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The Church of England has condemned as “irresponsible” a move to legislate for three-parent families in Britain. Ahead of a parliamentary debate next week around amending the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 to allow for mitochondrial DNA transfer, widely mooted as a medical advance against certain debilitating conditions, the Church of England moved to caution that ethical and scientific questions remain unanswered on the issue.
Northern Ireland's Employment and Learning Minister has been accused of leading “an attack on all Catholic schools” following his announcement of savage cuts to a leading Catholic teacher training college.
A court in Germany has ruled that children conceived via sperm donation have a right to know the identity of their biological father at any age and do not have to wait until they are 16 as was previously the case. The forthcoming Children and Family Relationships Bill here in Ireland makes children wait until they are 18 before they can know the identity of their sperm donor father. In Ireland most donor sperm is imported from overseas.
Portugal's legislators have voted against allowing gay couples to adopt. In a vote on January 22nd the Lisbon parliament rejected a move by opposition parties, Socialist, Left Bloc and Greens, to update existing gay marriage legislation to accommodate adoption by same-sex couples.
The political grouping to which Fine Gael belongs in the European Parliament has launched a defence of the traditional definition of the family based on the union of a man and a woman.
Confidence that same-sex marriage will be overwhelmingly carried in the forthcoming referendum has been undermined by the findings of a new poll. According to a Red C Poll compiled for the Sunday Business Post last weekend, while there is still majority support for proposition, at 77%, researchers describe this as 'soft support' which could be lost by voting day.
Britain's Christian Institute has criticised the government's school inspectorate, Ofsted, for having 'twisted priorities' after it closed a Christian school for 'discriminatory views'.
In a major legal victory, a Christian advocacy group in Britain has received an apology after an event it planned was barred from a Government-owned venue due to its backing for traditional marriage.
Members of Britain's Parliament have given their backing to a plan for fast-tracked legislation to outlaw gender-based abortion which normally targets female foetuses.
Pope Francis has stressed the importance of families and warned of attempts at its “ideological colonisation”, during his official trip to The Philippines. Over the course of his five-day trip to the country, the Pontiff spoke, in three different addresses, of modern threats to family life and the pressing need to defend the institution.
In another example of the growing pressure on people who believe in traditional marriage, a magistrate in Britain has been reprimanded for stating his belief that children are best raised by a mother and a father.
Girls as young as 10 have received contraceptive implants in Britain, it has been revealed. According to a report carried by the Daily Mail three of the recipients were aged just 10 years. A further 53 girls, aged 12, also received an implant, as did 281 13-year-olds, 3,000 aged 14 and 6,300 aged 15.
Pope Francis has defended the principle of freedom of speech, but said that it shouldn't be abused to “provoke” or “insult” other people's faith. Speaking to journalists aboard the papal plane on his way to the Phillippines, the Pope unequivocally condemned the murder of journalists working for French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, but said that free speech was not an unlimited right.
A baby boy in Britain who survived a late-term abortion has been described as a “little miracle” by a judge. The unnamed child, referred to as 'A' during a custody case at the Family Court in East London, is now 16 months old, having survived a termination at 26 weeks when doctors moved to save the life of his mother who was suffering seizures and suspected meningitis and encephalopathy.
The Irish Government is set to tackle the cost of childcare in Ireland, according to The Irish Independent. It says that Minister for Health and Children, Dr James O'Reilly is set to establish a seven-department committee to examine ways in which Ireland can better target its €260 million spend on childcare.
An expert on education in Ireland has expressed his shock at a suggestion that Catholic schools face funding cuts if the handover of Catholic Church schools by the bishops to other patrons is not speeded up. Reacting to recent comments around the rate of handover, Dr John Murray of the Mater Dei Institute, who is also Chair of the Board of The Iona Institute, warned that any cuts to capitation would negatively affect students.
The Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Eamon Martin, has accused Northern Ireland's Justice Minister of “excluding” pro-life arguments from his consultation on legislating for abortion in cases of children with life-limiting conditions. Minister David Ford, an Alliance Member of the Local Assembly (MLA), has recommended that the law should be changed to allow such children to be aborted, and has begun a public consultation on his proposed changes.
Efforts to see assisted suicide introduced in Britain will continue even if a Bill currently before parliament falls next week, anti-euthanasia campaigners have warned. Speaking ahead of a second committee stage of the Assisted Dying Bill in the House of Lords on January 16, campaigners expect that the proposed legislation will fall foul of the limited parliamentary term remaining, preventing its passage before the general election this May.
Blasphemy should not be a crime in Ireland, a Government Minister there has stated. Minister for Defence Simon Coveney made his comments as the world reacted to violent Islamist attacks in France arising from cartoon portrayals of the Prophet Mohammed, considered blasphemous within the Muslim community. Under Irish legislation, such portrayals could have faced legal sanction for blasphemy.
A young man in the American state of New York has been given a life sentence for murdering his girlfriend after she refused his demands to procure an abortion. Under the terms of his sentence, handed down by the state Supreme Court, Christian Ferdinand, 22, is to spend 25 years-to-life behind bars for the brutal killing two years ago of 14-year-old Shaniesha Forbes.
