The Iona Blog

Ireland joins the campaign to legalise abortion worldwide

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone, and a number of other Irish politicians, are currently attending a summit in Nairobi, Kenia, to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development.  The occasion was the first time ever that economic and social development had been linked to population, or as critics would...

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Do Mary McAleese and We Are Church believe John Paul II condoned rape?

Mary McAleese has been attacked for using an out-of-context quote from Saint John Paul II which, on its own, can easily give the impression that he condoned rape. Mrs McAleese and her defenders say her critics are the ones doing the misrepresenting. But there is an easy remedy for them; come out and say they do...

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Mary McAleese’s deeply flawed view of baptism and child autonomy

Former President and newly elected Chancellor of Trinity College Dublin, Mary McAleese, has trained her sights once again on infant baptism and the consequent rights and obligations of Christian parents to raise their baptised children as Christians. She did so while delivering the annual Edmund Burke lecture in Trinity the other night. Dr McAleese advances...

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Simon Harris must be asked tough questions about surrogacy and AHR

By David Quinn

Health Minister Simon Harris has announced that he is ‘commencing’ sections of the Children and Family Relationships Act for the first time. This law, passed in 2015, governs, among other things, the legal relationships between children conceived via egg and sperm donation, and the ‘intended parents’. Harris is almost guaranteed soft questions from journalists on...

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A new survey reveals little faith in religion or politics

By David Quinn

Every two years a major survey is published called the European Social Survey which investigates the attitudes of people from a range of countries, including Ireland, to issues like religion, politics, immigration, sexuality and so on. The latest findings are out, and faith in religion remains at a low ebb in most countries surveyed, but...

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Pure in Heart owed a big apology

By David Quinn

Health Minister Simon Harris has flagged up the possibility several times that the State might provide contraception for free as a way of tackling the number of unwanted pregnancies. He asked a working group to report back on the matter and it has done just that. Unfortunately for him, it has cast serious doubt on...

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Atheists must stop smuggling Christian beliefs into their arguments

By David Quinn

Time to weigh in briefly once again on the debate I have been having with Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland about the nature of morality. I have tried to keep the debate tight and single-issue, but Michael has basically released a swarm of insects at me which would take from here until the world’s end...

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Does Leo Varadkar toast his conscience first, or the State?

Leo Varadkar quoted the newly canonised John Henry Newman in the Dáil this week during a debate about future relations between Church and State. He was responding to Brendan Howlin, leader of the Labour party, and the Taoiseach quoted the famous line from Newman that he would drink to his conscience first, and the Pope...

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Katie Ascough and anti-Catholicism at UCD

By David Quinn

Katie Ascough, if you remember, was the head of the Students’ Union at UCD who was booted out of her job essentially because of her pro-life views and following a very nasty campaign of vilification. The authorities at UCD could have activated their anti-bullying policy and told everyone to tone it down, but they stood...

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UCD’s big failure to honour its founder

On Sunday Cardinal John Henry Newman will be declared a saint by Pope Francis in Rome. Newman established the Catholic University of Ireland, which later became University College Dublin. Despite this, UCD initially decided not to send any official representative to the ceremony. “Although John Henry is the founding rector of our antecedent, the Catholic...

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