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Less than 40pc of parents have responded to a Department of Education pilot survey as to their preferred choice of patron for Catholic primary schools, new figures suggest. The online survey was carried out in Arklow, Castlebar, Tramore, Trim and Whitehall in Dublin. The actual results of the surveys will not be known until next week, the Irish Times reports.
The Vatican has reiterated its opposition to same-sex marriage, insisting that children should have a right to say they have a father and a mother. Speaking on Vatican Radio, the press secretary for Pope Benedict, Fr Federico Lombardi noted “a widespread tendency” in the West “to modify the classic vision of marriage between a man and woman, or rather to try to give it up, erasing its specific and privileged legal recognition compared to other forms of union".
A row has erupted in Brussels over whether plans to place a 25-metre ‘tree’ made from giant TV screens in the city's Grand Place is a deliberate snub to Christianity. City councilwoman Bianca Debaets attacked the decision to erect the new display saying it was motivated by a desire not to offend Muslims and was intended to replace the traditional Christmas tree.
The Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore (pictured), has said he would like to see a referendum on the issue of same-sex marriage "as soon as possible". He said that the issue would be one of the first to be addressed by the Constitutional Convention, which is set to meet for the first time next month.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of children being raised by their grandparents in the US, new figures show. One of the causes is continued family breakdown. The figures, compiled by think tank, Child Trends, show that in the period 2005-2007 there were about 4.6 million children who lived in households headed by one or more grandparents, and by 2008-2010, this had risen to 5.2 million.
The children of divorced parents can suffer the effects of the break-up well into their adult life, a new study has found. Family breakdown during childhood was “consistently associated with psychological distress in adulthood during people’s early 30s”, the study says.
The deadline for filling out Department of Education surveys being conducted in five areas to determine whether to transfer the patronage of primary schools from the Catholic Church to other patrons is midnight tonight. But according to a report on RTE Radio News, many parents in those areas are not aware of the survey, and only a fraction of those who were aware had completed the survey.
A Catholic charity that has helped tens of thousands of children through its adoption services since 1865 will no longer be able to offer that service due to its opposition to adoption by same-sex couples. The UK’s Upper Tribunal, the equivalent of the High Court in the administrative justice system, rejected an appeal by Catholic Care against a previous decision that found against it.
Government spending of public money on an information campaign on the Children's Referendum was not fair, impartial or equal, the Supreme Court ruled today. The court held that the information in leaflets and on a website produced by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs did not conform to the required principles laid down by the McKenna judgment, which prohibits the use of public funds to promote a particular outcome in a referendum, according to RTE. The vote is set to go ahead this Saturday.
Three US states narrowly passed referenda in favour of same-sex marriage on Tuesday, while a fourth saw a measure defining marriage as being between a man and a woman defeated by a slender margin. The winning margin was an average of four points. They are the first states ever to vote for same-sex marriage. Campaigners for man/woman marriage were outspent by eight to one thanks to huge donations to the same-sex marriage side by a series of wealthy donors.
The first meeting of the constitutional convention will take place on Saturday, December 1st, in Dublin Castle. The chairman of the convention, Tom Arnold, yesterday paid a courtesy visit to Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, The Irish Times reports. The Convention is set to look at a range of controversial issues, including proposals to amend the Constitution to allow for same-sex marriage.
Fathers not living with their children are set to get the legal right to spend time with them, unless they are likely to cause them harm, under changes to access laws unveiled yesterday by the UK Government. Ministers said they were pushing ahead with the new laws despite opposition from legal experts, the Daily Telegraph reports. The proposed changes will also require courts to consider the rights of grandparents after divorce or separation, although the Government has decided not to legislate to legally ensure they are offered access.
The Government's Children's Rights referendum has struck “a reasonable and balanced approach” to child protection, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ conference has said. In a statement on the referendum yesterday, the Bishops said that they shared the concerns of others “to ensure that the proposed amendment on children does not undermine the rights of parents and the presumptive place of the family, based on marriage between a woman and a man, as the unit in which the welfare and rights of children are best exercised and safeguarded”.
A group of young militants shouting, “Where are the priests? We’re going to burn them at the stake,” attacked a Catholic school in Spain last month, leaving one teacher wounded. The attack occured at Mary Help of Christians Salesian School in the Spanish region of Merida, Catholic News Agency reports. According to the Salesian Press Office in Spain, the incident occurred at 1:20 p.m. local time on October 18th, when some 100 young people entered the school, which is attended by nearly 1,000 students.
Two of Britain’s biggest banks, Barclays and Coutts, have threatened to withdraw funding from an awards ceremony hosted by pro-gay organisation, Stonewall, unless they cease their "Bigot of the Year" award. The move comes after the group gave the title to Cardinal Keith O'Brien (pictured) this year, a decision condemned by the Catholic Church in Scotland.
