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Catholics in the US are less likely to divorce than people of other religious affiliations, according to a new study. The research, carried out by the Centre for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, found that 28 percent of Catholics who have ever married have divorced at some point.
Plans to introduce same-sex marriage in Scotland could open the door to polygamy, a senior Labour politician has warned. Labour’s Elaine Smith, deputy presiding officer in the Scottish Parliament, suggested the SNP government’s proposals should be put on hold until the impact of the changes south of the Border can be judged, the Scotsman reports.
The national executive of Accord, the Catholic Church's marriage counselling agency, overruled a motion which would have required it to offer couples sexual counseling to divorced, gay and unmarried people, which would be against Catholic teaching.
The Catholic bishops have thanked Lucinda Creighton (pictured) and other TDs and Senators who broke the party whip to vote against the Government's abortion bill in the summer. In a statement issued after their Autumn General Meeting, they expressed their “deep gratitude to everyone who showed their concern in a respectful way when challenging the passage of this legislation”.
Many families are now paying an extra €6,000 a year into the State's coffers, with the tax on their incomes jumping more than 50pc over the five years of austerity. Massive cuts in child benefit, the introduction of the controversial universal social charge, the property tax and rising prices for everything from groceries to energy has put ‘Middle Ireland’ under huge financial pressure, The Irish Independent reports.
The owner of a well-known Dublin stationery store has been targeted by gay campaigners over his refusal to display pro same-sex marriage materials in his shop. A series of comments posted on the website of the online edition of the Gay Community Newsletter (GCN) have accused Paul Barnes, owner of Daintree Paper stationary shop, of being “homophobic” and “hate-filled” because of his stated opposition to same-sex marriage.
Ireland’s marriage rate is now only 4.3 per 1,000, according to new figures published by the CSO, a massive drop of 40pc since 1973 when the rate peaked at 7.4 per 1,000. The figures mean that fewer couples in Ireland are getting married than in Britain and far fewer than in the US.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is to seek clarification on the Mater Hospital's statement that it will comply with the Government's abortion legislation. The hospital's stance, announced last week, is at odds with that of the Catholic hierarchy, which condemned the legislation. The Mater is a Catholic hospital.
The number of people requesting to die by euthanasia in Holland rose by 13pc last year to 4,188, new figures show. The figures were published for the five regional committees responsible for ensuring the legal conditions for euthanasia are met, website DutchNews reports.
The Christian victims of terrorist attacks in Pakistan were martyrs to their faith, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (pictured) has said. He described the suicide bombing of a church in Pakistan which killed at least 80 people as "appalling" and said the victims were "martyrs".
The Government has no plans to introduce a law to outlaw slapping or “reasonable chastisement” of children in the home, Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald (pictured) has told the UN in a report. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child had called on Ireland to “explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment in the family”.
The Government has set up a committee to draw up guidelines for implementing its abortion legislation. It is believed it will take at three months before the committee reports back to Cabinet. The committee met for the first time this week.
One of Ireland's main Catholic hospitals, the Mater, has said that it will carry out abortions under the Government's legislation, passed earlier this year. Its stance is at odds with that of the Catholic Church here, which condemned the legislation.
Stay-at-home mothers are being forced into paid work in huge numbers in the UK, as controversial Government reforms hit single income families, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph. New official figures show that almost 200,000 women in two parent families with dependent children have re-entered the workplace since 2011.
Parents around the country have been invited to give their opinion on how to make ‘stand-alone’ Catholic schools more ‘inclusive’. Parents are being asked to give their views on how to make prayers more ‘inclusive’, how to make the display of religious symbols more ‘inclusive’ and how much time should be given over to preparing children for the sacraments.
Parents who choose a faith school for their children have a right to expect the state to support them, the most senior Catholic cleric in England and Wales has said. The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols (pictured), issued an impassioned defence of faith schools after a high profile legal challenge to their admissions policies, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Doctors must be servants of life, and “there is no human life more sacred than another, as there is no human life more significant than another,” Pope Francis has told a group of doctors. In an audience yesterday in Rome with members of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations the Pope said, “the first right of the human person is his life,” Vatican Radio reports.
State authorities such as the HSE have produced only a “limited response” to the hundreds of recommendations resulting from the 29 inquiries into the State's handling of child abuse cases over the past two decades, a new study says. The research, commissioned by the Government and carried out by academics from Trinity College, found that the inquiries yielded some 550 separate recommendations, the Irish Times reports.
The family founded on the marriage of a man and a woman is the path through which “faith, love and fundamental moral values are transmitted, as well as concrete solidarity, hard work, patience, and also plans, hope, and future,” Pope Francis (pictured) has said.
