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Iona Documents

Legal Opinion: The rights of a mother and father in light of the proposed referendum

If we pass the marriage referendum as the Government wants, it will have profound changes on how we view the family in our law. A major legal opinion commissioned by The Iona Institute examines this question. It shows that our ability to give preference to motherhood and fatherhood in Irish law will be severely and probably wholly undermined.

The opinion by Michael Collins SC and Paul Brady BL examines the Constitution, and in particular Article 41, called ‘The Family’, in the light of various rulings by the Supreme Court. 

It shows that the constitutionally protected right to marry is also a constitutionally protected right to have children. The right to marry therefore is unavoidably linked to the rights of children.

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Topics and Resources

About the Iona Institute

The Iona Institute promotes the place of marriage and religion in society. Our starting point in debates about the family is that all children deserve the love of their own mother and father whenever possible. We believe in publicly-funded denominational schools. We also promote freedom of conscience and religion.

The Iona Institute is headed by religious and social affairs commentator, David Quinn.

Some questions for those who seek our vote 

Archbishop Eamon Martin was the keynote speaker at our recent conference on the Synod on the Family. He listed some questions Catholics ought to ask their politicians as they seek our vote.

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Latest News

Time for ‘comfortable Christianity’ is over, leading academic says

A leading American academic has issued a rallying call to Christians in a country where “the love affair with Jesus and his Gospel and his Church is over”. In a major speech to delegates at the annual Legatus Summit of Catholic business leaders in Florida, and reported by Lifesite News, Professor Robert George of Princeton University, a high profile defender of life and traditional marriage said “it is no longer easy to be a faithful Christian, a good Catholic, an authentic witness to the truths of the Gospel” in a society where “the guardians of those norms of cultural orthodoxy that we have come to call ‘political correctness’” will tolerate Catholics as long as they don’t believe, or will at least be completely silent about, “what the Church teaches on issues such as marriage and sexual morality and the sanctity of human life.” However, simultaneously, Prof. George added, Catholics themselves, “having become comfortable, had forgotten, or ignored, [the] timeless Gospel truth”.
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Cardinal urges conscience protection for Canadian physicians

A Catholic Cardinal in Canada has urged lawmakers to respect the conscience rights of medical professionals as they debate allowing physician-assisted suicide. In an intervention before the parliamentary committee considering the legal change, Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, reiterated the Church’s stance on assisted suicide and euthanasia, but, acknowledging the possibility that the legislation may pass, he urged those drafting the law to recognise the moral objections of many healthcare workers and to grant them the right to refuse to participate in killing patients on conscience grounds. "It is clear that reasonable people, with or without religious faith, can have a well-founded moral conviction in their conscience that prevents them from becoming engaged in any way in the provision of assisted suicide and euthanasia," Cardinal Collins said. "They deserve to be respected.
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The Iona Blog

The latest very flawed rulings of the Broadcasting Authority (part 2)

The previous blog dealt with a complaint the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) rejected in relation to a RTE Ray D’Arcy Show item on the marriage referendum. This blog focuses on another complaint made in relation to the same show but this time on an item which dealt with abortion. Again, the BAI gets it badly wrong.
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Recent and Upcoming Events


How should a Catholic think about politics?

The Iona Institute's next talk is by Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran on the topic, ‘How Should a Catholic Think About Politics?’ It will take place on February 23, 2016 in the Clarion Hotel, Sligo.

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Challenges for Ireland from the Synod on the family

Archbishop Eamon Martin will be the keynote speaker at our next conference which is being jointed hosted with The Irish Catholic. The topic of the conference is the Synod on the Family that took place in Rome recently.

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