The Iona Blog

The moral contradictions of altruistic egg donation and surrogacy

The Oireachtas Joint Health Committee has just issued a report on Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR). The report is extremely inadequate in its treatment of the ethically questionable aspects of AHR but for the sake of simplicity, let’s examine what seems to be the least problematic forms of AHR: so-called altruistic egg and sperm donation and...

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Even Leonard Cohen got caught in the anti-child counter-culture

By David Quinn

The counter-culture promised us a utopian world of sexual freedom. The reality was, and is far more demeaning and often devastating in its consequences for children especially given how often they are put in second place behind the desires of their parents. A new documentary has been released that looks at the great singer and...

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Getting it wrong about science and religion yet again

By David Quinn

It’s a pity Alfred O’Rahilly is not alive today to debate the topic of science and religion with Professor David McConnell of Trinity College Dublin. O’Rahilly was himself a scientist. He was President of UCC. He spoke and wrote widely on the topic of science and religion. He died in 1969. McConnell had an article...

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Mix-up reveals the terrible dilemma at the heart of IVF

A terrible example of an IVF mix-up emerged last week. Two babies were mistakenly implanted in the wrong woman causing huge upset to the parents involved. What the case illustrates is how important the natural ties are to most people, even though our culture is currently deeply conflicted about the matter with its contradictory messages...

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Wolf Hall: When ingenious fiction meets public ignorance

By Melanie McDonagh Just in time for the publication of The Mirror and the Light, the third and final volume of Hilary Mantel’s trilogy about the life of Thomas Cromwell later this year, my old friend Richard Rex, a history professor at Cambridge, has delivered a lecture in Dublin on the first volume, Wolf Hall. It should...

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The atheist ‘ghost’ at Church State meeting

By David Quinn

Leo Varadkar and other Government members met with representatives of no fewer than 28 religious and non-religious organisations at Dublin Castle yesterday. The Government in one of its own press releases described the meeting as ‘Church State dialogue’, but gave the same amount of space and representation at the event to the Catholic Church, huge...

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More the villain and Cromwell the hero?

Professor Richard Rex of Queen’s College, Cambridge, addressed a packed University Church in Dublin last week on the topic: The Two Thomases, namely Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell. In particular, he examined the portrayal of both in Hilary Mantel’s best-selling and widely-praised novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. Professor Rex, who lectures in Reformation and Tudor...

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Funding of Church schools is commonplace across Europe

By Dr Angelo Bottone

The impression is often given that there is something very and unusual, not to mention undemocratic, about religious schools receiving public funds. In fact, it is absolutely normal. What is unusual is faith schools receiving no public funds.  What is more, the Irish education system is one of the freest in the world, that is,...

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Bishop Barron, Jordan Peterson and spiritual fatherhood

By David Quinn

Jordan Peterson recently interviewed Bishop Robert Barron of Word on Fire in the United States. Bishop Barron has built up a big online following as a defender of the reasonableness of the Catholic faith. Peterson is basically a defender of the Western moral tradition. There is obviously a big overlap between this tradition and Catholicism,...

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Unborn child counted for nothing in judge’s decision to order an abortion

We are well familiar with the hard cases our strict pro-life law produced, the X-case for example. They were massively publicised. Our new abortion law has already produced its own hard case, that of the baby who was aborted at Holles Street after being mistakenly diagnosed to have a ‘fatal foetal abnormality’. This has caused...

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