The most senior MP in the Liberal Democrat party in the UK, Sir Alan Beith, says “silly” interpretations of equality laws are forcing British Christians to hide their faith. Sir Alan, the longest-serving Liberal MP since David Lloyd George, is the former deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats and chair of the Commons Justice Select Committee.
France has launched a "secularism charter" for State schools which claims to promote "total respect for freedom of conscience" but forbids the wearing of religious symbols and garb in schools and bans pupils from boycotting classes for religious or political reasons. The charter is the Government's latest bid to enforce the official policy of imposing secularism more vigorously.
A group which lobbies for patients who use IVF treatment are to meet with private health insurers in the coming weeks to discuss the possibility of offering cover to policyholders seeking such treatments. Helen Browne, co-founder of the National Infertility Support and Information Group confirmed the meeting at the group’s national conference in Limerick at the weekend, the Irish Times reports.
Replacing the terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’ with ‘parents’ is not a defence of “equality” but the start of a complete rewrite of Italian society, a prominent Italian cardinal said this week. The Cardinal Archbishop of Bologna, Carlo Caffarra (pictured) said that changing the categories of family life and genealogy could send “a real earthquake” through the social structure. Lifesitenews reports.
Public sector chaplains in Scotland who disagree with same-sex marriage may face legal difficulties under plans to legalise it, a body of independent lawyers has warned. The Scottish Executive's proposed Bill to redefine marriage has no provisions for protecting freedom of conscience, the Faculty of Advocates, has said.
Two Christian groups in the UK are considering privately prosecuting two doctors who agreed to arrange abortions of baby girls purely because of their sex after the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to bring charges against them. The Christian Legal Centre, which provides legal advice to its supporters, said it was preparing for a private prosecution against the two doctors who were exposed in an undercover investigation by the Daily Telegraph.
People who grow up in non-intact families tend to have “ a significantly lower degree of participation in civil society later in life,” according to a leading European think-tank. Researchers for the Ifo Institute, one of Germany's largest economic think-tanks, examined the extent to which people who were not reared in traditional family structures become civically involved in later life.
A European Citizens Initiative (ECI) petition calling on the European Commission to introduce legislation to suspend EU-funding of embryonic stem cell research has reached one million signatures. When Micheal Martin was Health Minister, Ireland gave its backing to EU-funding of embryo stem-cell research.
Professor Robert George (pictured), one of America's foremost champions of religious freedom has been confirmed as the chair of the Chairman of the U.S Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). He was sworn into office by the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court John Roberts on Monday.
Governments and other public institutions should look at the value of people rather than economic productivity when measuring social progress, President Michael Higgins (pictured) has said. Speaking at Dublin City University last night, Mr Higgins said he strongly believed that a new approach, not focused on the markets and their values, was needed when looking at how society should be measured, the Irish Times reports.
Cohabiting mothers are more likely to be living below the US poverty line than mothers living alone, according to research from the University of Virginia. Researcher Annie Rorem, from the Centre on Education Policy and Workforce Competitiveness, said that much US research has previously overlooked unmarried mothers who are cohabiting with partners.
Marriage is no longer seen as the foundation stone of family life by a majority of people in Britain, a major study of public opinion suggests. The belief that couples should ideally get married before starting a family has effectively collapsed within a generation, according to the British Social Attitudes survey, the longest running and most authoritative barometer of public opinion in the UK.
England and Wales' leading family law judge has told social workers that the law can't be allowed to stop parents naming and shaming of social workers. Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the High Court, rejected a legal bid to ban the father of a child, known only as J, from posting information about social workers in a case which saw a baby taken from him and the mother of the child against their will.
Britain's law on abortion, which makes it illegal to provide abortion on the basis of gender has become “meaningless”, MPs have warned, after the country’s most senior prosecutor was accused of putting doctors who agreed to arrange illegal terminations above the law. Lord Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, described as “very dubious” the decision overseen by his successor, Keir Starmer QC, not to charge two doctors who agreed to arrange abortions of baby girls purely because of their gender, the Daily Telegraph reports.
The pace of handing some Catholic schools in the archdiocese of Dublin to new patron bodies has been a slow, a diocesan spokeswoman has told The Irish Times. Her comments follow remarks made by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin (pictured) this week on Newstalk where he said that many parents didn't want to divest their Catholic schools to alternative patrons.
The city of Venice in Italy has passed a law banning the terms “mother” and “father” on forms parents must fill out to gain a place for their children at publicly funded day care centres and kindergartens. The “civil rights and anti-discrimination” policy was introduced by city councilor Camilla Seibezzi, who said that such changes to language are a fundamental objective to combat stereotypes, local paper, Corriere del Veneto, reports.
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