The Iona Blog

Irish Times is too complacent about marriage in Ireland

By David Quinn

“The institution of marriage in Ireland is in pretty good health”, the Irish Times told us on Monday in an editorial that warned against complacency about the passage of the divorce referendum on May 24th. As for that, it will pass in a canter, but is marriage in Ireland “in pretty good health”? That is...

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Persecution of Christians in some countries ‘approaching genocide’, but we remain indifferent

Two recent reports highlight the growing religious persecution around the world. Christians are the overwhelming majority of those persecuted on grounds of faith but governments are reluctant to react properly on religious oppression, while media downplay its severity. One of the reports, released last week, was commissioned by Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s Secretary for Foreign Affairs,...

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Stay-at-homes mothers ‘a punch in the gut’?

By Margaret Hickey

More than two thirds of Irish women working at home do not want to return to paid employment.  So says a newly released survey undertaken by ‘Solas’, the Department of Education’s Further Education and Training Authority. These findings amounted to ‘ a punch in the gut’ for Sonya Lennon, founder of the Dublin branch of...

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In England the abortion situation becomes worse

The UK Office for Nationals Statistics has released the 2017 data on pregnancies in England and Wales. When compared with the statistics about abortion, those data give us a frightening account of the situation: pregnancies and births are decreasing while abortions are increasing. (note 1) The number of pregnancies or conceptions in the general population...

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Time for a bigger spotlight on rogue fertility clinics

We hear a lot in the papers about ‘rogue’ pro-life counselling agencies. But what of rogue fertility clinics? The fertility business is huge and anxious couples pay a very great deal of money in their efforts to become pregnant, efforts that often result in failure. Sally Cheshire, chairman of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)...

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Our silence about the persecution of Christians

By Margaret Hickey

The bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka at the weekend has grabbed the world’s headlines. But out of sight and out of mind, persecution of Christians and other religious minorities is now all too commonplace and underreported. For example, a couple of weeks ago in Qianyang, China, a pastor and his parishioners watched...

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Ireland must have a debate about gene-editing

Ireland needs to have a debate about the use of ‘CRISPR’ technology, a gene-editing technique that can affect the DNA of future generations of human beings. A number of eminent scientists and bioethicists have recently called for a moratorium on techniques to make genetically modified children. They believe that a proper debate is urgent in...

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The Faith that built Notre Dame cathedral

Tens of millions of people all over the world are shocked by the fire that destroyed much of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris last night. President Macron has promised to rebuild it and hundreds of millions of euro have already been pledge for that purpose. The magnificent cathedral is not alone a symbol of France,...

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Yet another exercise in Church-bashing

By Margaret Hickey

Tonight. RTE airs a documentary called ‘Rome v Republic’. To judge by the preview articles, it will be sharply critical of the Catholic Church. How original. Its director, Niamh Sammon, had an opinion piece in the Irish Times the other day in which she asks if it is right ‘that institutions that presided over the...

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Maria Steen on the future of denominational education

In a talk recently in Malahide. Maria Steen (pictured) of The Iona Institute outlined the growing threat to denominational education and the right of parents, including Christian ones, to send their children to schools that will educate them according to their wishes. Increasingly, it is the State’s view that prevails over that of parents. You...

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