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Grandparents denied access to grandchildren for last three years

By Admin on 10th September 2012. ~ Categories: Other

The grandparents of two children in Scotland adopted by a same-sex couple have been denied access to them for three years. The grandparents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, say they were prevented from continuing to care for the youngsters because they were deemed ‘too old’ to care for them. However the City of Edinburgh Council denies that this was the case.

Britain appoints its first Minister for Faith

By Admin on 8th September 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The British Government has appointed its first ever Minister for Faith. Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Baroness Sayeeda Warsi (pictured) Minister for Faith and Communities in a cabinet reshuffle earlier this week. Formerly co-chairman of the Conservative Party and Minister without Portfolio, Baroness Warsi becomes a Senior Minister of State and will attend cabinet, although not as a full member.

Having sex early in a relationship can harm it long-term says study

By Admin on 7th September 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Having sex early in a relationship can lead to less emotionally satisfying relationships further down the road, according to a new study from New York’s Cornell University reported in The Daily Mail. According to the researchers delaying sex in a relationship is a better approach to building up a healthy relationship.

Social services had multiple chances to save toddler says review

By Admin on 7th September 2012. ~ Categories: Other

Social services in the UK failed on numerous occasions to intervene in the case of a toddler who ended up being killed by his father giving him methadone according to an independent review published on Tuesday. The report catalogued a series of failures by a range of professional bodies in the months before Jayden Lee Green died in his drug addict parents’ squalid flat in August last year, the Daily Telegraph says.

Church organisations must not lose their Christian identity says Archbishop Martin

By Admin on 6th September 2012. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Church organisations must not lose their Christian identity when making their case in the public square, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin (pictured) has warned. Speaking at a meeting of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) Assembly currently underway in Nicosia, Cyprus Archbishop Martin warned that when Church bodies become simply lobbying organisations like other lobbying organisations, they lose their proper direction.

One in four women wish they had started their families sooner

By Admin on 6th September 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A quarter of women in the UK wish they had tried to start a family earlier, according to a new survey of women. The poll of more than 3,000 women aged 28 to 45 found 24pc regretted having waited so long, and 17 per cent were worried about being too old to conceive, the Daily Telegraph reports. In addition, almost one in 10 (nine per cent) had already resorted to fertility treatment because they had found it difficult to conceive naturally while 20pc wanted to have a child so much they said they would consider purposefully becoming a single mother, either through donor sperm or another route.

Christians should resign if their faith clashes with their work court told

By Admin on 5th September 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Christians should resign if their faith clashes with their work, lawyers for the UK government have told the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The lawyers were making the argument in a landmark case involving four employees who claim that they have been the victims of religious discrimination in the workplace. They said that the rights of the four individuals to religious freedom was not infringed because they could still practice their faith “in private”.

Father seeks right to give schoolchildren atheist tracts

By Admin on 4th September 2012. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A father in the Canadian province of Ontario is seeking to have atheist tracts distributed to children in the province’s schools along with Gideon bibles. The bibles are only given to children with the permission of the parents. Rene Chouinard, a father of two school-age children and an active secularist said he didn't think that “10-year-old kids should be expected to make decisions on which theological concept is correct”.

Landmark religious freedom case being heard today at ECHR

By Admin on 4th September 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A landmark case on religious freedom will be heard today at the European Court of Human Rights today as four workers challenge British judgements over their right to practice their religion in various ways. The British Government is opposing the four Christians who have taken the case. The four Christians include two workers forced out of their jobs after visibly wearing crosses, a Relate therapist sacked for saying he would not be comfortable giving sex counselling to homosexual couples, and a Christian registrar who does not wish to conduct civil partnership ceremonies for same-sex couples.

Church has the right to lobby says Gilmore

By Admin on August 31 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has conceded that the Church has the right to lobby politicians on abortion and other issues. Mr Gilmore was responding to journalists’ questions after his party colleague, Pat Rabbitte, told RTE last week that the Church should not ‘dictate’ to politicians and that this would be a retrograde step.

Three-person civil union recognised in Brazil

By Admin on August 30 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A notary in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo has recognised a three person civil union between a man and two women. It is uncertain whether the move will withstand a legal challenge. The notary in question, Claudia do Nascimento Domingues has said the three individuals should be entitled to family rights, the BBC reports.

UK policies have failed to reduce teenage pregnancies says expert

By Admin on 29th August 2012. ~ Categories: Schools and Education

Government policies in the UK aimed at reducing teenage pregnancies have failed to have any impact, according to a new study. The study looked at the teenage pregnancy figures between 1969 and 2009. It found that despite the millions of pounds spent in government initiatives over the last four decades pregnancy rates among teenaged girls aged 13-16, have remained steady, while abortion rates have gone up.

