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There are now a record number of children in State care, according to figures from the Health Service Executive. There are 6,175 children in either foster or residential care, The Irish Times reports. In the first six months of the year the number of children in care increased by 385, about three times the number admitted into the system during all of last year.
Couples who live together before they marry are significantly more likely to end up divorced, according to a new report. The study, produced by the Jubilee Centre in the UK, found that couples who have lived with each other were 15 percent more likely to get divorced than those who didn’t first live together.
Proposed Government legislation which threatens the inviolability of the seal of confession is a challenge to the right of every Catholic to freedom of religion and conscience, Cardinal Seán Brady (pictured) has said. Speaking in Knock, Dr Brady, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland said confession was a sacred and treasured rite.
The emotional well-being of parents is strongly linked to the successes and failures of their children - especially their least happy children-even after their children are grown up, according to a new study. Researchers had assumed that having successful children would completely mitigate the effects of problem children. Surprisingly, however, they found that mothers and fathers were only as happy as their least happy child.
A teacher in the US state of Florida who was suspended for making comments on his personal Facebook page expressing opposition to same-sex marriage has been reinstated. Social studies teacher Jerry Buell, who was voted Teacher of the Year by pupils at Mount Dora High School last year, has said he plans to use his experience to teach his students and others outside of school about First Amendment rights, his lawyer Harry Mihet told US news website The Christian Post.
Only marriages which are faithful and open to the gift of life are "adequate to the grandeur and dignity of marital love," the Pope told young people at last weekend’s World Youth Day in Madrid. Speaking to one and a half million people from all over the world, Pope Benedict said that God "many people to marriage, in which a man and a woman, in becoming one flesh, find fulfillment in a profound life of communion".
A sex education kit for primary school aged children which includes models of male and female sex organs has sparked a storm of controversy in Switzerland. Daniel Schneider, a deputy kindergarten rector for Basel who helped develop the programme, said: “Children should be encouraged to develop and experience their sexuality in a pleasurable way”.
Mothers and fathers who are committed to each other provide the best environment in which to raise children, one of the country's leading clinical psychologists has said. Speaking on RTE Radio's Marion Finucane show on Saturday, Marie Murray said that the ideal circumstance for raising children was “a mother and father, committed to each other, whether that's through marriage or other forms, but it is a very specific committment, loving their children working together in good relationship”.
Happily married people who undergo major heart surgery are three times more likely to survive than those who are unmarried, according to a new study. In addition, while women only enjoy the additional health benefit if they and their husband are happy together, men gained most of the benefit regardless.
Children raised by cohabiting parents are at a greater risk of suffering psychological stress, physical abuse and of causing trouble at school, according to a new study. The report, Why Marriage Matters, 3rd edition, published by the National Marriage Project in the US, says that cohabitation is now a bigger problem for children than divorce.
The US state of Illinois has been given the right to stop funding Catholic adoption agencies in four dioceses after a ruling by a Circuit Court judge. Catholic Charities, the umbrella group running the adoption services, had argued that the state did not have the right to terminate their contracts, as the reason for the termination was the organisation's religious beliefs.
Reforms aimed at making it harder for couples to obtain divorces in the US are being touted as part of the solution to runaway government spending. According to figures from the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project, a new single-parent family with children, created as a result of divorce, can cost the government $20,000 to $30,000 a year.
Former Fianna Fáil TD Mary O’Rourke has criticised the Government for its relative silence on the child protection failures of the HSE. Speaking yesterday at the Merriman School, Ms O'Rourke noted that the Taoiseach had gotten “great kudos” for his speech condemning the Church over its failures in handling clerical sexual abuse of children.
The UK's equality watchdog has performed a U-turn over its stance on reforming the law to give greater protection to Christians who have been banned from expressing their religious beliefs at work. Don Horrocks, from the Evangelical Alliance, said the Commission had been “successfully intimidated against proceeding as they initially announced”.
The head of advocacy for one of Ireland's leading children's charities, Barnardos, has said the Irish Constitution discriminates against the children of married parents because it is very difficult to adopt such children. Norah Gibbons, head of advocacy with Barnardos, made the remarks this week at the Parnell Summer School in Wicklow. However, official figures show that very few children are adopted in Ireland, whatever their family background.
Societies which do not strongly promote and uphold marriage inevitably experience marital breakdown and, in some neighbourhoods “the near disappearance of a culture of marriage altogether”, the Bishop of Elphin, Dr Christopher Jones (pictured), has said. Writing in yesterday’s Irish Independent, Bishop Jones said that marriage was “essential to the common good” adding that this view was supported by extensive research.
Government policies which undermine the family will be vetoed, Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured) has pledged, in response to last week’s arson and looting. In a defining speech yesterday, Mr Cameron returned to themes which he has stressed since becoming leader of the Conservative Party, promising to tackle what he calls “broken Britain”.
