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People who “do God, do good” more often than not, according to a minister in the UK's Coalition Government. Baroness Warsi (pictured), the Minister for Faith, said that David Cameron's administration was one of the “most pro-faith governments in the West”
Only 21pc of Irish adults aged 30-39 trust the Church or other religious organisations, but this is still nearly twice the 12pc who trust the Government, a new survey shows. Interestingly, while 18pc of those living in Dublin trust the Government, only 9pc of those outside Dublin do.
The Gardaí who seized two Roma children from their parents on suspicion that they had been kidnapped “acted in good faith”, Justice Minister Alan Shatter has said. He was speaking after a HSE report into the issue blamed the Gardaí for not consulting properly with social workers in one of the cases, the Irish Independent reports.
A bill currently before the House of Lords proposing the legalisation of assisted suicide would be a “blank cheque” with regard to safeguards, according to three leading legal authorities. The proposals, put forward by Lord Falconer, a former mentor of Tony Blair, have been criticised by Baroness Butler-Sloss, the former head of the High Court Family Division, Lord Carlile QC and Lord Brennan QC
The provincial government of the Canadian province of Quebec tabled its controversial secular values charter, Bill 60, on Thursday. The bill would force government employees to remove conspicuous religious symbols such as headscarves, yarmulkes, turbans, and larger-than-average crucifixes if they want to keep their jobs.
A lesbian woman who donated an egg to her partner has been granted parental rights to her genetic child by the Florida Supreme Court. She was not granted the rights by virtue of being the natural mother but simply because she intended to be the mother.
The importance society places “on the role of mothers and fathers in bringing up children” is at the heart of the debate over same-sex marriage, the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Dr Denis Nulty (pictured), has said. He said that the debate was “not about equality or about the false separation of a religious view of marriage from the civil view of marriage”.
Lone parents are more vulnerable to stress and therefore marginally less responsive to cues from their infants, according to the latest report from the Growing Up in Ireland study. However, the report added that “the strength of the relationship (between being a single parent and experiencing stress) was relatively small”.
The Cabinet has agreed to hold a referendum on same-sex marriage sometime in the lifetime of the Government. The move comes in the wake of the decision by the Constitutional Convention in April to recommend that the Constitution be amended to allow for same-sex marriage.
Abortions may have been mistakenly performed on hundreds of healthy babies after an NHS hospital was found to be following “outdated guidelines”. The problem came to light after mum-to-be Emily Wheatley went to the University Hospital of Wales (UHW), in Cardiff, for an ultrasound scan and told her baby was dead and she would need a 'uterine evacuation'.
The number of children in the UK wanting a sex change in 2012 saw an increase of 50 per cent compared to the previous year, according to The Times newspaper. Figures reported in The Times show that last year 208 children were referred to specialist clinics, up from 139 in the previous year.
Ireland's birthrate has dropped below replacement level, new figures have revealed. The figures, published yesterday in the Central Statistics Office Statistical Yearbook, show that overall, the total fertility rate, the TPFR, which is the number of children born per woman of child-bearing age fell to 2.01 from 2.04 in 2011.
The Government has postponed a decision on whether to ahead with a same sex marriage referendum until next week to Taoiseach Enda Kenny to consult with Fine Gael backbenchers. The Cabinet took the decision as it has emerged that many Fine Gael TDs are concerned about the political implications of holding such a referendum, the Irish Times reports.
Pop stars appearing in highly sexualised videos are a bigger danger to children who use the internet than hard core porn, a child protection expert has told a House of Commons select committee.
The Constitutional Convention is set to consider blasphemy at its next meeting this weekend. The meeting is set to hear from Atheist Ireland, the Humanist Association of Ireland, theologian Professor Patrick Hannon and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.
A spokesman for Eamon Gilmore has said that legislation allowing adoption by same-sex couples would have to be in place before any referendum on same-sex marriage was held. An equal right to adoption for same-sex couples would mean that children no longer had a preferential right to be raised by a mother and a father where possible.
Governments need to be careful that new laws intended to promote “freedom and tolerance” don't adversely impact on the freedom of the Church, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor (pictured), the former Archbishop of Westminster, has said. He said the Church should remain a part of public life despite attempts by some to “privatise religion and put it on the periphery,” the Daily Telegraph reports.