Some 650 newborn infants are euthanised in The Netherlands every year, it has emerged. According to the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG), despite current legal parameters around euthanasia, it is now accepted practice for a doctor to terminate the life of a newborn under certain circumstances.
All sides of opinion must be heard ahead of May's referendum on same-sex marriage, Archbishop Eamon Martin has said. Debate should be free, open and unhindered, the Catholic Primate of all Ireland told The Tablet. He said he was calling for a debate “free from insult or injury or hurt to any person whether they be people of a homosexual orientation or people of faith who would oppose change on the grounds that it is essentially redefining marriage”.
A couple who say they were put under pressure to abort their “non-viable” unborn son have celebrated his first birthday. Jett Morris was born prematurely at 25 weeks after surviving for five weeks in his mother’s womb after her waters broke early. It's thought he will not suffer any great complications despite having two small holes in his heart, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Bishop John Keenan of the diocese of Paisley in Scotland has condemned his nation's “culture of death” after two Catholic midwives lost a conscience case in the Scottish Supreme Court. Reacting to the court’s rejection of the previously upheld right of midwives to opt out of any stage of an abortion procedure, Bishop Keenan described the ruling last week as oppressive to human freedoms.
Health Minister Leo Varadkar has been attacked by the Pro-Life Campaign after he criticised Ireland’s abortion law as too restrictive and expressed support for the repeal of the Constitutional protection for unborn children known as the ‘Eighth Amendment’. Minister Varadkar said yesterday that he believes the Eighth Amendment has a “chilling effect” on doctors and that he supports the law being changed so as to allow for the aborting of unborn babies with fatal handicaps.
A symbolic motion in favour of legalising assisted suicide has been defeated in a vote in the Welsh Assembly. Twelve Assembly Members (AMs) voted in favour, while 21 voted against and 20 abstained. While the Welsh assembly does not have the power to change the legislation on assisted suicide, the motion, tabled by Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas, was intended to lend support to Lord Falconer's Assisted Dying Bill, currently being debated in the British Parliament.
The leader of a western French region has described as “grotesque” an order to remove a Nativity crib from his town hall. Following a complaint by a group called the Federation of Freethinkers against a traditional crib at the town hall in La Roche-sur-Yon in the Vendée region, a local court ruled that the display was a violation of France’s secular laws and ordered its removal. The action set in train a number of orders from local councils for similar displays to be removed from other civic buildings.
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has defended its decision to uphold complaints of bias on the issue of same-sex marriage after journalist Una Mullally accused the BAI of stifling debate on the issue.
“You can have no idea how much I feel for those who, as I speak, are suffering for their faith in such terrible circumstances.” This was the message conveyed by England's Prince Charles yesterday as he addressed a gathering of Iraqi Chaldean Christians in London.
Two leading abortion providers in Britain have called for US-style 'buffer zones' around clinics to 'protect' staff and visitors from pro-life advocates. Pro-lifer campaigners say it is an attack on the right to protest.
A member of the Northern Ireland Assembly has unveiled a 'conscience clause' Bill after a Christian bakery was sanctioned for refusing an order for a cake supporting same-sex marriage. Democratic Unionist MLA Paul Givan is seeking support for an amendment to current equality legislation to take account of ‘deeply held religious beliefs’ after the bakery, Ashers of Newtownabbey, fell foul of existing laws in refusing to complete an order which was to depict the Sesame Street characters Ernie and Bert under the message 'Support Gay Marriage' and the logo for LGBT lobby group Queerspace.
British schoolchildren are being denied lessons on the true meaning of Christmas by teachers frightened of offending other faiths, a BBC broadcaster has said. In an arrticle penned for the current edition of the Radio Times, Roger Bolton, presenter of Radio 4's Feedback programme states that a combintaion of fear and reluctance within a PC culture is creating a religious illiteracy among children, with neagtive consequences for other subject areas.
Two years after the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar and her unborn child, a review of the hospital at the centre of her case has concluded there is still “room for improvement” in patient care. Galway University Hospital became the focus of attention after October 28, 2012, when a raft of deficiencies were identified as leading to the death, by sepsis, of Mrs Halappanavar and the loss of her baby.
The Catholic bishops in Ireland have launched a new pastoral statement outlining and explaining the Church's vision of marriage. Bishop Liam McDaid, chairman of the Bishops’ Council for Marriage and Family, and Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin launched the 16-page letter “The Meaning of Marriage” in Maynooth yesterday. The bishops say in the document that “Marriage is a unique relationship different from all others” and that “to seek to re-define the nature of marriage would be to undermine it as the fundamental building block of our society”.
A major study of family life for 'millennial children' in Britain has discovered a massive increase in marital breakdown in a single generation. Seeking to replicate a study conducted from 1969, the Centre for Longitudinal Studies and the Institute of Education launched the Millennium Cohort Study based on around 13,000 children born in Britain between September 2000 and January 2002, tracking their lives and family settings for 11 years.
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