All News Articles

Gardai to investigate threat against Archbishop Martin

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

Gardaí have said they will investigate threats made to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin (pictured) that warned him to be careful while "out on the streets" because of his views on abortion. Dr Martin said he received the letter in the past week and reported it to gardai straight away, according to The Irish Independent.


Marriage in ‘middle America’ declining rapidly says new report

By Admin on 21st December 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Marriage in “Middle America” is declining rapidly, a new report by a leading think tank has warned. According to the study, entitled “The President’ Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten Sixty Percent”, 44 percent of children of ‘moderately educated’ women are now born outside of marriage, up sharply from 13 percent in the 1980s.


Births outside marriage hit 58 percent in Limerick city

By Admin on 20th December 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Nearly 60pc of births in Limerick city were to unmarried parents in the second quarter of this year, according to new figures from the CSO. In addition, more than half of all births (52pc) in Waterford City were outside marriage, while just under half, or 49pc of all births in Cork City were outside marriage.


Minister Rabbitte says bishops must not ‘dictate' to the Government

By Admin on 20th December 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion,Other

Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte (pictured) has accused the Catholic bishops of using “strident” language in the abortion debate and said they must not ‘dictate’ to the Government. He was commenting on remarks made by Bishop Leo O'Reilly, who said that the Government's decision to introduce abortion legislation was "the first step on the road to a culture of death".


France announces plan to monitor religious groups

By Admin on 19th December 2012. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The French Government has announced that it is to set to monitor ultra-traditionalist Catholic groups, as well as other religious organisations, for signs of "religious pathology", Reuters reports. Socialist Interior Minister Manuel Valls said that a shooting spree last year by a French Islamist, in which three soldiers and four Jews were murdered showed that religiously radicalised people could turn quickly to violence.


Ireland an expensive place to be a mother says OECD report

By Admin on 18th December 2012. ~ Categories: Other

Ireland is an expensive place to be a mother because the earning power of mothers suffers compared with men, according to a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). According to the report, entitled Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now, the arrival of children has a more drastic impact on the earning abilities of Irish women than anywhere else in Europe.


Pope defends marriage in World Day of Peace message

By Admin on 18 December 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Moves to legally redefine marriage harm and destabilise that institution, Pope Benedict has warned. In a message to mark the World Day of Peace next month, the Pope said that there was a need “to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union”.


Cameron moves to appease Anglicans over marriage

By Admin on 17th December 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The Church of England will be legally prevented from carrying out same-sex marriage under the UK Government's plans to redefine the institution. The move is being made to appease senior Anglicans and Tory MPs, according to the Times.


Catholic school ordered to stop teaching Catholic religion course

By Admin on 15th December 2012. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A Catholic school is Canada is considering petitioning the Supreme Court after the Quebec Court of Appeal issued a decision obliging it to stop teaching a Catholic course on religion. The ruling, issued last week, told the school that it must replace the course with a state-imposed Ethics and Religious Culture course (ERC) which is at odds with Catholic teaching, according to Vatican Radio.


High Court to rule on assisted suicide by January 10

By Admin on 14th December 2012. ~ Categories: Other

A decision as to whether Ireland's ban on assisted suicide is constitutional will be made by the High Court on January 10th. A three-judge High Court has been hearing the challenge to the ban brought by a woman terminally ill with multiple sclerosis.


Number of married people in England hits record low

By Admin on 14th December 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Fewer than 50pc of adults in England and Wales are married for the first time since records began, new figures from the Office of National Statistics show. The ONS reveals that the number of people who are married in England and Wales had fallen from just over half of the population a decade ago to 45pc now.


Small minority of parents take part in school patronage survey

By Admin on 13th December 2012. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Only a small minority of parents participated in a pilot survey in five areas chosen by the Department of Education to determine parental preferences on primary schools patronage, the Catholic Bishops’ Council for Education has said. Fr Michael Drumm (pictured) of the Catholic Schools Partnership estimated that at most a quarter of parents took part in the survey.


