All News Articles

UK churches could be forced to perform same-sex marriages

By Admin on 14th June 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Churches in the UK could be forced to celebrate same-sex marriages, despite repeated promises by Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured) to exempt them. Both the Church of England and Roman Catholic Church have already voiced fears that the Government’s pledge would not withstand a challenge in Parliament or the courts. In its official response to the Government's proposals on same-sex marriage, the Church of England warned that churches may eventually be forced to conduct such ceremonies.


Marriage under multiple threat Eucharistic Congress told

By Admin on 13th June 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The Christian ideal of marriage is under “great threat” from cohabitation, the disposable marriages of celebrities and the campaign to legalise same-sex marriage, a leading Australian bishop told an audience of thousands at the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin yesterday. In his address, Dr Barry Hickey, Archbishop Emeritus of Perth, also said that the culture created by artificial contraception “has led to the separation of sex from marriage itself and has led to the proliferation of casual unions, to the exploitation of young women, to false hopes that sexual activity will lead to love, and to the abandonment of marriage by millions of people around the world”.


Increase in child abuse report to Women’s Aid

By Admin on 13th June 2012. ~ Categories: Other

There were 25pc more reports of child abuse in 2011 and more than 13,000 calls were made to the Women’s Aid helpline, figures revealed today show. Women's Aid said that more than 2,000 women who called their domestic violence helpline said their children had also suffered at the hands of a perpetrator, and another 3,000 youngsters saw their mothers threatened, beaten and raped. Other figures released yesterday by the HSE showed that there were 12,825 reports of concern about the abuse of children in 2010.


Social Workers to check if troubled families teach their children morality

By Admin on June 12 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Social workers in the UK will now assess whether troubled families are forming their children's consciences and instilling moral values under a major overhaul of child protection rules unveiled today. For the first time ever, new guidelines are set to recognise that the lack of a basic sense of right and wrong in children is a sign of poor parenting, according to the Daily Telegraph.


Children do better in traditional families than in same-sex families, study says

By Admin on 12th June 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Adults who were raised by same-sex parents are more likely to have been on social welfare, more likely to be unemployed and more likely to have received psychotherapy than those from intact biological families, according to new US research. The groundbreaking study, “How Different are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study” examined 175 children with mothers who had had a gay relationship and 73 with fathers who had had a gay relationship out of a sample of 3,000 adults now aged 18 to 39.


Same-sex marriage not a big issue for many gays says new poll

By Admin on 11th June 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Fewer than a third of gay people would get married if the British government legalises same-sex marriage, while almost 40 percent believe redefining marriage is a not priority for gay people, according to a new poll. The survey, the first ever professionally-conducted poll of gay people’s attitudes to same-sex marriage, was carried out by polling firm ComRes on behalf of media advocacy group Catholic Voices. The poll surveyed 541 adults between 17 April and 20 May who describe themselves as gay/lesbian or bisexual.


Ten percent of American men are fathers before 20th birthday

By Admin on 9th June 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Nearly one in ten young men in America have become fathers before their 20th birthday, according a new study by think tank Child Trends. The report, The Characteristics and Circumstances of Teen Fathers: At the Birth of Their First Child and Beyond, looked at figures from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth—1997, a nationally representative survey of U.S. youth who were between the ages of 12 and 16 on December 31, 1996. The study found that almost one-half of the men who fathered a child as a teen have at least one more child by the time they are between ages 22 and 24, sometimes with a different mother.


Couple set for new court action to redefine marriage

By Admin on 8th June 2012. ~ Categories:

A fresh attempt to use the Irish courts to redefine marriage is set to be made by Senator Katherine Zappone and Dr Ann Louise Gilligan. Their new case is set to challenge the Civil Registration Act 2004, and the Civil Partnership Act 2010, both of which prohibit people of the same sex marrying each other and will begin in the High Court. The two women argue that the State's refusal to recognise their same-sex marriage, entered into in Canada, was unconstitutional but lost their case in the High Court in 2006 and subsequently took their case to the Supreme Court.


