News Roundup

Family is active agent of mission: Bishop Leahy

The Church needs to “dream big” and see the family as an active agent of mission, says Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick. Delivering an address, ‘Dreaming Big – the rediscovery of the Family Today’ to clergy, Bishop Leahy said that we can easily get caught up in issues, problems and challenges and forget that we need to keep alive the vision of just what a great gift family life is.
 
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State funding threat forces Diocese out of family life centre

There are fears over State funding for bodies with a religious ethos after it was confirmed by the Diocese of Elphin that it has been forced to withdraw from a family life centre in Roscommon after pressure from Tusla, the State’s child and family agency. The Irish Catholic newspaper reports that the diocese has reluctantly withdrawn so as to protect funding to the ongoing work of the centre.

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Call for ‘academic rigour’ in religious education

The headmaster of one of Ireland’s leading Jesuit schools has called for an academic approach to religious education to better protect religious ethos. As he addressed Catholic educators at a meeting in Dublin, Gerry Foley of Belvedere College warned that, “unless there is an academic rigour in RE you don’t really do it”.

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US declares Islamic State actions ‘genocide’

US Secretary of State John Kerry (pictured) has said America accepts that the Islamic State (IS) group has committed genocide against Christians and other minorities. Describing IS as “genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology and by actions”, Mr Kerry called for an international investigation and criminal charges for those believed to be responsible for atrocities.

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Parents threaten to remove schoolchildren over ‘transgender day’

Parents of children attending a primary school in Britain have threatened to remove their children over proposals by the school, St Mary the Virgin primary school in Hartfield, East Sussex, to have a transgender day at which children as young as four will be asked to explore their sexuality. Parents have described the planned day as “politically correct nonsense”.

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Magistrate to sue over same-sex adoption opposition

A British magistrate who was sacked from his post for his stated opposition to same-sex adoption is to sue Justice Minister Michael Gove for his comments on the case.
Richard Page was removed after an investigation by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office into a 2015 interview he gave in which he stated that children do better when adopted into a family comprising a man and a woman. Michael Gove described him as “biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters”.
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California clears the way for assisted suicide

June 9 will see the first physician-assisted suicide in the US state of California. The ‘End of Life Option Act’ was forced through the state legislature following a move by supporters to launch a special session to bypass opposing committees after the proposed legislation failed to garner enough support in regular sessions. The state now joins Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont in legislating for assisted suicide.

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South Dakota outlaws abortion after 20 weeks

South Dakota has become the 13th state in the United States to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy following the signing into law of new legislation by Governor Dennis Daugaard. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act has been warmly welcomed by pro-life advocates in the state.

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Judge sacked for opposing same-sex adoptions

A magistrate in Britain has been sacked from his post for voicing opposition to adoption by same-sex couples. Richard Page had been under investigation by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office following a 2015 interview in which he asserted that children do better when adopted into a family comprising a man and a woman.

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European Bishops launch report against euthanasia

A working group of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has published an opinion on palliative care. Cognisant of Europe’s ageing population, the Bishops look to the introduction of euthanasia and assisted suicide in some nations and insist that “euthanasia does not form any part of palliative care”.

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