The Iona Blog

Safety above all things is not a Christian virtue

By Dr Angelo Bottone

Too much or too little are two ways of doing something wrong. A well-meant action can go bad because of an excess of it or a lack of it. Courageous gestures, for instance, lie between excessive fear and recklessness. If we consider risk, which is a common and inevitable element of life, what is too...

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How non-belief is factor in Irish voting behaviour

By Jim Stack MSc PhD Two years after the abortion referendum, I found myself thinking quite a lot about how that referendum result came to be. A big part of the explanation was, of course, the relentless pro-abortion bias in media coverage of the issue, stretching over most of the thirty-five years of the Eighth...

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Getting the facts right about reversing effects of abortion pills

By Dr Angelo Bottone

This week an article attacked Irish doctors who offer medical assistance to women who have taken abortion pills and then changed their minds before the effects were final. The article contains a number of claims that need to be challenged. A chemical abortion consists of two separate pills: the first, called mifepristone, blocks the effects...

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Should those in charge get priority treatment in a pandemic?

By Dr Angelo Bottone

In a previous blog I discussed an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that debates certain principles for allocating scarce medical resources during a pandemic. The authors propose four main values that can be useful when there is a shortage of resources. They are: 1. Maximize the benefits; 2. Treat people equally; 3....

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French and German judges rule against Covid-bans on public worship

By Dr Angelo Bottone

In both Germany and France, judges have ruled that a ban on public worship in response to the pandemic is disproportionate and a violation of rights. The judges were aware of the need to protect public health, but believed this could be done without a total ban. The German Federal Constitutional Court, on April 29th,...

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Ireland will be one of the last countries in Europe to restore public worship

By Dr Angelo Bottone

While Ireland plans to keep the ban on public religious ceremonies until July 20th, other European countries are allowing public worship again much sooner. In fact, we seem to be one of the last countries to restore public worship. In some countries like Spain, Sweden, Poland and Bulgaria, public worship has never been discontinued even...

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Interview with Arch. Diarmuid Martin on reopening the churches for public celebrations

This is the full stranscript of an interview given by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on Today with Sarah McInerney (RTE Radio 1), on 13th May.   SMcI: What churches will look like in the new normal?  Archbishop, thank you very much for joining me this morning. You have suggested that churches should start looking at a...

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How religious sisters are the real founders of modern nursing

By Dr Angelo Bottone

On Tuesday, we celebrated International Nurses Day, which coincides with the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She is regarded as a founder of modern nursing after she became famous for her work during the Crimean War of the 1850s. What has been largely forgotten is that she took inspiration from the works of medical nuns, who...

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Religious practice reduces ‘deaths from despair’

By Dr Angelo Bottone

A new study from Harvard University has found that the frequent attendance of religious services dramatically reduces so-called ‘deaths from despair’, such as suicide, and drug or alcohol abuse. This finding seems more relevant than ever given the current pandemic that has resulted in untold job losses and a very uncertain future for many people....

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New law takes an axe to the natural ties

This week, the final parts of the Children and Relationship Act 2015 have come into operation. This legislation has changed profoundly the legal arrangement of family relationships but in a way that downgrades the importance of the natural ties. Part 2 and 3, which were delayed because of technical mistakes in the original Act, contain...

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