Constitutional convention to be established next month

By Admin on 8th June 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The promised Constitutional convention which will look at proposals to legalise same-sex marriage, remove the clause which refers to women in the home and remove the offence of blasphemy is set to be established next month. However, a Government spokesman told The Irish Times that the convention may not finish its work before the end of its current term in office. The convention, which will be made up of politicians and ordinary citizens was agreed upon by the Cabinet at its weekly meeting.


Sales of Morning After Pill soar 300pc in one year

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

Sales of the Morning After Pill – an abortifacient – have soared threefold to 13 per day or almost 5,000 per year, according to The Irish Daily Mail. The increase is the result of permitting pharmacists to sell the drug over the counter without a doctor’s prescription and because its price has been cut from €50 to €15.


Traditional families the key to overcoming modern ills, says Pope

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

Traditional family values are vital for the renewal of modern society, Pope Benedict has told over a million people at the World Meeting of Families in Milan on Sunday. "We have been given the task of building church communities that are more and more like families... based on a marriage between man and woman," the Pope told pilgrims gathered together from 154 countries. "Watch over your children and, in a world dominated by technology, transmit to them, with serenity and trust, reasons for living, the strength of faith, pointing them towards high goals and supporting them in their fragility."


Teach religion during school hours, majority say

By Admin on 5th June 2012. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Religion and Religious Practice

More than half of Irish people believe that religious education should be part of the school day, according to a new poll. The findings come after suggestions made by RTE that the Catholic Church had sought to impose separate religion classes during school hours on three new VEC-run schools. Senior education figures for the Church vigorously denied these allegations.


Majority of Catholics don't accept Church teaching, poll says

By Admin on 5th June 2012. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice

A new poll shows that large numbers of Catholics in Ireland do not believe some of the central teaching of the Church. However the poll did not break this down by Mass attendence. The poll, carried out by MRBI for the Irish Times, also showed that most Catholics do not attend weekly Mass. According to the survey, just under a third (31 per cent) of Catholics said they attended Mass at least once a week.


US bishops warn Catholics may be forced into civil disobedience

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

Catholics may be forced into civil disobedience by the US Government mandate requiring Catholic institutions to cover abortifacients, contraception and sterilisation in their health insurance plans, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has said. In a bulletin, the USCCB say that “[s]ome laws impose such injustices on individuals and organisations that disobeying the laws may be justified. Every effort must be made to repeal them”. “When fundamental human goods, such as the right of conscience, are at stake, we may need to witness to the truth by resisting the law and incurring its penalties,” the Bishops state.


Pro-life health worker to sue NHS

By Admin on 2nd June 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A Christian mental health worker in the UK who was fired for distributing pro-life leaflets at work is to sue the NHS accusing it of having a “dangerously totalitarian” approach to the issue. Margaret Forrester (pictured) was dismissed for “gross professional misconduct” after she gave a colleague a booklet pointing out the physical and psychological damage suffered by some women after undergoing an abortion.


Shatter to make proposals about the age of consent

By Admin on 1st June 2012. ~ Categories: Other

Proposals to give effect to recommendations about the age of consent are set to be put before the Cabinet, Justice Minister Alan Shatter (pictured) has said. One recommendation is likely to be that the age of consent should be dropped to 16. This is despite the fact that the Taoiseach Enda Kenny strongly opposed reducing the age of consent when he was leader of the Opposition in 2006.


Children have right to be raised by their natural parents says Archbishop of Westminster

By Admin on 1st June 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Children should be raised by their natural mother and father within marriage and should only be deprived of this for “grave” reasons, England's most senior Catholic cleric has warned in a major speech. Speaking to over 500 married couples, the Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Revd Vincent Nichols (pictured), said: “We know that the context of a marriage is the best place for children to be reared, providing them with a framework of love, within which they are sure of their biological heritage and not deprived, without grave reason, of the experience of being loved and raised by their natural mother and father.”


