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World Congress of Families set to be held in Amsterdam in August

Up to 4,000 pro-family delegates are expected to attend the biennial World Congress of Families, which will this year be held in Amsterdam in August.

05/06/09
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Catholic adoption agency loses in attempt to protect religious ethos

A Catholic adoption agency in the UK has lost the latest round in its attempt to protect its religious ethos following the introduction of new ‘gay rights’ legislation.

04/06/09
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Left set to lose seats in European Parliament

The European People’s Party (EPP), which represents Europe's Christian Democrats, will be the largest group in the new European Parliament, while the Socialist bloc, the PSE, according to new expert analysis. The PSE typically take a hard-line anti-religious stance in the Parliament.

04/06/09
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Officials threaten to shut down private Bible study group

Officials in San Diego in the US have threatened to shut down an informal Bible study group in a private dwelling, citing the lack of a permit.

04/06/09
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UK atheists call for faith schools to be curbed

A group representing UK atheists has said that faith schools should have their religious ethos made subject to the Government's Equality Bill.

04/06/09
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Chief Whip calls for State to take over Church-run schools

The churches should be divested of control of primary schools over time, according to the Government's Chief Whip, Pat Carey.

02/05/09
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EU Directive poses threat to religious freedom, says Bishop O'Reilly

The head of the Bishops’ Commission on Education, Bishop Leo O'Reilly, has warned that the EU's proposed “Equal Treatment” directive could “pose a threat to religious freedom”.

29/05/09
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Growing majority of Americans against same-sex marriage: Gallup

A growing majority of US citizens continue to oppose giving homosexual unions the same status as traditional marriage, according to a Gallup poll published on Wednesday. The survey showed that nearly half of all Americans believe that legalising same-sex marriage would change society for the worse.

29/05/09
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Christian hospital worker fears for job over crucifix

Christian hospital worker Helen Slatter fears for her job after refusing to take off a crucifix which "could harbour infection", according to a report in The Daily Telegraph. Ms Slatter, 43, says she will not choose between her faith and her job after the NHS claimed the jewellery could spread disease or even be used as a weapon.

28/05/09
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Government must keep free speech protection: Church of England

The Church of England is asking the UK's Labour Government to drop its plan to remove a free speech protection from a new ‘gay hate’ law.

28/05/09
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California Supreme Court upholds same-sex marriage ban

California’s Supreme Court has ruled in favour of upholding Proposition 8, which protected the definition of marriage in the state and was passed in a referendum last November.

28/05/09
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Nurse fired for talking to “patient” about God

A nurse in the UK has been sacked for suggesting during a training course that turning to God could reduce patient stress. The nurse had been warned in the past about bringing religion into his job.

26/05/09
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Half of inner city families headed by lone parents: report

Every second household with dependent children in Dublin's inner city is headed by a single parent, according to a new report. In some parts of the inner city the number rises to two in three.

26/05/09
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UK Government to force churches to employ homosexuals

The UK Government says its new Equality Bill will force churches to accept practising homosexuals or transsexuals in youth worker posts and other similar roles.

22/05/09
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Older pregnancies, immigration trigger British ‘baby boom’

A mini ‘baby-boom’ is under way in the UK, according to new figures. The statistics, published yesterday by the Office of National Statistics, show that there were 708,708 live births in 2008 in England and Wales, the highest since 1972 when there were 725,440.

22/05/09
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Catholic Church backs Church of Ireland on education cuts

Efforts by the Church of Ireland to reverse budget cuts which threaten the viability of its schools has received strong backing from the Catholic Church.

21/05/09
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Fine Gael “represents Christian values”: Senator

A Fine Gael candidate for the European elections has pointed out that his party is based on Christian values.

21/05/09
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Blasphemous libel law to be amended: Minister

An amendment to the proposed offence of blasphemous libel, which would allow for a defence of “genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific or academic value”, has been added by the Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern.

Responding to criticism of the new offence, he said that he did not have “the luxury of ignoring our Constitution” adding that he “faced a choice – referendum or reform,” according to a report in the Irish Times.

He continued: “I am, therefore, puzzled as to the hysterical and incorrect reaction whipped up by some media reporters and commentators on this point.”

He added that his explanation would disappoint “fantasy conspiracy theorists that have detected dark machinations and bogey men behind this proposal and have attributed to myself the most debased motives”.

Mr Ahern acknowledged yesterday that the all-party Committee on the Constitution, which favoured removing the Article from the Constitution, saw no need for a constitutional amendment in the short term.

“However, I, as the responsible Minister, and we, as legislators, do not have the luxury of pursuing a ‘do nothing’ approach while we wait for an opportune moment to move a constitutional amendment,” he said.

Successive attorneys general had said that he had a constitutional obligation not to leave a legal void, he said. “Until the Constitution is amended, it is necessary that blasphemy remain a crime and that the relevant legislation must make provision for punishment of this crime. There is no alternative to this position.”

He added that he wanted it put on the record that in bringing forward this proposal neither he nor his department consulted with any religious organisations, nor did they seek or receive any representations in that regard.

Fine Gael’s spokesman on justice, Charlie Flanagan, said the amended proposal was “an Irish solution to an Irish problem”, and would ensure that it would be almost impossible to bring any prosecution. He said if the only argument was a constitutional one, an amendment could be proposed before the forthcoming Lisbon referendum.

21/05/09

BAAF withdraws "retarded" slur over same-sex adoption opponents, but "stands by its sentiment"

The British Assocation for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), which published an attack on critics of gay adoption, calling them “retarded homophobes”, has said sorry for its language but ‘stands by’ the sentiment.

20/05/09
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Deal on Lisbon guarantees near: report

A deal between the Government and other European states to obtain guarantee in advance of a a second Lisbon referendum, including guarantees on social and ethical questions may be near, according to reports.

19/05/09
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"The child...shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents."

Article 7. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.