A number of hate crimes and attacks against Christians and Christian target in Europe in the last two months have been highlighted by the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians. The worst was a bomb attack last month on the Basílica del Pilar in Zaragoza, Spain.
Croatia will hold a referendum on 1st December to define marriage as being between a man and a woman, a parliamentary commission decided on Wednesday. The commission voted 10-3 to hold a referendum on whether to constitutionally define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter (pictured) has ordered an independent report into the removal of two Roma children from their families. Reports yesterday suggested that there have been at least five other cases in the last year of children being taken from their families on spurious grounds.
There have been at least five other cases in the last year of children being taken from their families on spurious grounds in addition to the two Roma children this week. Gareth Noble, a solicitor specialising in juvenile justice issues, said in the past year he had encountered five cases where children were returned to their parents soon after gardai had taken them into HSE care.
Scottish secularists are seeking a change in the law in order to remove religious leaders from local authority education committees. The Local Government Act stipulates that three religious representatives should sit on council education committees but a petition has been lodged with the Scottish Parliament to have this changed, the Scotsman reports.
The Irish Constitution should no longer recognise the special status of marriage, Treoir, a campaign group for single parents, has said. In a submission to the Constitutional Convention, they say that Article 41.3.1, which commits the State to “guard with special care the institution of marriage” should be reviewed.
A High Court ruling that the Yes result in last year's Children's Rights Referendum is valid is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court. A No campaigner had said that the Government had acted unlawfully in spending €1.1m public monies on a one-sided information campaign.
There has been a rise in the number of US women using donated eggs to get pregnant, according to new research. The research indicated that over half of these pregnancies (56pc) resulted in a live birth in 2010, but 37 percent were twins and many were born prematurely, at low birth weights.
Christianity is the world’s most persecuted religion, and its position as a worldwide religion is under threat because of severe persecution, in particular in the Middle East and parts of Asia, a new report has said. The report, Persecuted and Forgotten, published by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need focuses on 30 countries with a history of persecution of Christians.
France's highest court, the Constitutional Council has ruled that mayors must hold same-sex marriage ceremonies, regardless of conscientious objections they might have. A law permitting same-sex marriage took effect in May, but proved controversial and sparked violent protests.
Children in California will soon recognise three 'parents' for the one child under a proposed new law. The new legislation is designed to cover situations in which same-sex couples have a child with an opposite-sex biological parent, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Equality Authority has invited submissions on Section 37 of the Employment Equaliy Act, which protects the ethos of denominational schools. It announced yesterday that it was engaging in a consultation process in relation “to a proposed amendment to s37 of the Employment Equality Acts 1998 – 2011”.
Parents who no longer teach children “right and wrong” are at the root of the UK’s biggest problems, according to the man responsible for overseeing British schools. Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools and social care, said that “hollowed out and fragmented families” where parents suffer a “poverty of accountability” were responsible for a series of problems from addiction to neglect, the Daily Telegraph reports.
The Constitutional Convention has been asked by six of the President’s seven nominees to the Council of State, to consider the Constitutional requirement for judges and other office holders to take religious oaths. In a submission made to the Convention on Monday, the six said that the issue “came to our attention recently at the first meeting of the Council of State called by President Higgins”.
Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, the Archbishop of Paris, has accused France's Education Minister Vincent Peillon of making "a sort of secular religion" out of France's official Church-State division (laïcité). Mr Peillon announced last month a "charter of laïcité" for schools and said state schools, where this is no religious education, would start teaching "secular morality" next year, the Tablet reports.
Denominational schooling has an important role to play in a pluralist society, the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin (pictured), has said. His views were echoed by the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh, Richard Clarke, in an article in today's Irish Times.
A plan by the UK’s National Health Service to allow women to keep stocks of the morning-after pill abortifacient at home will not reduce unwanted pregnancies or abortions, according to a leading academic. Professor James Trussell, of Princeton University, says there is no evidence that schemes that make emergency contraceptive more available to women have any lasting effect in cutting pregnancy rate, the Daily Mail reports.
A Catholic doctor who refused to sanction a sex-selective abortion is fighting for his career after a complaint was made against him. Dr Mark Hobart could be struck off Australia’s medical register for declining to arrange an abortion of a healthy girl because her parents wanted a boy instead, the Catholic Herald reports.
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