Legalising assisted suicide would harm vulnerable people High Court hears

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

The current ban on assisted suicide make matters “crystal clear” for doctors and its removal could result in vulnerable people opting to have their lives ended so as not to be a burden on others, a palliative care specialist has told the High Court. Giving evidence yesterday in the case of Marie Fleming, Dr Tony O’Brien said he supported the total ban on assisted suicide here, the Irish Times reports.


US Supreme Court to hear same-sex marriage cases

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

The US Supreme Court is set to consider the issue of same-sex marriage for the first time after it agreed last week to review two challenges to federal and state laws that define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. It said it would review the ruling which overturned California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. This was passed in 2008 by popular ballot but was later overturned by the Ninth Circut Court of Appeals.


Gap between Catholics and Protestants in NI down to 3pc

By Admin on 12th December 2012. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice

There are now only three per cent more Protestants than Catholics in Northern Ireland, according to the latest census results. According to the results, 45pc of the population were either Catholic or brought up as Catholic, while 48pc belonged to or were brought up in Protestant, other Christian or Christian-related denominations, The Irish Times reports.


No constitutional right to assisted suicide High Court hears

By Admin on 11th December 2012. ~ Categories: Other

There is no right to be assisted to commit suicide under the Irish Constitution and to argue such a right exists for a small number of people is "radical and unprecedented", the State has told the High Court. Michael Cush SC, arguing for the State, said that, while suicide has been decriminalised, the State did not accept there is any right for a person to take their own life, the Irish Times reports.


Churches will be allowed to conduct same-sex marriages in UK

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

Churches will be allowed to conduct same-sex marriages in the UK it was revealed over the weekend. The move represents a major U-turn on the position set out in a formal Government consultation earlier this year which proposed a blanket ban.


Involuntary childlessness linked to earlier death says new research

By Admin on 10th December 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Involuntary childlessness may increase the likelihood of early death, according to new research. The Danish study published in the the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, looked at more than 21,000 couples seeking IVF treatment.


Children raised by same-sex couples less likely to do well at school says study

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

Children raised by same-sex couples are 35pc less likely to make normal progress through school according to a new study. The study, published in the journal Demography, is based on data from 1.6 million children in the 2000 U.S. Census, which included 8,632 children who lived in same-sex households.


DPP opposes assisted suicide prosecution guidelines

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

Guidelines outlining the factors to be considered when deciding whether to prosecute for assisted suicide would be tantamount to providing a “road map” for committing a crime, the Director of Public Prosecution has told the High Court. Lawyers for Claire Loftus, the DPP, said she would be aiding a crime if she granted a request from a terminally ill woman to provide such guidelines, the Irish Independent reports.


Widespread anti-Catholic bias in media says ACP leader

By Admin on 7th December 2012. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

There is now widespread anti-Catholic bias in the Irish media, a leading Irish cleric has said. Fr Sean McDonagh, a founding member of the Association of Catholic Priests, said that the manner in which the media in Ireland had dealt with Church-related issues demonstrated that the bias against Catholicism was both “widespread and deep seated”.


Child Benefit cut hits families hard

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

Budget 2012 has cut Child Benefit up to €240 a year per child, which amounts to a fall in income of €696 for a family with four children. The Budget, announced yesterday by Finance Minister Michael Noonan (pictured), cut monthly payments by between €10 and €20 per child, depending on how many are in the family.


No right to assisted suicide in European Convention on Human Rights

By Admin on 6th December 2012. ~ Categories: Other

No right to assisted suicide has been found in the European Convention on Human Rights despite claims to the contrary by the legal team of Marie Fleming, an MS sufferer whose right-to-die case is currently before the High Court. Brian Murray SC and Ronan Murphy SC, arguing for Ms Fleming, told the High Court that Ireland's ban on assisted suicide breaches the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights, the Irish Times reports.