Big rise in number of civil marriages

By Admin on 31st May 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Over a quarter of marriages conducted in Ireland in 2009 were civil marriages, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The figures, contained in a report entitled Marriages 2009, show that 28.7pc of all marriages were civil ceremonies, an increase of 17pc compared 2008. However, among people getting marriage for the first time, this figure dropped somewhat to 21 percent.


Many civil servants ignorant about religion says Archbishop Williams

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

Civil servants who are attempting to exclude faith from public life are simply ignorant of how Christianity has shaped British history, the head of the Church of England has said. Speaking on Tuesday in the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said that a “plain lack of historical and cultural awareness” was behind the instinct of many civil servants to treat religion as a problem. Dr Williams said that British tradition of democracy, tolerance and justice had been shaped by the influence of the teachings of Christianity and Judaism in particular.


Don’t prosecute experts who give sexual heath advice to under 16s say doctors

By Admin on 30th May 2012. ~ Categories: Other

Healthcare workers should not be legally prosecuted if they provide “sexual health services” such as STI treatment to children under 16, if they deem it to be in that child's best interests, according to a new policy statement on sexual health published by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. The document, Better Sexual Health for Ireland, says that providing such services “can sometimes be challenging in the context of the current legal framework in Ireland”.


Separated people endangering sexual health by sleeping with multiple partners

By Admin on 29th May 2012. ~ Categories: Other

Large numbers of separated and divorced men and women are putting their sexual health at risk by sleeping with multiple partners and contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as a result, a leading consultant warned yesterday. Dr Jack Lambert, of the Mater Hospital, said people in their 30s, 40s and 50s “are going out and acting as if they are 18 or 25 years old again”, The Irish Independent reports. Dr Lambert also pointed out that clinics treating sexually transmitted diseases are seeing more adolescents.


Children in care centres being put at more risk: report

By Admin on 29th May 2012. ~ Categories: Other

A number of at-risk children housed in residential care centres were found to be in “inappropriate relationships”, including with adults, while some centres used staff without proper qualifications, inspections of those centres have revealed. At one home, management had been alerted to the possibility of "inappropriate relationships" between children but never informed the children’s social workers, according to a report in the Irish Examiner. Families also repeatedly warned of their children’s "at-risk" behaviour but this was never addressed.


Google opposed to automatic filtering of porn

By Admin on 28th May 2012. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Other

The internet giant Google has claimed that plans by the UK Government to introduce legislation that would mean internet providers would have to automatically filter out porn unless the customer wished otherwise, would give parents a false sense of security. But Sarah Hunter, the website’s head of UK public policy says the proposal would “overblock or underblock”, while also “deskilling” parents, the Daily Telegraph reports. “Legislation would be a mistake,” she said.


Anti-homophobia’ motion targets religious freedom

By Admin on May 26th 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A European Parliament resolution which claims that ‘homophobia’ is frequently disguised as concern for religious freedom passed on Thursday by 430 votes to 105 with 59 MEPs abstaining. The motion, which called for a series of measures to tackle “discrimination” against homosexuals said that “homophobia” manifested itself “in different forms.... which are often hidden behind justifications based on public order, religious freedom and the right to conscientious objection”.


Six minors known to HSE have died by suicide or accidents this year

By Admin on 25th May 2012. ~ Categories: Other

Six minors who were known to social services have died already this year due to suicide or accidents according to six reports published yesterday. Since January, a further seven children have died due to natural causes, the reports, published by the National Review Panel, said. In total, at least 24 children and young adults who were involved with social services have died in the past year and a half.


Forty percent of American against premarital sex

By Admin on 25th May 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Nearly forty percent of Americans believe that premarital sex is not morally acceptable, while more than four in ten believe the same about having a child outside marriage, according to a new poll by Gallup. The survey also revealed that more than forty percent believe that same-sex sexual relations are not morally acceptable. The poll asked a random sample of 1,024 adults about the moral acceptability about 18 types of conduct, including gambling, animal experimentation and cloning.