The more highly educated a person is the more likely he or she is to be religious, according to a new study. The research found a link between higher levels of education and increased levels of church attendance and bible reading. The study will be published in an upcoming edition of the journal Review of Religious Research.
A British hospital which tried to force two Catholic nurses to participate in abortions has backed down after their lawyer cited equality legislation in their defence. The two nurses, who were Filipinos, objected to being placed on duty at a weekly abortion clinic in a busy central London hospital. The were instructed to hand out abortifacients to women.
Religious freedom is declining globally, according to new research. The report, published by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, shows that more than 2.2 billion people live in countries where government restrictions or social hostilities involving religion are increasing. The survey also finds that Europe had the largest proportion of countries in which social hostilities related to religion were on the rise from mid-2006 to mid-2009.
Most politicians have no idea of the value of marriage to society, according to the Bishop of Elphin, Dr Christopher Jones. Bishop Jones asked: when is the last time anyone “ heard of a politician or a Minister of Government speak of the importance of marriage, of family life for parents, for children and for the State.”
A new study has suggested that teenage motherhood is ‘contagious’ within families. Researchers from Bristol University found that the sister of a teenage mother is twice as likely to follow in her footsteps as a girl with no family experience of early motherhood. And the ‘peer effect’ on girls aged 16 to 19 was shown to have a far more powerful impact than any education or advice they are given at school. The closer the sisters were in age, the more powerful the effect was.
The Equality Authority has called on the Government to legalise same-sex marriage. Speaking at the launch of the group's annual report for 2010, Angela Kerins (pictured), the chairwoman of the Authority said she welcomed the passage of the civil partnership bill last year, according to the Irish Times.
Two atheist parents are threatening to pull their seven-year-old daughter out of the Brownies because the Brownie pledge asks members to do their best “to love God”. The pledge says: "I promise that I will do my best, to love my God, to serve the Queen and my country, to help other people and to keep the Brownie Guide law."
Officials in San Francisco are proposing a new city ordinance to target pro-life pregnancy centres, alleging that such centres are engaged in misleading counseling and advertising. Advocates for the centres say the proposal aims at prohibiting crisis pregnancy centres from using the word "abortion," in what are known as internet tags or key words, to reach out to women considering the procedure.
New guidelines by the regulating body for pharmacists in the UK mean that Christian pharmacists could face the sack if they refuse to sell the morning-after pill. Many pharmacists have conscientious moral objections to dispensing ‘emergency contraception’ and have in the past refused to do so because the drugs can work as abortifaecients.
The recent commitment given by the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to protect religious liberty in the workplace has been put in doubt by one of its own commissioners. Angela Mason, fomer head of gay activist group Stonewall and a member of the EHRC has said commission will break its promise to support the principle of ‘reasonable adjustment’ for the religious beliefs of staff in the workplace.
A Christian electrician who faced the sack in April for displaying a small palm cross in his company van has now been suspended from work, reportedly for speaking out in the media. Earlier this year Colin Atkinson, who works at Wakefield and District Housing (WDH), faced losing his job over the small cross in a row about ‘neutrality’. Mr Atkinson has been supported by the Christian Legal Centre during his ordeal.
Politics without faith runs the risk of violating the fundamental human rights of citizens, a leading Vatican official has said. Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the Vatican's highest court, said that all goverments “should guarantee the free exercise of religion, which aims to protect the teaching and practice of religious faith for the sake of the common good”.
Latin America countries are being pressurised by the UN to liberalise their abortion laws through a process called the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Ireland is to be reviewed in October. The process involves a review of the human rights record of a given country by the UPR Working Group which consists of the 47 members of the UN's Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Toronto Catholic District School Board faces losing 4,000 families from its schools over a controversial 'equality' policy which it passed as part of a government equality and inclusive education strategy. The Coptic Orthodox Churches in the Canadian city are threatening to withdraw families who attend schools in the district if it does not amend the policy.
There are nearly twice as many men on the live register of unemployed people as women, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The figures show that, in July, there were 300,460 men on the live register, compared to 166,364 women.
A leading columnist has accused the Irish media for being “completely corrupt” on the issue of child abuse. Speaking on Newstalk, Irish Times and Mail on Sunday columnist John Waters (pictured) said that the coverage of Senator David Norris' request for clemency in respect of for his former partner who was charged with the statutory rape of a 15 year old boy and the coverage of sex abuse by Catholic priests were in complete contrast.
One of the most powerful secular groups in the US, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has filed a brief against Catholic adoption agencies in the US state of Illinois. The group object to the policy of Catholic Charities, which administers Catholic adoption services in Illinois, of refusing to place children with same-sex couples. Catholic Charities are suing the state of Illinois to reinstate contracts which the state dropped on the basis of its policy regarding same-sex couples.
U.N. policies on youth should respect parents' right to educate their children, including in the realm of human sexuality and "reproductive health," the Vatican has said. Speaking last week at the UN General Assembly's High Level Meeting on Youth, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, the permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations, said that states must “respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents" in respect of education.
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