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The US Catholic bishops have rejected the “compromise” proposed by the Obama Administration regarding its mandate requiring religious groups to place their employees in health insurance schemes covering abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilisation.
Irish marriage rates have fallen to the EU average, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. According to new data on marriage from 2010, Ireland now has a marriage rate of 4.5 per thousand people, which is roughly the same as the EU average of 4.4. This represents a fall from 4.9 in 2009 and from 7.4 in 1973.
Attempts to transfer the ownership of a former Christian Brothers school building to a new patron in Dublin city have run into legal difficulties, according to RTE. The Department of Education wants the Edmund Rice Schools Trust to relinquish control of the building.
Young couples who get through the first 10 years of marriage have the same chance of staying together as their grandparents’ generation, a study of divorce patterns over the last 50 years suggests. The study says that divorce rates for those who have been together more than a decade have remained almost completely unchanged since the 1960s, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Tory MPs have staged the biggest rebellion in party history to vote against their own Government's plans to legalise same-sex marriage. The final tally of vote showed that 134 Conservative MPs voted against the Bill on Tuesday night, with 22 Labour MPs also opposing the Bill.
Children whose parents divorce after they turn seven are more likely to misbehave and perform badly at school, according to a new UK Government-funded study. It also showed that children who are brought up in homes where rules are enforced display strong verbal skills and are more likely to do well in school exams, the Daily Mail reports.
New Obama administration proposals concerning the Health and Human Services mandate do little to expand religious freedom protections for employers that object to it, a range of campaigners for religious liberty have warned. The mandate requires employers to fund insurance policies which provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilisations.
Families across Europe are less stable, less likely to be based on marriage and are formed later than in the past, a leading academic has told a conference on the family in Dublin Castle. Professor Juho Härkönen, a sociologist at Stockholm University, told the conference that trends across the European Union meant that families tended to have fewer children and were more likely to experience divorce
The new Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a challenge to David Cameron by insisting that marriage should remain “between a man and a woman”. In his first official day as leader of the Church of England, Rt Rev Justin Welby voiced his opposition gay marriage on the eve of the first parliamentary vote on the controversial new law.
Doctors in the UK will be permitted for the first time to provide medical records to patients who want to travel abroad for an assisted suicide without being struck off , according to new guidelines. Handing over records to patients who then use them to take their own life is “too distant” from encouraging a suicide to risk their fitness to practise being called into question, the General Medical Council said.
British MPs have backed an amendment to the Equality Act aimed at protecting ‘conscientious beliefs on marriage’, voting 86 to 31 at the first reading of a private member’s Bill. The timing of the vote is highly significant as it comes a week before the second reading of the Government’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill.
The welfare state cannot go on doing the job it has done for the past 70 years and the Church should take on some of its role, the Archbishop-elect of Canterbury has said. Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham, said the financial crisis and a series of scandals had “toppled the idols” on which British society had been based.
The genetic parents of twin girls born to a surrogate have rejected the Government's claim that a birth mother should be the only type of mother under Irish law. The married couple with whom the twins live would face substantial legal hurdles and unprecedented litigation if they tried to adopt the young sisters, the High Court was told.
Education minister Ruairi Quinn (pictured) has given Irish bishops an interim deadline of just three months to decide on handing over some Catholic schools to other forms of patronage, according to The Irish Catholic. This means parishes in some parts of the country will only have weeks to identify the schools they want to give up.
The Government hopes to introduce legislation to allow surrogacy and other forms of assisted human reproduction (AHR) later this year, the High Court heard yesterday. However, The Irish Independent reports that in practice it may not be published until next year.
A number of US Catholic bishops have said they would be willing to go to jail over a controversial health mandate that forces religious employers to put their employees in insurance schemes that among other things, provide free abortion-inducing drugs. The controversial Health and Human Services mandate was brought in under the Obama Administration's healthcare law.
Cohabiting couples who split up in the Canadian state of Quebec are not entitled to the same rights as legally married couples, when it comes to spousal support, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled. By a 5-4 margin, the Court ruled that Quebec's treatment of couples who are not legally married and who separate of civil code was constitutional.
The Government's Constitutional Convention will examine the issue of same sex marriage in April. The schedule of issues to be covered by the Convention on its website shows that the issue will receive a full day's consideration at its next meeting on the weekend of the 13/14 April.
