The Iona Blog

Influential academics set out their ultra-permissive pro-choice vision

The General Scheme of the abortion Bill is one of the most permissive in the Western world but four pro-choice academics and activists have published a position paper asking to make it even more so. The proposed law will allow abortion up to 12 weeks for any reason and up to viability if there is a...

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Leo Varadkar must not use science to hide his pro-choice ideology

Leo Varadkar believes publicly-funded hospitals should be imbued with “a civic and scientific ethos.” So he said in his Dublin Castle address to Pope Francis. But that term, “scientific ethos”, needs a lot of explaining. Science deals with physical reality, while ethos deals with the moral character of an institution, its values and goals. One...

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Leo Varadkar’s vision of Church and State not fleshed out

By David Quinn

In his address to the Pope in Dublin Castle on Saturday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spoke of the need to “build a new relationship between Church and State in Ireland – a new covenant for the 21st century”. Reading his remarks, however, it was far from clear what exactly he has in mind, and unfortunately no...

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Shining a light on liberalism’s pathologies

By David Quinn

Dominant ideologies have powerful self-reinforcing mechanisms. One of them is that they get to ask most of the questions and to subject rival points of view to ferocious criticism and interrogation. The dominant ideology of our time is what is sometimes called ‘expressive individualism’. What this means is giving people the freedom to live the...

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The growing shortage of marriageable men

As women’s economic prospects have risen in recent decades, and that of many men, especially many working class men have declined, so have the odds of some people ever getting married. To put it bluntly; a man with good earning prospects has a better chance of getting married than a man with poor earning prospects....

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A closer look at a new survey on consent and sexual harassment

The Government is shaping up to radically overhaul the way Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) is taught in schools. To this end, it is placing considerable weight on a new survey conducted by the Smart Consent research team at NUI Galway on sexual harassment and consent. It was widely reported by the media, but does it...

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Discovering and teaching what makes a marriage work

What makes marriage work? A new study from the University of Exeter has looked at exactly this and recommended the findings be taught in schools. After all, entering a marriage is one  of the most important decisions we can make in life, so we ought to do our best to get it right and we...

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‘The Splendour of Truth’ after 25 years

Twenty five years ago John Paul II released the encyclical letter Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth), a monumental document in moral theology. It was a refutation of moral relativism in moral theology. That tendency is still extremely prevalent in theological circles and in society at large and is becoming stronger. Pope Benedict has referred...

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What is the point of an ‘Advisory Committee’ that does not advise?

By David Mullins The fact that the dog did not bark is of course the famed and curious incident referred to by Sherlock Holmes in the Conan Doyle story, The Adventure of Silver Blaze. The same curiosity might fairly apply to the operation of the National Advisory Committee on Bioethics. Established in March 2012 by then...

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The State must respect the conscience rights of pro-life hospitals

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has recently published a long document (The Code of Ethical Standards for Health Care) that gives directions to Catholic health care institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, etc. The Code is particularly important now that Ireland has voted to repeal the 8th amendment. The document covers a variety of...

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