EU report targets ‘traditional’ images of mothers and fathers

By Admin on 5th December 2012. ~ Categories: Other

Books which portray ‘traditional’ images of mothers caring for their children or fathers going out to work could be banned if a European Parliament report on gender equality is implemented. An EU report claims that ‘gender stereotyping’ in schools influences the perception of the way boys and girls should behave and damages women’s career opportunities in the future, the Daily Mail reports.


Groups warned not to excessively lobby Convention members

By Admin on 4th December 2012. ~ Categories: Other

Lobby groups may be prevented from the making presentations to the Constitutional Convention if they engage in excessive lobbying of its members, its chairman, Tom Arnold, has warned. The Convention is set to examine a number of controversial issues, including same-sex marriage and amending the clause on the role of women in the home.


Tax on one income married families second highest in developed world

By Admin on 4th December 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Ireland has the second highest effective tax rate for one income married families in the developed world, according to new research. The study, carried out by a UK pro-marriage charity, Care, showed that Ireland has a marginal effective tax rate of 64pc for such families.


School advent services in Sweden must be religion-free say guidelines

By Admin on 3rd December 2012. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Swedish schools are permitted to gather in church premises during Advent but the services must be free from any religious element, under new guidelines drawn up by the country's National Agency for Education (NAE). The stance of the NAE has been criticised by politicians and other public figures.


Washington State looks set to remove ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ from marriage documents

By Admin on 1st December 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The health department in the US state of Washington looks set to remove the words “bride” and “groom” from marriage and divorce certificates, after same-sex marriage was approved in a referendum last month. Spaces once reserved for a "bride" and "groom" will become more gender-neutral, according to MyNorthWest.com.


Government must honour marriage pledge say MPs

By Admin on 3rd December 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A number of senior Conservative MPs, including some former Ministers, have said that Chancellor George Osborne must honour the party's promise to give a tax break to married couples. The calls were led by Tim Loughton, the former families minister, who warned that next week’s Autumn Statement represented the Chancellor's last chance to deliver on a key manifesto pledge, the Daily Telegraph reports.


Over half of Irish people attend Mass at least once a month, according to poll

By Admin on 30th November 2012. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice

Thirty-seven percent of Catholics attend Mass at least once a week, with a further seven percent attending once a fortnight and another eight percent attending every three to four weeks, adding up to a total of 52 percent who attend Mass regularly. The findings are in a new poll conducted on behalf of The Irish Times by Ipsos/MRBI.


Nearly one in five 13 year olds being raised by single parents

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

Eighteen percent of children aged 13 are being raised by a single parent, new figures show. The data are contained in the Growing Up in Ireland-Key Findings: 13 year-olds report, which is part of an ongoing longitudinal study into the lives of Irish children.


Expert group on abortion seeks to limit the conscience rights of doctors

By Admin on 29th November 2012. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The Government's Expert Group report, published on Monday, recommends that the right of doctors and other medical staff to conscientiously object to abortion must be limited. The report which suggests that the Government legalise abortion either through legislation or through regulations, in line with the X case decision, also seeks to limit conscience in other respects.


Recession forcing more men into part-time work

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

Men are being forced into part-time work by the recession, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show. The figures, published today in the latest Quarterly National Household Survey, show that the number of men in part-time work is now 143,800 men, an increase of over 20,000 in two years.


Catholics schools in UK have more children from disadvantaged areas

By Admin on 28th November 2012. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Catholic schools in the UK educate more pupils from deprived areas than the national average yet outperform other schools by up to 10pc, according to a report published on Monday. The 2012 census of Catholic schools in England and Wales, released by the Catholic Education Service (CES), revealed that 20pc of pupils at State-funded Catholic secondary schools live in the most deprived areas, compared with 17pc nationally.


Support for same-sex marriage down 20 points

By Admin on 27th November 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Support for same-sex marriage has fallen by 20pc since February, a new Irish Times poll shows. The poll showed that 53pc of Irish voters support changing the Constitution to allow same-sex couples to marry, a huge drop since a poll in February by Red C showed that 73pc of voters favoured same-sex marriage.


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