The Iona Blog

Citizens’ Assembly moves to strip marriage of special status

The Citizens’ Assembly on gender equality met again last weekend. Regrettably, the sessions on “The family in the constitution and law”, amounted to a prolonged attack on the special status of marriage in the Constitution. Prof. Siobhan Mullaly from NUI Galway explained how the special status of marriage appears to impinge on the rights of...

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Pro-life vote made its presence felt in General Election 2020

In 2018 more than 720,000 people, representing 33.6% of the electorate on the day, voted to keep the the pro-life Amendment in our Constitution. As a party, it would be the biggest in the Dáil, much bigger than Sinn Féin, which received 24.5% of first preferences. But such a party does not exist because pro-life...

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The nuclear family a ‘catastrophe’? No, but it needs help

By David Quinn

Was the nuclear family more trouble than it was worth? The headline on a piece in the prestigious American monthly, The Atlantic, would give the impression that it was. More surprising is that the headline is over an article written by New York Times columnist, David Brooks who, despite writing for that newspaper, is on...

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Another move to expand the grounds for abortion

It is only 13 months since Ireland’s new abortion law was passed, and ever since, activists and other have been seeking to expand the grounds for abortion even further, even though the law is already permissive by the standard of most European countries. A new paper by three academics at University College Cork worries that...

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Fr Vincent Twomey on the future of the Church in Ireland

Fr Vincent Twomey, Emeritus Professor of Moral Theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, addressed a packed University Church on Wednesday night. The event was co-hosted by The Iona Institute and the Notre Dame-Newman Centre for Faith and Reason. In his wide-ranging address, Fr Twomey surveyed the situation of the Church in Ireland, discussing in particular...

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Can the new Citizens’ Assembly even say what a woman is?

By David Quinn

Yet another Citizens’ Assembly has been established, this time to discuss the issue of gender equality. It began in Dublin, on Saturday, and will run once a month for six months. But I wonder if the Assembly, which is focussing mainly on female equality, can even tell us what a woman is? For example, does...

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Politics, the Church and the common good

By David Quinn

In the current election campaign, the Churches have so far been mostly conspicuously silent. In Britain, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales put out a statement ahead of the December election there, as did the Scottish bishops. The Catholic bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran, has issued a comment on our election and the need...

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Time for Irish pharmacists to be given proper conscience rights

A landmark ruling has recognised the right to German pharmacists to refuse to sell the so-called morning after pill (MAP) on grounds of conscience. No such right has ever been recognised in Ireland. The drug is used as a post-coital contraceptive but, when conception occurs, it also prevents implantation in the uterine wall, causing the...

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An abortion per day at the Rotunda is already a horrible figure

On average one abortion is carried out every day at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, one of the country’s leading maternity hospitals, in 2019, the first full year of operation of Ireland’s new abortion law. Master of the Rotunda, Fergal Malone told RTE recently: “In general, we see five patients a week before 12 weeks gestation...

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A Hidden Life is an unequalled portrait in courage

Lyrical, beautiful, profound, meditative. These are only some of the words that come to mind after watching ‘A Hidden Life‘, the new movie from Terrence Malick, which tells the tale of Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer who refused to swear an oath of loyalty to Hitler during World War II and suffered the consequences. It...

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