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One in ten marriages involve a divorced person: CSO

Ten per cent of all marriages in Ireland now involve at least one person who has been divorced, according to figures released today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). In addition, a majority of middle-aged people who marry, are marrying for a second time.

30/06/09
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Children from broken homes used by gangs: report

Young children, often from broken homes, are being recruited by Limerick's criminal gangs, according to a major new study.

30/06/09
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Civil Partnership Bill “deeply flawed and undermines marriage”

The Government's Civil Partnerships Bill, published today, reveals “a deeply flawed and poorly thought-out approach to family policy which undermines the special status of marriage,” according to The Iona Institute.

26/06/09
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Civil Partnership Bill “deeply flawed and undermines marriage”

The Government's Civil Partnerships Bill, published today, reveals “a deeply flawed and poorly thought-out approach to family policy which undermines the special status of marriage,” according to The Iona Institute.

26/06/09
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Teachers code may impose “commitment to secularism”: lawyer

A planned code of conduct for UK teachers risks imposing a “test of professional commitment to secularism”, a leading employment lawyer says.

26/06/09
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Recession hasn't stopped Christian generosity: poll

Christians are still giving generously to charity despite the economic downturn, a new poll shows.

25/06/09
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Church of England report blasts BBC for treating Christianity as “freak show”

The Church of England is set to attack the BBC in report which says that the corporation is treating Christianity like a ‘freak show’.

23/06/09
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Department officials to meet with Archbishop over school patronage

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin is set to meet officials from the Department of Education soon to discuss his proposals to divest control of some Catholic schools, according to a report in the Irish Times.

23/06/09
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Government obtains agreement on Lisbon guarantees: report

EU leaders have agreed to provide the legal guarantees, including on abortion, the family and education, being sought by the Irish Government ahead of a planned re-run of the Lisbon Treaty referendum later this year.

19/06/09
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End family breakdown culture, says leading family judge

A culture of broken relationships is scarring children and damaging society, a leading family judge warned on Tuesday.

19/06/09
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Fine Gael “believes in parental choice”: Hayes

Parental choice “must be at the heart of education policy”, according to Fine Gael's education spokesperson Brian Hayes. Speaking to the Irish Catholic newspaper, Mr Hayes said that there should be no “one-size-fits-all approach to educational provision”.

18/06/09
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Half out of wedlock births to cohabiting couples

Half the children born outside wedlock in the third quarter of last year were to cohabiting couples, new figures show.

17/06/09
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Rights of parents to faith schools cannot be “brushed aside”: Archbishop

The right of parents to send their children to faith schools is recognised in the Constitution and cannot be brushed aside, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has said.

Speaking to the annual conference of the Irish Primary Principals network, the Archbishop accepted that “a system in which 92 per cent of all primary schools is managed by the Roman Catholic Church” was not tenable.

However, he said the notion that all primary schools should simply be handed over to the State, and that “the Church should return to its sacristies” was “a viewpoint which may not brush aside the rights recognised by the Constitution of Ireland to parents and to religious denominations”.

He said “that Catholic education has its place in Irish society today and will continue to maintain its place into the future”.

He accepted, however, that there was a need for change. The current near monopoly which the Church had in education was, he said “in many ways detrimental to the possibility of maintaining a true Catholic identity in Catholic schools”.

This is similar to the viewpoint of the head of the Catholic bishops’ education commission, Bishop Leo O’Reilly.

Archbishop Martin stated: “The Catholic school will only be able to carry out its specific role if there are viable alternatives for parents who wish to send their children to schools inspired by other philosophies.”

“The Catholic school should be clearly Catholic,” he added. Young people had to “be led to face the real world and to survive and indeed flourish there. But if there is no strong ethos to confront and be confronted with then the adolescent will end (sic) without challenge”.

Many parents of different religions in the Dublin area, he said, deliberately sent their children to Catholic schools “because they wish their children to be educated within a religious environment”. Catholic schools, he went on, “must be open to children of a variety of backgrounds when parents wish their children to attend such a school”.

However, he insisted that “a Catholic school must be one with a real Catholic ethos, just as one expects that Church of Ireland Schools or schools for the Islamic community be able to maintain their distinctive ethos”.

There were very few countries, he said “which do not effectively have variety of school patronage models”.

“Uniformity of school models do not necessarily result in equal treatment and access for pupils,” he continued.

He rejected the notion that diversity of educational provision necessarily led to elitism, pointing out that this was not the experience of Catholic schools in other countries.

And he added that, in terms of fostering an inclusive society, there was “no evidence that a totally 'religiously neutral secularist society' is the best space in which to foster dialogue between religions”.

A more secularist society may not, he suggested, be the best one to be able to understand and guide the phenomenon of religious diversity.

“There are forms of secular society in which hostility to religious values forces religious groups into a dangerously narrow perception of their culture and thus sharpen religious differences and misunderstanding of a pluralist society,” the Archbishop said.

17/06/09

Government publishes Lisbon socio-ethical guarantees

Guarantees protecting the Irish Constitution as regards family, abortion and education from aspects of the Lisbon Treaty, plus the accompanying Charter of Fundamental Rights, have been published by the Government ahead of a second referendum in the autumn.

16/06/09
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Secularists seek to reduce school choice says TES editor

If secularist opponents of faith schools think religion is “a busted flush” they should stop being afraid of its influence, writes the editor of the Times Educational Supplement (TES).

16/06/09
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Overwhelming majority continue to believe in God: survey

Ninety five per cent of Irish people still believe in God, according to a study launched in Maynooth this week.

11/06/09
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EU “must keep promise” on Lisbon guarantees says Senator Mullen

Senator Rónán Mullen has challenged Ireland's EU partners to be true to their word and ensure that Ireland receives guarantees on family law and the right to life ahead of a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

11/06/09
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Catholic bishops stand firm on schools

Ireland's Catholic bishops have reiterated their commitment to providing “Catholic schools to cater for the needs of parents who wish their children to have a Catholic education”.

11/06/09
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Secular Left dealt blow in Euro elections

Socialist parties across Europe were dealt a serious blow in European Parliament elections at the weekend, as the Socialist group in the parliament, the PSE, lost 20 MEPs throughout the EU.

09/06/09
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Mother objects to son being placed with same-sex couple

A Catholic mother in the UK is taking legal advice after Brighton and Hove Council arranged to place her ten-year-old son with a homosexual foster couple.

09/06/09
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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.