The Iona Blog

Opinions contained in The Iona Blog are not necessarily those of The Iona Institute. The Iona Blog is open to anyone who broadly shares the views of The Iona Institute. If you wish to post a comment on a relevant topic please email 200 – 400 words to [email protected] and it will be considered for inclusion in the blog.


Does Eamon Gilmore believe in motherhood and fatherhood?

By Tom O'Gorman on 29th October 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The news that Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore wants to see legislation introduced that will allow same-sex couples to adopt before a referendum on same-sex marriage is instructive in a number of ways. First, it tells us just how scared the Government is of the argument that children have a right to a mother and father. It does not want this argument to be part of the debate on redefining marriage.


State flouting the presumption of innocence with its seizure of children

By Admin on 26th October 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The big story this week was the seizure by gardai of two children from their Roma families on suspicion they did not belong to those families. It turned out that they did.


Submission to the consultation on how to make denominational schools more ‘inclusive’

By Alan and Kate Whelan on 24th October 2013. ~ Categories: Schools and Education

Parents of primary school children have been invited to respond to proposals by Expert Group of the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism aimed at making denominational schools more ‘inclusive’. Following is a slightly abridged version of a response to this invitation by parents Kate and Alan Whelan.


A new study shows lower graduation rates for children from gay and lesbian families

By David Quinn on 22nd October 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A new study from Canada has found that High School graduation rates among children raised by same-sex couples are considerably lower than among children raised by opposite-sex married couples. The study is much bigger and more robust than studies claiming that children raised by same-sex couples turn out no differently than children raised by their married, opposite-sex parents.


How divorce and remarriage can alienate children from their aging parents

By Tom O'Gorman on 19th October 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

An aspect of divorce that is little talked about is the difficulty remarried people can encounter when trying to persuade their grown-up step-children children to help look after their aging parents.It shows how the way in which divorce and remarriage can alienate children from their parents, even to the point where they won’t help their new step-parents to look after them in old age.


Architect of Britain's abortion law horrified at sex selective abortions

By Tom O'Gorman on 17th October 2013. ~ Categories: Other

The architect of Britain’s abortion law, Lord David Steel, is horrified by the fact that sex selective abortions take place on the strength of it. It was widely assumed that sex-selective abortions were illegal under Lord Steel’s 1967 Abortion Act. However, the British DPP has deemed otherwise.


Your signature is needed to stop EU funding of embryo research

By David Quinn on 15th October 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Some years back, with the support of Ireland, the European Union agreed to fund embryonic stem cell research. Now a petition is about to the sent to the European Commission that will oblige it to reconsider this funding.


David Quinn discusses the Iona Institute with Sean Moncrieff

By Tom O'Gorman on 12th October 2013. ~ Categories: Other

On Wednesday, Iona Institute director David Quinn went on Newstalk to discuss the work of the Institute and some of its key concerns, including the health of marriage with presenter Sean Moncrieff. You can listen to the discussion in full here.


The media’s huge double think about the importance of the natural ties

By Tom O'Gorman on 10th October 2013. ~ Categories: Other

There is a huge double think going on in the media about the importance of the natural ties. When it comes to adoption, they seem to think they are very important, but when it comes to assisted human reproduction they seem to have a completely different view.


The ever more elastic grounds for abortion and euthanasia

By Tom O'Gorman on 8th October 2013. ~ Categories: Other

When abortion and euthanasia are first introduced in a given country, we are usually told that the grounds on which they can take place are very limited. But over time those grounds become ever more elastic. For example, earlier this year the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute doctors who performed sex selective abortions.


We should value marriage if we value fatherhood

By Admin on 5th October 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

This week the CSO issued a report on marriage in Ireland. One fact it revealed is that the rate of marriage in Ireland wasa very low 4.3 people per thousand in 2011. In his column in The Irish Independent this week, David Quinn says this is just one more piece of evidence showing how marriage in Ireland is weakening of marriage.


How a strong pro-life ethos saves both the mother and her child

By David Quinn on 3rd October 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Reacting to the decision by the Mater to comply with our new abortion law, a nurse tutor at the hospital, Sr Eugene Nolan, made a very interesting comment that reveals the contrast between a pro-life hospital and one that is not.


Why do same-sex and opposite sex couples settle down ten years apart?

By David Quinn on 1st October 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

It’s interesting that in most jurisdictions that have introduced same-sex civil partnerships/marriage it is most men who avail of them at first. I wonder why that is. More interesting, however, is the average age of those entering civil partnerships. New CSO data tell us it is in the mid-forties.


The Mater should have stood up to the State’s bullying tactics

By Admin on 28th September 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Officially at least, the Mater hospital has decided to comply with the new abortion law. This means we now have two Catholic hospitals in Ireland - the other one being St Vincent’s – that have raised no ethical objection to carrying out abortions on certain grounds.


‘A good Catholic meddles in politics’ says Pope Francis

By Admin on 27th September 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

One would think from much of the media coverage of the Pope’s big interview that he was telling Catholics to take a step back from politics and pro-life and family issues most of all. What received far less coverage were remarks he made a few days earlier that Catholics ought to “meddle” in politics.


Department of Education targets ethos of Catholic schools yet again

By David Quinn on 24th September 2013. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The Department of Education have launched a consultation process to ascertain the views of parents as to how Catholic schools, when they are the only one in a given area, should become more ‘inclusive’ towards children from other religions and none. A leaflet will be sent to parents and it draws on the recommendations, published last year, by the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism.


A breakthrough as an official Irish report acknowledges the importance of family structure

By Tom O'Gorman on 21st September 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The new Growing Up in Ireland study, published yesterday, acknowledges the importance of family structure and cites research that saying having two parent is generally better than one. Given the huge reluctance on the part of ‘official Ireland’ to ever own up to this research, this has to count as something of a breakthrough.


Same-sex marriage leaves Australian voters cold

By Tom O'Gorman on 19th September 2013 . ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Australia recently recently threw the Labour party out of office after six years in government. One of the major planks of Labour's election campaign was a promise by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to legalise same-sex marriage. It got him precisely nowhere. According to the blog, Mercatornet, “[Rudd] pushed it all the way to election eve and the issue received prominent and overwhelmingly positive media coverage”.


Til Faith Do Us Part: What happens to interfaith marriages?

By David Quinn on 17th September 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Religion and Religious Practice

What happens when you marry outside your belief system, whether that be a religious belief system or a secular belief system? The answer, frequently, is trouble as ‘Till Faith Do Us Part’, a new book by Naomi Schaefer Riley from Oxford University Press makes clear.


Even the UN thinks family structure affects children

By Tom O'Gorman on 14th September 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Last week, the Iona Institute released a report detailing the extent of marital breakdown and the proliferation of new family forms in Ireland, including a surge in the number of children raised by lone parents. Iona Institute representatives debated this issue on a number of programmes and came up against a flat-out denial that there is any disadvantage attached to being raised by one parent. A UN report issued in 2007 has a different view.


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