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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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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”.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The Catholic Church in the UK is set to snub the flagship free schools policy of UK Education Secretary Michael Gove, saying that the admissions rules restricting the number of pupils from churchgoing families who can go to Church-run schools is “perverse”. Speaking yesterday, Greg Pope, deputy director of the Catholic Education Service effectively ruled out future involvement in the scheme.
Parents should be able to choose which schools their children go to, the Northern Ireland Education Minister, Sinn Féin's John O'Dowd, has said. He was responding to a report on the website, The Detail, which showed that half of Northern Ireland’s schoolchildren are being taught in schools where 95pc or more of the pupils are of the same religion.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter (pictured) has said that Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act is unfair to gay and lesbian teachers and must be amended. Section 37 upholds the right of religious organisations not to employ those it believes would undermine their ethos. This right was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Marital breakdown is highest amongst those with lower levels of education, according to a new report by the CSO. The report, entitled, What Do We Know, was based on figures from the 2011 Census and focused on rates of educational attainment.
Fine Gael has announced the names of the members of their delegation to the Government's Constitutional Convention. The delegation is chaired by Laois/Offaly TD Charles Flanagan.
The non-biological parents of children being raised by same-sex couples will be allowed to form legal ties with those children under new proposals made by Justice Minister Alan Shatter (pictured). Speaking at a meeting of Fine Gael's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Group on Tuesday night, Mr Shatter said that the law needed to be changed to “ensure that children in lesbian or gay family units are able to form a legal connection with their non-biological parent and that kindred relationships flow from such legal connection.".
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