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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.
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”.
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