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Ireland appears before UN Human Rights Council

By Admin on 6th October 2011. ~ Categories: Other

Ireland has appeared before the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva this morning to have its human rights record reviewed. This is part of the so-called Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The process is designed to monitor the progress of member states in implementing UN human rights treaties.


Government's claims on child protection "a load of rubbish", says expert

By Admin on 6th October 2011. ~ Categories: Other

Claims by the Government that child protection is a top priority are “a load of rubbish”, a leading expert in the area has said. Dr Helen Buckley of The Children's Research Centre in Trinity College Dublin, one of the authors of a report into clerical child abuse in the Ferns diocese made the remarks in an interview with the Irish Catholic as it emerged that the HSE intends to slash funding for family and child support services by up to 20 per cent.


US bishops set up new committee to protect religious liberty

By Admin on 5th October 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A new ad hoc Committee for Religious Liberty has been set up by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) amidst growing concerns over the erosion of freedom of religion in America. The news comes in the wake of moves by the Obama Administration to require insurance companies to fund contraceptive services, including sterilisation procedures and abortifacient drugs regardless of religious affiliation.


Archbishop Martin defends Constitution ahead of convention

By Admin on 4th October 2011. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The Constitution has proved “capable of guaranteeing rights and curbing power – including the power of the State”, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin (pictured) has said. In his homily for the annual Red Mass, which is held at the commencement of the year for the Irish courts, Archbishop Martin noted that the Constitution was “sometimes presented just as a fossilised child of its time”.


Court rules against parents who objected to compulsory sex education

By Admin on 4th October 2011. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

An appeal against German laws which forbids parents from taking their children out of sex education classes has been dismissed by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as “manifestly ill-founded”. Five German couples had appealed to the ECHR after they had been jailed for refusing to pay fines for removing their children from sex education classes. However, last month, the Court ruled that the parents' appeal was inadmissible.


US Bishops and Obama clash over new religious freedom threat

By Admin on 3 Oct 11. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

New guidelines set to be imposed by the Obama Administration requiring all US insurance programmes to cover all forms of contraception — including abortion-inducing drugs have been condemned by the chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo. Cardinal DiNardo has said that the religious employer exemption set forth by President Obama's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the proposal is so narrow ‘that the Good Samaritan would not qualify’.


Married people less likely to commit crime says new study

By Admin on 1st October 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

People who marry are significantly less likely to engage in crime, because marriage enables them to develop greater self-control, according to a new study. The research examined changes in marital status and self-control between late adolescence and early adulthood. One factor it looked at in measuring levels of self-control was marijuana user.


Atheist condemns anti-Catholicism at Iona Institute meeting

By Admin on 30th September 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

An atheist writer condemned the “current fashion” for anti-Catholicism before an audience of over 150 people at a meeting last night organised by The Iona Institute. Brendan O’Neill, who is editor on the UK-based on-line magazine Spiked, said the driving forces behind the rise of anti-Catholicism were the emergence of the ‘New Atheism’, the scandals, moral relativism, and in Britain the notion that Catholics cannot be fully loyal to their State.


Seanad debates human rights ahead of Ireland’s UN appearance

By Admin on 30th September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Parents have a right to choose denominational schools and that right needs to be guaranteed by the State, Independent Senator Ronan Mullen (pictured) has said in the Seanad just days before Ireland appears before the UN Human Rights Council. Fianna Fail’s Jim Walsh reminded that Seanad that some of the UN treaties to which we are signatories uphold the traditional definition of marriage.


New Council of Europe document downgrades marriage

By Admin on 29th September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A draft document on the family prepared by a committee of the Council of Europe downgrades the importance of both marriage and biological parenthood. The document allows member-states of the Council of Europe, including Ireland, to define anyone as a parent legally speaking. It gives no special status or recognition to the biological parents of a child, nor does it indicate that the relationship between a child and his or her biological parents is of any special importance.


Primary schools being forced to teach “permissive” sex education

By Admin on 29th September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Primary schools in the UK are being forced by some local authorities to teach sex education, leading family charity, the Family Education Trust, has claimed in a new report. Education bodies in parts of the country are using an awards scheme called Healthy Schools introduced by Tony Blair, designed to promote healthy behaviour in schools, to impose “liberal and permissive” teaching on pupils, they warn.


Catholic schools’ admissions decisions overturned by Department of Education

By Admin on 28th September 2011. ~ Categories:

Two Catholic secondary schools in Dublin have been accused of bias by four Muslim families for admitting Catholic children ahead of non-Catholic children. The two schools, St Benildus and Oatlands Colleges, elected not to enrol the children of the Muslim parents due to a shortage of places.


