The Iona Blog

Contrary to Patsy McGarry, an embryo IS a human being

By David Mullins

Irish Times Religious Affairs Correspondent, Patsy McGarry, wrote an article last week urging the broadest use of the new techniques available in genome editing that aim to decrease the likelihood of children being born with serious genetic defects. The problem with this process is that it involves a form of experimentation on embryos which destroys...

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‘No conservatives, no orthodox Christians and no libertarians need apply’

By David Quinn

In the last couple of weeks, we have had two big examples of people being sacked for violating the tenets of ‘diversity’. One was Sunday Times columnist, Kevin Myers, who was sacked on a charge of ‘anti-Semitism’. Myers is far from being an anti-Semite but he did write a sentence in his column that could...

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Does pro-choice animus towards Catholicism have a limit?

By Dr Angelo Bottone

Is it too much to ask pro-choice activists to refrain from violating holy places? Can we ask them to avoid profanity and sacrilegious language with the purpose of causing offense to religious believers, especially Catholics? Can we ask them not to misuse religious iconography? There are growing indications that some pro-choice activists don’t want to...

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Advertising regulator upholds ‘100,000 lives saved’ billboard claim

By Patrick Fitzgerald

A billboard ad claiming that 100,000 lives have been saved because of Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion regime was run in January. Complaints about its accuracy were made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The good news is that the complaints have been rejected because the ASA believes the claim is reasonable and defensible. As you...

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Protecting the rights of donor-conceived children

By Dr Angelo Bottone

Paul Cullen recently wrote a long article for the Irish Times about the rights of children conceived artificially through the use of sperm or eggs from anonymous donors. This controversial method, called heterologous fertilisation, raises many moral and legal issues. To what extent does this practice infringe the identity rights of these ‘donor-children’? The Assisted...

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New Census data show marriage continues its decline

By David Quinn

New Census data shows that the married family continues its decline in Irish life. While it is still by the easily the predominant type of family overall, its dominance has declined with the rise of cohabiting couples, divorce and separation, and single-parent households. Yesterday, the CSO released the Households and Family data from Census 2016....

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The Church, the State and civil society: questions for The Times Ireland Edition

By David Quinn

‘Momentous review to end church’s health role’, said the headline in Saturday’s issue of The Times Ireland Edition. ‘For the first time since its foundation, Ireland is formally emancipating itself from the church’, said the editorial, without a hint of hyperbole. The headline made it look like the Church is being singled out. Not so....

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The Citizens’ Assembly report ignores conscientious objection

By Dr Angelo Bottone

At the end of June, Ms Justice Laffoy  presented her report on the Citizens’ Assembly meetings dedicated to the discussion of the 8th amendment. In spite of calls for the provision and regulation of conscientious objection to abortion, the report has made no recommendation about it. The Citizens’ Assembly members voted for Article 40.3.3 to...

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The Citizens’ Assembly disregards contributions from ordinary citizens

What is the point of soliciting submissions from the public when the agenda of the Citizens’ Assembly is already set? The Citizens’ Assembly devoted its last two sessions to the discussion of “how we best respond to the challenges and opportunities of an aging population”. For the occasion, the general public was invited to submit...

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Fans of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ ignore the real handmaids of our time; surrogates

Critics are outbidding each other to see who can lavish most praise on the series one Irish Times writer calls a “dystopian masterpiece” about a “religious fundamentalist government who deal with the decreasing birth rates by forcing lower-class women into sexual slavery as reproductive servants for the infertile elite.” The series is The Handmaid’s Tale...

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