Retired judge says he disagrees with children’s rights referendum

By Admin on 28th August 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A former district court judge has said that he disagrees with the Government's plan to bring in a children's rights referendum. Retired judge Michael Patwell said that, while he had previously believed there was a need for the Constitutional amendment, he had changed his mind. He has himself dealt with many family law cases including ones that resulted in the removal of children from their parents.

Row erupts over Pat Rabbitte comments on Church and State

By Admin on 28th August 2012 . ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A major row over the relationship between Church and State has erupted after Pat Rabbitte appeared to suggest that the Catholic Church should not be permitted to lobby politicians. Mr Rabbitte, who is Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, was responding after Cardinal Sean Brady told RTE that the Church was prepared to lobby politicians on the abortion issue.

Proposal to ban State employees from wearing ‘overt religious symbols’

By Admin on 27th August 2012. ~ Categories:

The leading separatist party in the Canadian province of Quebec wants to everyone in the employ of the State from wearing or exposing ‘overt religious symbols’. In addition, the Parti Québécois (PQ) wants to introduce a secular charter aimed at removing religious symbols are removed from public institutions. PQ leader Pauline Marois said freedom of religion would be integrated in the charter.

Christian couple fined for stance on traditional marriage

By Admin on 25th August 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A Christian couple who were sued by the powerful US lobby group the American Civil Liberties Union for standing up for their belief in traditional marriage have been forced to pay $30,000 in an out of court settlement. The ACLU sued the couple, Jim and Mary O’Reilly, because they refused to host a lesbian wedding reception in 2011. The couple, the owners of the Wildflower Inn in the state of Vermont, said they “wanted to end this ordeal and the threat that the litigation” posed to their business.

Children's rights amendment will be based on O'Rourke wording, Minister says

By Admin on 24th August 2012. ~ Categories: Other

The Government's proposed children's rights referendum will be based on the wording proposed by an Oireachtas committee chaired by former Fianna Fáil TD, Mary O'Rourke. Speaking on Newstalk earlier today, the Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald (pictured), said that Government officials were working to ensure that the wording is based on the principles outlined by that Committee. The O’Rourke wording has been previously criticised for being too imprecise on what it means by a child’s ‘best interests’ and the circumstances in which the State will be permitted to override the judgement of parents in this regard.

Marriage debate intensifies in Britain

By Admin on 24th August 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien has set up a new body to support marriage and the family. The new Commission for Marriage and the Family will be led by a bishop and composed mostly of lay people. It will produce materials and organise events "which will support ordinary Catholic families in their daily lives".

FF attacks Government over delay in publishing children’s rights amendment

By Admin on 23rd August 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Fianna Fáil has warned that the Government may not be able to rely on it support for its proposed children's rights referendum after spokesman for children Robert Troy said it is “totally unacceptable that the Government has allowed the summer to pass without publishing the wording of the referendum on children’s rights”. And he warned that while Fianna Fáil wanted to give its full support to the Government's referendum, it could not do so “blindly”.

Religion good for mental health says new study

By Admin on 23rd August 2012. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice

Religion and spirituality are good for your mental health, say a new study which recommends that health care professionals take this into account in their treatment programmes. According to the study, published in the Journal of Religion and Health, regardless of which particular religion people belong to, faith can improve a person's well-being. The findings confirm earlier research showing that religion can provide significant health benefits for believers.

Joan Burton to address major transsexual rights conference

By Admin on 22nd August 2012. ~ Categories: Other

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton is to address a major international transsexual rights conference in Dublin next month. The conference is sponsored by Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and TENI Director Broden Giambrone said that the event “provides an ideal platform for activists to share experiences, resources and best practice”. The conference will bring together groups belonging to Transgender Europe which is a network of campaigning organisations throughout Europe affiliated to the United Nations, the European Parliament and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Married men earn more than divorced men says study

By Admin on 22nd August 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Married men earn more over their lifetime than either single men divorced men according to a new study. Using Census data on wage and income, Drs Pat Fagan and Henry Potrykus, of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, looked at earnings for divorced men, married men and single men. According to their findings those men who stayed married made more money than those who had ever been divorced and those never married.

Catholic schools create sense of civic virtue, says leading cleric

By Admin on 21st August 2012. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Claims that Catholic schools cannot create a sense of civic virtue run “completely contrary to the Catholic education tradition which is built on a respect for faith and reason” the head of a leading Catholic schools body has said. Fr Michael Drumm (pictured), the Chairman of the Catholic Schools Partnership, said that contemporary Irish discourse tended to “dismiss religious belief as inherently irrational, divisive, and anti-intellectual”.

Religious states in the US give most to charity

By Admin on 21st August 2012. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice

The least religious states in the US also tend to give the least money to charity, a new study suggests. The study, published yesterday by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, found that residents in states where religious participation is higher than the rest of the nation, particularly in the South, gave the greatest percentage of their discretionary income to charity.