BBC asks presenters to drop ‘AD’ and ‘BC’ to ‘avoid offence’

By Admin on 28th September 2011. ~ Categories:

The BBC has told presenters that they should use “religiously neutral” terms instead of “BC" or “AD” to avoid causing non-Christians offence. However they are facing opposition from leading presenters over the move. Ethics specialists for the corporation suggested that the modern phrases “Common Era” and “Before Common Era” should be considered as alternative terms for Anno Domini and Before Christ.


Police tell café owners to remove Bible quotes from view

By Admin on 27th September 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Police in the English county of Lancashire have told the owner of a Christian café to stop displaying Bible texts on a video screen, because it ‘breaches’ public order laws. Officers attended the Salt & Light Coffee House on Layton Road, Blackpool, on Monday 19 September, following a complaint about “insulting” and “homophobic” material.


Church of Ireland cleric stands by decision not to allow gay man to work with youth group

By Admin on 27th September 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A Church of Ireland minister who decided that an openly gay man was not suitable as a volunteer for a local youth group is standing by his decision after being attacked by a gay rights group within the Church of Ireland. Rev Kenneth Lindsay, of the Methodist and Church of Ireland churches in Ballinamallard, Co Fermanagh, said: “I feel that such people are inappropriate role models.”


US bishops clash with President Obama over marriage

By Admin on 26th September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The Obama Administration's decision to challenge the constitutionality of the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the courts could create “a national conflict between Church and State of enormous proportions” the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has warned. In an open letter to President Barack Obama, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has attacked the decision by the Justice Department to challenge the constitutionality of DOMA, which was signed into law in 1996 by then Democratic President Bill Clinton.


Half of children in lone parent families see their fathers less than once a week

By Admin on 24th September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Almost half of children (48pc) whose fathers do not live with them see their dads less than once a week, according to the latest report from the Government's longitudinal study on the progress of Ireland's children. Parental separation is having “a considerable impact” on children's routines, and leading to relationships with non-resident parents which are “challenging to sustain” the Growing Up in Ireland study says.


Pope addresses German MPs on the origin of law

By Admin on 23rd September 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Pope Benedict has asked Germany’s MPs to reflect on whether the moral law has its origin in a Creator, or whether it is an invention of Man. The Pope, who is on a State Visit to his native country, was given a two-minute standing ovation by parliamentarians following his 20 minute address.


Proposed transgender law attacked for not being radical enough

By Admin on 23rd September 2011. ~ Categories: Other

Proposed changes to recognise “transgendered persons” are offensive and dehumanising, a leading transgender campaigner has said. This is despite the fact that the Irish law looks set to be based on the UK’s, which is one of the most radical in Europe. Writing in yesterday's Irish Times, campaigner Leslie Sherlock said that government proposals to recognise transgender persons “offends by referring to transgender people as 'lonely, distressed, passive', making recommendations which dehumanise transgender experiences”.


One in five Irish births are to cohabiting couples

By Admin on 22nd September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Nearly one out of every five births in the first quarter of this year was to a cohabiting couple, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). According to its quarterly Vital Statistics report, 3,622 births were to unmarried parents with the same address, which amounted to 18.2pc of all births.


Catholic university threatened with legal action over single-sex dorms

By Admin on 22nd September 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

One of the most prestigious Catholic universities in America has been threatened with a law suit for seeking to revert to single-sex dormitories. John Banzhaf, a professor at George Washington University Law School, has filed a complaint against the President of Catholic University of America (CUA), Mr John Garvey, alleging that the university's plan violates D.C.’s Human Rights Act.


Couple "too old" to raise their child, Italian court rules

By Admin on 21st September 2011. ~ Categories: Other

An Italian court has ruled that the 70 and 57-year-old parents of a toddler are too old to raise her and have recommended she be put up for adoption. The 18-month-old girl, known as Viola, was conceived with the help of artificial insemination after the couple's repeated applications to adopt a child were turned down on the basis that they were too old, RTE reports.


Scottish Government doesn’t deserve support of Catholics says bishop

By Admin on 20th September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The Scottish Government does not deserve the support of Scotland’s 800,000 Catholics because of its proposal to permit same-sex marriage, a leading bishop has said. The Bishop of Paisley, Philip Tartaglia, responding to a proposal of the Scottish Government to change the definition of marriage.