An IVF expert has told the High Court that the law should be changed so that it is presumed that the parents of a child born to a surrogate mother are "the commissioning couple". Dr Mary Wingfield, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist with the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, with a specialty in infertility, said the fact that a child was the genetic child of the commissioning couple was also a factor
A Scottish Catholic adoption charity faces de-registration — because it expects couples to be married for at least two years before adopting children. Scotland’s charity regulator admits the St Margaret’s adoption agency provides a valuable service – but says the marriage policy discriminates against gay couples, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Men and women who are married or in long-term relationships are more likely to survive to old age than ‘singletons’, according to new research. Scientists from the Duke University Medical Centre in the US have found that being married, or being in a permanent stable relationship, can lead to a longer life
The State has told the genetic parents of two young children born to a surrogate that Irish law will only recognise the birth mother as the legal mother because of the legal principal that “motherhood is always certain”. The couple have taken a case to the High Court arguing that the birth cert of their genetic children should be amended to name the genetic mother rather than the surrogate (birth) mother.
French President François Hollande has agreed to receive the lay leaders of the massive protest against same-sex marriage held earlier this month. Announcing the decision on Monday, his office said the meeting would still not alter his plan to legalise gay marriage and adoption by June.
The High Court has said that the media can report on a landmark case regarding an attempt to recognise surrogacy under Irish law. The genetic parents of two children born to a surrogate mother have taken a case to be recognised as the children's parents on their birth certificates, the Irish Independent reports.
The Government have met with representatives of the Catholic Church in only their second meeting as part of the “structured dialogue” process set up under the previous administration. The issue of abortion dominated the meeting, according to a report in the Irish Times.
No Catholic primary schools should be handed over to new patron bodies without firm guarantees that the ethos of the remaining schools will be properly respected, one of the country’s leading Catholic educationalists has said. Professor Eamonn Conway (pictured), head of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Mary Immaculate, Limerick, made the remarks at an event in Buswells hotel yesterday organised by The Iona Institute.
Catholic adoption agencies in Colorado are under threat as a result of a new version of a civil unions bill that no longer protects agencies that believe children should ideally be placed with a mother and a father. The original version of the bill said it “shall not be interpreted to require a child placement agency to place a child for adoption” with a couple in a civil union.
Religious leaders in Vietnam have expressed serious concern at new regulations laid down by the government there which they fear will impose new restrictions on religious practice. Decree 92, issued by Vietnam’s Communist government in November, went into effect earlier this month and is raising concerns among the nation’s Christians and Buddhists.
The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have sent a million postcards opposing gay marriage to parishes around the country and are urging parishioners to send them to their MPs. The cards urge MPs to vote against the bill to legislate for same-sex marriage being introduced into Parliament later this month.
Churches have paid too little attention to the damage done to them by decades of widespread family breakdown in the US, according to a new study. Children raised in intact, married families are more likely to be religious than children who were not.
The Department of Health in Northern Ireland has confirmed it is appealing a High Court ruling which said that a law banning cohabiting and same-sex couples from adopting constituted ‘unlawful discrimination’ . In response to a question from Green Party MLA Stephen Agnew, Health Minister Edwin Poots said that his department had served notice of the appeal on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission which took the original case.
A woman whose case against Ireland's prohibition on assisted suicide was rejected by the High Court last week is set to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, The Irish Independent reports. Marie Fleming, a 59 year suffering from multiple sclerosis, argued that the ban on assisted suicide infringed her rights under the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.
The number of Irish children born outside marriage, and who are being raised outside marriage is as high as it is in most other Western countries, according to a new study. In addition, the number of Irish people aged 18-49 who are married is among the lowest in the Western world.
Belgium has allowed twin blind brothers who were not suffering from a terminal illness to be killed under its euthanasia laws. The 45-year-old brothers from the Antwerp region were born deaf and sought euthanasia after finding that they would also soon go blind.
Socio-economic status and the educational level of parents is more important than family structure for children's welfare, a major new study says. The study, Family Relationships and Family Well-Being, written by Professor Tony Fahey of UCD, suggests that says the education level of the mother is particularly important in giving a child a good start in life.
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