglican Bidding Prayers, unless formal permission has been given by the sick person or their family. Citing the 1998 Human Rights Act, Canon Robert Wright, told worshippers the abbey had decided on the ruling after a case in America in which a man sued a church for revealing details of his illness. One parishioner said he thought it was "carrying political correctness too far". He said: "It is helpful to know if someone in our community is ill. Some of us might want to visit them, as well as pray for them." Legal expert Robert Wintemute, reader in human rights law at King's College, London, told the Sunday Times he thought the Abbey was being over-cautious. He said: "People sue over injuries or their reputation but nobody's going to think less of anyone because they're ill."

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