The Iona Blog

The shape of things to come

A professor of religious studies has been fired by the University of Illinois for informing a student attending his course on Catholicism that the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts violate natural moral law. To put it another way, Dr Kenneth Howell was fired for explaining Catholicism to a student studying….Catholicism. The implications are deeply...

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The new era of State-imposed political correctness

Ronan Mullen tabled a lengthy series of amendments to the Civil Partnership Bill in the Seanad yesterday. An experienced political reporter told me that he had never before witnessed any TD or senator being subjected to the level of interruptions, bullying and harassment that Mullen was subjected to by some of his fellow senators. Senators...

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Activists attacks The Frontline over ‘bias’

Since Monday night’s edition, The Frontline has been under fierce attack over its alleged bias against the pro-gay side. The attack rests on two pieces of evidence. One is that the panel consisted of two pro-traditional marriage proponents, namely me and Senator Jim Walsh, and only one person in support of the family diversity position,...

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Marriage and the family: script from Monday night’s Frontline

I was on Frontline last night on RTE debating the family. Senator Ivana Bacik and I had to read out an opening statement at the start of the show briefly setting out our cases. Here is my script. “The family in Ireland has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Divorce and separation are...

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Government Ministers hypocritical on Church and politics

On Saturday, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin responded to recent statements by a couple of senior politicians, Ministers John Gormley and Dermot Ahern, suggesting that religion had no place in political debate.   Minister Gormley said that he “thought we had left the era of Church interference behind” and advised the Church to “concentrate its efforts on...

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A welcome decision on same-sex marriage by the ECHR

Last week’s ruling that the European Convention on Human Rights does not confer an obligation on signatory states to recognise either same-sex marriage or civil partnerships is a welcome one to say the least. It is doubly welcome because the European Court of Human Rights (part of the Council of Europe) is normally so liberal....

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Poll shows support for children’s rights referendum is very soft

A poll in The Examiner today seems to indicate that there is clear majority in favour of a children’s rights referendum. It shows that 62 percent of respondents would vote in favour of a referendum with 37 percent undecided and only one percent against. In fact, the poll shows how soft and uncertain the support...

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Same sex marriage not analogous to inter-racial marriage: author

Here is an interesting article about the claim made by campaigners for same-sex “marriage” that their campaign is analagous to the civil rights struggle in the US. The author, Thomas M Messner, says that the analogy breaks down for a couple of reasons. “Marriage is not fundamental to our “existence” and “survival” merely because it...

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Fatherhood never more needed, but never more under threat

This article on fathers and fatherhood by sociologist Dr Gordon Finley contains a lot of food for thought. It makes the point that there are now multiple threats to fatherhood, but concentrates on three: male unemployment, divorce, and non-marital childbearing. Male unemployment today is higher than female unemployment and female educational attainment is higher than...

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Politicians tell Church to ‘know your place’

In the last week, two senior politicians, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, and Green party leader, John Gormley, have effectively told both the Church, and by extension, religious believers, to ‘know your place’. In an interview with The Irish Times, Minister Ahern reiterated his view that politicians must leave their religion to one side when legislating...

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