The number of children being brought up by unmarried couples in Britain has doubled since the mid-1990s, and unmarried couple households are now more likely than married couple households to have children living in them, according to official figures. The figures also show that while the number of same-sex couples living together has increased eightfold, the numbers remain at just one percent of all couples.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has said urged the Catholic hierarchy to express their views on the forthcoming children’s rights referendum. Mr Varadkar is heading the Fine Gael campaign in favour of the children’s rights amendment.
The divorce rate among the over 50s – so-called ‘gray divorce’ – has doubled in the US over the last 20 year according to a new study. The study, published in the current issue of the Journal of Gerontology, shows that ‘gray divorce’ now account for a quarter of all divorces.
Only 3.4pc of the US population are homosexual, rather than the 10pc that is often cited, according to a new poll. The survey, carried out by Gallup, based its findings on a huge sample of 120,000 participants. The survey asked: “"Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?" Just over three percent of people said Yes.
The Government has announced that the chief executive of the charity Concern Worldwide, Tom Arnold, has been appointed to chair its proposed Constitutional Convention. The Convention is set to look at a range of controversial issues, including proposals to amend the Constitution to allow for same-sex marriage. The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, also announced that he expected the first meeting of the convention would take place on either November 24th or December 1st.
A council in the UK is examining proposals to scrap the titles Mr and Mrs from its official forms because they supposedly offend the “transgender” community. The plans come after a survey conducted by Brighton and Hove city council into the lives of “transgender” people.
Ireland is the fifth best place in the world for women, according a new global survey. The finding comes after a report from OECD in May showed that Irish women had a better overall quality of life than men when a range of different factors were taken into account. The new survey, entitled the 2012 Global Gender Gap Report, measures the gap between men and women in “four pillars”
The passage of the Government's children's rights referendum will not lead to “forced adoptions,” Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald (pictured) has said. Speaking at a Law Society seminar on the proposed amendment yesterday, she said that the adoption system contemplated by the amendment will be very different from the UK system, where children in care are eligible for adoption, the Irish Times reports.
Catholic schools do better another schools on a number of measures of social inclusion according to a new study on diversity in Irish primary schools conducted by the ESRI. The study, “School Sector Variation among Primary Schools in Ireland”, released yesterday, was commissioned by Educate Together. The findings echo those of a Department of Education audit conducted in 2008 which showed that Catholic schools had the highest levels of social inclusion across a range of measures.
There is no specific time frame for the Government to provide legislation for legal recognition of transsexuals, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore (pictured) said at the weekend. Speaking at the closing of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (ILGA) European conference in Dublin on Sunday, he said the Government was committed to developing “gender recognition” legislation which would allow people to change their official documents to recognise their preferred gender.
The Department of Education's plan to survey parents online to determine whether they want their local Catholic school to be run by a different patron body has been criticised by the Catholic Church's leading spokesperson on schools. Chairperson of the Irish Catholic Schools Partnership Fr Michael Drumm (pictured) has said that an online survey of parents might suffer from “mass non-participation” and therefore would not be properly representative.
People who wait until their 20s before having sex are more likely to enjoy a happy, satisfying relationship in later life than those who have sex in their teens, a major new study has found. Research conducted by the University of Texas also found those who abstain until at least 20 years old were more likely to have had a university education and work in a well-paid job, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph. Those who delayed their first sexual experience were also likely to have fewer sexual partners later in life but less likely to be married.
Feminism is not popular among modern women, according to a new survey. Just one in seven women in a poll now describe themselves as a feminist, with most saying the traditional respect of motherhood has been undermined, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Legislation preventing same-sex couples and unmarried heterosexual couples from adopting has been deemed unlawful by the High Court of Northern Ireland. Mr Justice Treacy said the ban discriminated against all unmarried couples, gay or straight, and was against the best interests of children.
The number of Catholics in the country is at its highest level since independence, but those who define themselves as having no religion are the fastest growing group, according to Census figures published yesterday by the CSO. Catholics in the country total 3.8 million, the highest since 1922, but their share of the population, while still very high at 84 percent is the lowest since 1922.
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has said that if we pass the children’s right amendment we will be turning our back on a time when the State “kowtowed to Churches in respect of the care of children, to the detriment of children”. He was speaking yesterday at the launch of Labour’s campaign in favour of the amendment.
The UK Government must keep its promise to introduce tax breaks for married couples by 2015, the Work and Pension Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith has demanded. Plans to introduce such a tax break are strongly opposed by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. Proponents say it will signal the importance of marriage for society and for children, but Clegg believes it is wrong to favour married couples over cohabiting couples.
The constitutional amendment will ensure all children in Ireland are treated equally under law, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, has said. Writing in The Irish Times today she says the amendment will make it easier to adopt the children of married parents.
A record one in five American now describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated and for the first time less than half the population is Protestant according to a major new poll. However, more than half of the unaffiliated describe themselves as either ‘religious’ or ‘spiritual’ and 21 percent pray every day.
The UK's Attorney General has said the possible introduction of same-sex marriage will raise 'profound philosophical difficulties' for some religious workers in the public sector. In an interview with a Christian radio station in the UK, Mr Dominic Grieve, said that same-sex marriage would inevitably create “friction”.
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