Irish population getting older, despite increasing number of toddlers

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

The Irish population, on average, is half a year older compared to 2006, but the number of children aged four and under has risen by 18pc, according to new figures from the Census 2011. The figures also showed that the number of young adults aged 19-24 has decreased by 12 per cent since 2006, the only age group to show a fall in numbers, while the population of elderly people, aged 65 or over, increased by 14.4 per cent


Tory MPs to be given free vote on same-sex marriage

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

Conservative MPs, including members of the Government itself, are set to be given a free vote on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. It had been understood that backbench MPs would be given a free vote, but this has been extended to Cabinet and junior ministers after a major rebellion by ministers, according to The Daily Telegraph. Downing Street initially suggested that members of the Government would be required to support the plans when the proposals are debated in the Commons.


Women doing better than men on key measures says OECD study

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

Women in developed countries are doing better than men on a range of measures, challenging claims that women suffer more than men from inequality, a new OECD study says. While women on average earn less than men and are less likely to be found in senior positions, they also work shorter hours than men, are better educated, live longer and suffer less stress than their male colleagues. Conversely they spend more time than men doing housework.


Same-sex couples and women over 40 to be given free IVF services

By Admin on 23rd May 2012. ~ Categories: Other

Lesbian couples and women over-40 are set to be allowed to obtain free IVF services from the UK's National Health Service (NHS) for the first time under Government guidelines published yesterday. Lesbian couples will be given the same rights as opposite-sex couples under guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Previously infertility services had to take account of a child’s need for a father.


Dozens of Catholic dioceses and organisations sue Obama administration

By Admin on May 22 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

More than forty Catholic dioceses and organisations in the United States are to sue the Obama Administration over its policy of forcing Catholics employers to put their workers in insurance plans that are contrary to Catholic ethos. These plans provide workers with free abortifacients, such as the Morning-After-Pill, sterilisation and contraception, all of which are against Catholic teaching


European Court in landmark religious freedom ruling

By Admin on 21st May 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Instead, the Court limited itself to checking whether the fundamental principles of the domestic legal order or the dignity of the applicant have not been infringed. The Court also held that there was a “special confidence link” which must unite a Catholic religion teacher with the Catholic Church. The Court ruled that “the applicant was submitted to an increased obligation of loyalty” because of the special nature of his position and his personal situation.


Study highlights importance of ‘One Good Adult' for young people

By Admin on 19th May 2012. ~ Categories: Other

Young people need the presence of 'One Good Adult' if they are to avoid significant mental health problems, according to a comprehensive study of Irish people aged between 12-24. The study, a joint project of mental health charity Headstrong and UCD's School of Psychology, looked at a sample 14,500 young people. It asked them to what extent they have a special adult in their life who is there when they are in need. It said that the One Good Adult could be a parent, grandparent, teacher or sports coach.


Conscience rights of pharmacists recognised

By Admin on 19th May 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A new law which will allow pharmacists to refuse to provide abortion-causing drugs has been signed into law in the US state of Kansas. The Heath Care Rights of Conscience Act will bar anyone from being required to prescribe or administer a drug they "reasonably believe" might result in the termination of a pregnancy. The law was signed on Monday, the Kansas City Star news website reports.


Catholic schools must be allowed celebrate faith in their own way says Martin

By Admin on 18th May 2012. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Constraints should not be put on Catholic schools on how they celebrate their faith, the leader of Fianna Fáil, Michéal Martin, has said. In an interview with this week's Irish Catholic, Mr Martin said: “I don't think any constraints should be put on Catholic schools on how they celebrate their Catholic faith. His statements come after the Advisory Group to the Government-appointed Forum on Pluralism and Patronage made a number of recommendations which critics said would weaken the denominational identity of faith schools.


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