News Roundup

Partner of ‘right-to-die’ campaigner ‘helped 200 plan their deaths by suicide’

‘Right-to-die’ campaigner, Tom Curran, has revealed that he has helped some 200 people, in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe, to plan their suicides, many of whom opt to use drugs that are banned in the European Union and therefore must be illegally imported. Mr Curran appealed to the Government to legislate for assisted suicide.

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Education Minister seeks to accelerate Catholic schools’ divestment

Education Minister Richard Bruton has announced a new initiative to speed up the divestment process of Catholic schools. Following the slow pace of divestment in the wake of a similar plan launched in 2013, which saw just eight schools change patronage in two years, Minister Bruton is keen to accelerate the programme through provision of 400 non- or multi-denominational schools by 2030, a fourfold increase on the current provision number. While some of these will be brand new schools set for areas of population growth, the Minister also envisages partnerships with numerous patron bodies, something the Catholic Church has signalled it is open to exploring with local education and training boards.

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Amnesty criticised for attacking protection for the unborn

Amnesty International has been criticised for pushing for abortion in Ireland. During a major gathering in Dublin to ‘Celebrate the 8th’ which drew thousands of pro-life supporters, speakers denounced Amnesty’s lobbying for an end to the constitutional protection for the unborn. Among them was the Pro-Life Campaign’s Cora Sherlock who pointed out that pressure to legislate for abortion in Ireland is “coming from the top down, not from the grassroots up”. She went on to insist that the voices of those saved by the 8th Amendment should be “front and centre” during the debate on abortion.

 

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Primate calls for defence of the right to life of the unborn

The Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin has called on people to stand firm for the right to life of a mother and her unborn child. Speaking in Knock, Co. Mayo, the Archbishop said “strength of character” is needed in defending the unborn, especially in the face of “pressure from those who wish to radically redefine Ireland’s social agenda in the name of ‘progression’ and ‘personal choice’ above all else”. However, he stressed: “We must listen for the heartbeats of both mothers and their unborn children in today’s world. Two lives; two hearts, beating.”

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Mexico backs away from same-sex marriage amid protests

Legislators in Mexico are reportedly backing away from President Enrique Pena Nieto’s proposals on same-sex marriage after a fierce backlash among the electorate. According to reports, major protests have taken place in 26 states, in addition to demonstrations on the issue in the United States, Italy, Spain and even Russia. Faced with the displays of public anger, members of President Nieto’s own Institutional Revolutionary Party have openly declared they will vote against proposed public information campaigns designed to sway the nation in favour of same-sex marriage.

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Washington state to teach gender ideology to pre-school children

The US state of Washington is to introduce classes on transgender theory in kindergartens. The move means that pre-school children will be introduced to the idea that gender is a social construct rather than a biological reality. Guidelines on the new classes state that children as young as five should “understand there are many ways to express gender”. The guidelines define ‘gender’ as “a social construct based on emotional, behavioural, and cultural characteristics attached to a person’s assigned biological sex”. The Family Policy Institute of Washington has described the education move as “frightening” and warned that students “may have to choose between accepting politically correct talking points or failing assignments and being ostracised by school administrators.”

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Britain rejects Christian asylum seekers who cannot recite the Ten Commandments

Christian asylum seekers in Britain are being rejected if they cannot fully recite the Ten Commandments. This is one of the findings made by an all-party parliamentary group for international freedom of religion and belief which examined the asylum process for migrants arriving in Britain. The group found that staff dealing with applications were employing trivia questions on religion in place of a deeper understanding of belief. “The problem with [the] questions is that if you are not genuine you can learn the answers, and if you are genuine, you may not know the answers,” said Baroness Berridge, the head of the parliamentary group.

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Pro-Life Campaign call to ‘Celebrate the 8th’

The Pro-Life Campaign (PLC) has called for a large show of support to ‘Celebrate the 8th’ on June 4. Thousands of people in Dublin are expected to gather at the gates of Leinster House in Molesworth St. from 3pm to demonstrate their support for the Constitutional protection for the unborn. Cora Sherlock of PLC said: “We’ve become used to accepting what groups like Amnesty International and others say about the 8th Amendment, but the 8th Amendment is a human rights beacon. It protects the human rights of every human being in this country and we need to stand up and remind ourselves of that. Saturday will be a good chance to do that.”
 
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US Cardinal laments ‘aggressive gender ideology’

America’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl has lamented his country’s current climate of “aggressive gender ideology”. In a blog post, the Cardinal takes the ongoing drive to create a “new order” of subjective reality. He writes: “Last year we saw a societal redefinition of marriage and family. Today, the concept of humanity itself is called into question with an aggressive ‘gender’ ideology which holds that whether a person is male or female is not an objective reality, but is subjectively determined. Increasingly, those who do not go along with this new order are denounced and ostracised as bigoted. It is as if we all must now affirm that the world is flat lest we be condemned of discrimination.”
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Christian University stripped of accreditation over stance on homosexuality

A Christian university in Canada has appealed a court ruling that stripped its academic accreditation because of its opposition to homosexuality. Trinity Western University (TWU) in Langley City, British Columbia appealed on the grounds of religious freedom. Bruce Clemenger, President of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, which is backing the appeal, said of the loss of accreditation: “[The] objection is that TWU is a Christian school and that students and staff are required to abide by a biblically-informed ‘community covenant’. The issue is about beliefs, not abilities. It is the faith orientation, not the academic qualifications, that is being challenged.”
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