Males whose parents divorce at greater risk of suicide

By Admin on 20th September 2011 . ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Men whose parents divorced before they were 18 are two to three times as likely to seriously consider taking their own lives as men whose parents were not divorced by that age, but daughters are not affected as badly, a new study says. According to the research women whose parents divorced by age 18 did think about suicide more often than other women, but any suicidal thoughts they did have were explained by other traumatic experiences they had experienced, such as childhood abuse.


Internet providers in UK will be forced to offer anti-porn filters

By Admin on 19th September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Schools and Education

Internet providers in the UK will be forced to automatically offer new customers the option of blocking pornographic and violent material, according to a prominent Cabinet minister. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said this week that he is lining up a clampdown to protect children by obliging internet service providers to make sure all customers have an ‘active choice’ about using parental controls as part of his forthcoming Communications Act.


Europe growing hostile to Christians says Russian Orthodox leader

By Admin on 17th September 2011. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Europe is currently experiencing “an atmosphere of intolerance in relation to Christians, as well as to representatives of other traditional religions” according to one of the most influential figures in the Russian Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate's department for external Church relations also said that Europe needs to “discuss openly the violation of the rights of Christians”.


Almost 5,000 couples granted a divorce or judicial separation in 2008

By Admin on 16th September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

There were almost 5,000 divorces and judicial separations granted in Ireland in 2008 according to figures released by the CSO today. This compares with 22,187 marriages in the same year. However, the actual marriage breakdown rate is believed to be considerably higher than official figures indicate because the official figures do not include couples who separate and reach legal agreements which are not registered with the court.


School agrees to treat boy as a girl in transgender case

By Admin on 16th September 2011. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Other

A school in the UK has allowed a ten-year-old boy to return after the summer holidays as a girl because he believes he was born in the wrong sex. The boy’s mother is supporting his decision and has allowed him to dress as a girl and says he will start hormone blocker therapy, the first step to a full sex change, when he is twelve.


Family breakdown harming the lives of Australian children says expert

By Admin on 15th September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The lives of Australia's most at-risk children “is deteriorating at an extraordinarily rapid pace,” according to a leading family law expert. Professor Patrick Parkinson of Sydney University, in a report entitled “For Kid's Sake”, has said that the issue of family breakdown is one of the major causes of “ a large range of adverse consequences for many children and young people”.


Lone parent families up nearly a third in 10 years

By Admin on 15th September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The number of families headed by a single parent has increased by nearly 30 per cent in the past 10 years, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The figures, contained in the CSO's Measuring Ireland's Progress document, released on Tuesday, showed the number of lone parent families whose youngest child was less than 20 went from 113,900 in 2001 to 148,000 in 2010.


New research shows how children benefit from their fathers

By Admin on 14th September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Fathers who actively engage in raising their children can help their children do better in school and behave better, according to new research. Published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, the long-term study, which was conducted by Concordia University in Montreal, examined how fathers can positively influence the development of their kids through hands-on parenting.


Government’s Seal of Confession proposal slammed by leading barrister

By Admin on 13th September 2011. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The proposal by the Government to force priests to break the Seal of Confession is “one of the daftest ideas to come out in recent years”, according to one of the country’s leading barristers. Mr Paul Anthony McDermott, an expert on criminal law said on RTE’s Frontline last night that the idea of breaking the seal of confession made little sense when confession was “anonymous; you don't have to give your name, you don't give your address, you don't give your PPS number”.


Day care could affect children’s brain development says new study

By Admin on 13 September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The brain structure and function of children who are placed in child care may change due to higher levels of stress, a new study has claimed. In an article published in The Biologist, a journal of the Society of Biology, Dr Aric Sigman proposes that the biological impact of day care now needs to be considered in child care decisions, especially when some research has shown that child care can trigger stress in young children.


Man sacked from two jobs over same-sex marriage stance

By Admin on 12th September 2011. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A leadership and training consultant who was fired from Cisco Systems in California because of a book he wrote opposing same-sex marriage has now been let go by Bank of America. Dr Frank Turek, who conducts training courses for a wide range of corporations told US radio station American Family Radio that he gets “”a lot of flak for just actually agreeing with what a majority of Americans agree on and that is that marriage is between one man and one woman".


Couple banned from fostering for smoking two cigars in a year

By Admin on 10th September 2011. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A UK couple have been banned them from fostering a child by their local county council because the husband had smoked two celebratory cigars in 18 months. Clare Baker, 34, and her husband, Paul, were 10 months into the application process when they were asked if they were smokers, according to The Daily Telegraph.


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