News Roundup

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.”

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.”

Calls for Cardinal’s prosecution for attacking gender ideology

A feminist group in Spain has called on the authorities to prosecute a Catholic Cardinal after he defended the traditional family and denounced gender ideology which is the belief that a person’s ‘gender’ can be different from their biological sex. The Feminist Platform of Alicante has accused Cardinal Antonio Canizares of “inciting discrimination and hatred” when, during a sermon he said: “The family is being stalked today, in our culture…We have legislation contrary to the family, the acts of political and social forces, to which are added movements and acts by the gay empire, by ideologies such as radical feminism, or the most insidious of all, gender ideology…When the family is attacked or is diminished, the most sacred forms of human relationship are perverted.”


US abortion provider seeks law to ban undercover journalism

America’s largest abortion provider Planned Parenthood is pushing for legislation in the state of California that would criminalise journalists who publish undercover stories about abortion clinics. A Bill backed by the group has been placed before state legislators with the aim of imposing a $10,000 fine or three years of imprisonment on reporters writing stories gained by use of undercover audio or video recordings. The Bill comes in the wake of a major video exposé of Planned Parenthood’s practices. The California Newspaper Publishers Association has denounced the Bill as unconstitutional.


Film criticised for assisted suicide storyline

A new film containing an assisted suicide storyline has been criticised in Britain. Following its release, ‘Me Before You’, which centres on the relationship between a wheelchair-bound man and his carer, Not Dead Yet, a group which campaigns against assisted suicide, attacked the film’s message that “the lives of disabled people as not worth living”. The group staged a demonstration at the film’s London premiere, while other critics have taken to Twitter to denounce its story content.


Over one third of Irish births outside marriage, new figures show

Over one third of babies born in Ireland last year was outside marriage, the latest Central Statistics Office reveals. According to the figures, of 65,909 births in 2015, 23,990 (36.4%) were outside marriage, with 59.5% of that cohort being cohabiting couples. The highest percentage of births outside marriage/civil partnership was in Limerick city at 55.7 per cent. The lowest was in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown with 24 per cent. Just over 53 per cent of births outside marriage/civil partnership were to mothers under 30.


Politics, media seek to drive Church from the public sphere – Bishop

Bishop William Crean of Cloyne has said that some in Ireland today seek to drive the Church from the public sphere in the name of ‘progress’. Delivering a homily for the ordination Mass for nine new deacons at Maynooth, Bishop Crean warned them that their role is one subject to “potential vilification and rejection” today. “Ireland, through its political and media establishments seem determined to eliminate the engagement of the Catholic Church in the public sphere….There are many in these systems who have developed a gratuitous cynicism towards the Catholic Church and desire its destruction, believing that it stands between the people and Ireland becoming a progressive society.”


Children of married parents have more self-esteem – study

Children with married parents show a higher level of self-esteem than those in other types of family arrangements, a new study has shown. The Marriage Foundation analysed data relating to 3,800 children from the ages of 11 to 16. The data was drawn from the British Household Panel Survey. Sir Paul Coleridge, funder of the Foundation said of the findings: “Not only is a married couple more likely to save their child from undergoing the trauma of family breakdown, we now have evidence that parent’s public declaration of commitment to each other significantly alters a child’s self-perception and self-esteem.”


‘Every child deserves a mother and father’ call on Global Day of Parents

The freedom advocacy group ADF International has reiterated that “every child deserves to be raised by his or her mother and father” as the world marks the Global Day of Parents on June 1. In a statement to mark the day first established by the United Nations in 2012, Paul Coleman, Deputy Director for ADF International, said: “At a time when more and more people seem to be seeking individual fulfilment, it is important to highlight the value of the self-sacrificial love that parents around the world have for their children. It is vital that our societies remind themselves of the significance of devoted parental care to future generations.”


Minister welcomes bank’s pledge to fund sex changes for employees

Britain’s Minister for Women and Equalities has welcomed a move by the Lloyds Banking Group to offer employees backing for sex change surgery under a new healthcare scheme. Minister Nicky Morgan said Lloyds was “leading the way” on transsexualism. “One of the things that strikes me every time I meet someone who has an interest in [transsexual issues] is they want to be who they are. We have an obligation as a society to help that”. Lloyds said it will offer sex change surgery as part of its healthcare provision, citing the ‘wellbeing’ of staff. The banking group, which includes Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, is thought to be the first UK-owned employer to do so.

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