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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.”
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.
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 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 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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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”.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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".
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.
One of Ireland's most influential columnists, and a long time critic of the the Catholic Church, has admitted that there is a culture of hostility in the Irish media towards religion. In an interview with the Irish Catholic, Fintan O'Toole, assistant editor for the Irish Times, said that the media's coverage of religion was “snobbish and dismissive”.
The chairman of a national school being sued over the teaching of religion by parents of a former pupil at the school has described the actions of the couple as “unreasonable”. The couple, who are being assisted in their case by Senator Ivana Bacik (pictured) have claimed that the school did not exclude their child from Catholic religion class, as agreed, but Fr James Hamill, chairman of the board of management of Annacurra National School in Aughrim, Co. Wicklow, said the school made a series of efforts to accommodate the parents wishes.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter (pictured) has attempted to play down controversy over controversial legislation which could force priests to break the seal of confession by saying that the new law will not contain any reference to confession. Mr Shatter described the controversy over confession as “an entirely bogus issue” adding that he did not believe it would be referred to in the bill, the Irish Times has reported.
A couple is taking a constitutional case against a Catholic school and the Department of Education in a bid to ensure that children of non-Catholic and non-religious parents can be properly accommodated in the education system.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has denied a claim in the Irish Daily Mail that he was asking parents to take control of schools from the Catholic Church. The paper had claimed that Mr Quinn had called on parents to stand for election to school boards to combat the “historical legacy” of dominance by the Catholic Church.
A couple from Dundee in Scotland face having their children put up for adoption after social services ruled they had not lost enough weight, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph. If Dundee City Council acts on its threat to remove their children, the mother and father face the "unbearable" prospect of never seeing their four youngest children again. The couple have seven children and cannot be named for legal reasons.
The number of Americans getting married is at an all-time low, while those who do marry are waiting longer to marry for the first time, according to US Census Bureau figures. Just 52 per cent of adults 18 and over were married in 2010, compared to 57 per cent in 2000, according to the U.S. census data. The never-marrieds included 46.3 per cent of young adults 25-34 — the first time the share of never-married young adults exceeded those who were married, 44.9 per cent, with the rest being divorced or widowed.
Students who attend US Catholic schools are less likely to go to church but more likely to attend university compared to those who attended ‘Protestant Christian schools’, according to a new survey. The study, carried out by the University of Notre Dame and Cardus, a Canadian think-tank, found that those who attended Protestant Christian schools were nearly three times more likely to attend religious services than those who attended Catholic schools.
Marital infidelity is no longer the top reason for couples divorcing, with “falling out of love” replacing it, according to a survey of divorce lawyers. The survey found that the most common reason for a marriage to end was couples claiming that they no longer felt in love and had “grown apart”.
The impact of labour law, equality law, laws on freedom of expression and assembly, and laws related to religious communities and right of conscientious objection must be reassessed “in view of discrimination and intolerance against Christians” in European Countries, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has said in an important new statement.
Cardinal Sean Brady has been attacked by The Irish Times for expressing misgivings about the Government's proposals to undermine the seal of confession. In an editorial today, the paper criticised as “unfair and disproportionate” his suggestion that the proposal to require priests to report confessions of child abuse to the civil authorities amounts to an attack on freedom of religion.
A new federal government mandate which will force private health insurers to cover contraception, including abortifacients, has been attacked by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) over its failure to include a conscience clause. In a statement, the legal representatives for the bishops say that the mandate provides virtually no protection for religious freedom. They called for the withdrawal of the mandate, which is set to go into effect in August 2012.
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.
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