UN Human Rights Council argues over ‘traditional values’ document

By Admin on 20th August 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A United Nations document, initiated by Russia and intended to uphold traditional values has been hijacked by other countries, including the US and a number of European countries, according to C-Fam, which monitors family and life issues at the UN. According to C-Fam, a process was initiated on the Human Rights Council last year by Russia with the aim of working towards a resolution to find a positive link between traditional values and human rights generally.

Irish 'civil society' groups nominate experts to Constitutional Convention

By Admin on 18th August 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A series of pro-same-sex marriage advocates have been nominated to the Government's Constitutional Convention by a number of non-governmental organisations. The groups are part of an umbrella initiative by the Irish Council of Civil Liberties (ICCL) called Hear our Voices. According to a statement by the ICCL, the nominations are “the result of a call for nominations to over 900 organisations” through this initiative.

Fertility clinics breaching ethical standards on egg donations

By Admin on 17th August 2012. ~ Categories: Other

A significant number of US fertility clinics who recruit egg donors online are not adhering to the industry's own ethical guidelines, a new study says. Their ethical failures include not warning women of the risks of the procedure and offering extra payment for traits like good looks. Egg donation, like sperm donation is often criticized in itself for ‘commodifying’ the children that result and for deliberately breaking the link between children and their natural, biological parents.

Suicide rate rises among older teenagers

By Admin on 17th August 2012. ~ Categories: Other

Ireland has seen a rise in suicide among older teenagers, according to a new study. The research, published in the Irish Medical Journal, looked at the number of suicides carried out by those under 18 in the years between 1993 and 1998, and the years between 2003 and 2008. The figures showed a small reduction in the number of suicides among those aged between 5 and 14.

Gay rights worker held after shooting of guard at pro-marriage group HQ

By Admin on 16th August 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A gay rights worker is being held by police after the shooting of a security guard at the offices of the Family Research Council (FRC), a pro-family, pro-religion think tank in Washington D.C. The attack has been condemned by President Barack Obama and Republican party presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. Brian Brown, the President of the National Organisation for Marriage said that the shooting was "the clearest sign we've seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as 'hateful' must end".

Health worker sacked over pro-life booklet settles out of court

By Admin on 16th August 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A mental health worker in the UK who was sacked for giving a work colleague a pro-life booklet has settled her legal action against the NHS out of court. Margaret Forrester (pictured), a Catholic, give the colleague the booklet which highlighted the potential physical and psychological damage some women suffer after an abortion. Miss Forrester was told that the leaflet amounted to “offensive” material.

Denominational schools protect diversity says John Bruton

By Admin on 15th August 2012. ~ Categories: Schools and Education

Denominational schools are a crucial means of protecting diversity, former Taoiseach, John Bruton, has said. In an address to the Parnell summer school at Avondale, Co Wicklow on Sunday, he said Parnell understood that “Irish people saw a link between ethical formation and religious belief, and thus favoured denominational involvement in education, as most of them still do”. His remarks come as the Government plans a White Paper later this year which, it is believed, will recommend major changes in the current system of denominational education.

Religious freedom in US face “unprecedented” threat says Vatican

By Admin on 14h August 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Religious freedom in the United States faces threats of “unprecedented gravity” the Vatican has warned. In a letter on behalf of Pope Benedict (pictured) to U.S. Catholic group, the Knights of Columbus, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said that “concerted efforts are being made to redefine and restrict the exercise of the right to religious freedom.”

Big fall in number of Japanese teens who are sexually active

By Admin on 13th August 2012. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Other

Japan has seen a dramatic drop in the number of second level students engaged in sexual activity for the first time since the 1970s, according to a new survey. The research, conducted by the Japanese Association for Sex Education (JASE) that 15pc second level boys had had sex compared to 27pc in 2005, a 50pc drop in seven years. The decline in sexual activity was less marked among girls, decreasing from 30pc in 2005 to 24pc in 2012.

Traditional marriage constitutional, U.S. court rules

By Admin on 11th August 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A federal U.S. court has ruled that a Hawaiian law which defines marriage as between a man and a woman does not violate the U.S. Constitution. The ruling by Judge Alan. C. Kay on Wednesday broke a string of court losses by advocates for traditional marriage on the subject of same-sex marriage. It comes before the Supreme Court is expected to hear a case on California's Proposition 8, which defined marriage in the same way before it was struck down by the Ninth Circut Court ruled that it was unconstitutional.

Cardinal warns against “tyranny of tolerance”

By Admin on 10th July 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Forbidding discussion of public values in the name of 'pluralism and tolerance' is “a formula for tyranny” Chicago's Cardinal Francis George has said. In his blog this week, Cardinal George warned that the context in which discussion of controversial issues such as abortion or marriage takes place often narrows very quickly and dangerously. And he warned that appeals “to pluralism and toleration gradually become tyrannical”.

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