Of three accused priests, one commits suicide, one admits rape

On June 15, 1992, a 26-year-old man provided a legal statement accusing three Diocese of Lafayette priests of sexual misconduct against him in the 1970s and 1980s.

According to The Advertiser, one of those priests, Ronald Lane "Jean Paul" Fontenot, pleaded guilty and was convicted in 1986 of statutory rape in Spokane, Washington, where he was transferred for counseling after he was placed on leave in Lafayette in 1983 when a civil lawsuit was filed.

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Atheists not hopeful of ‘blasphemy’ referendum, in spite of UN pressure

The chariman of Atheist Ireland, Michael Nugent, says in the interview with The Journal that he doesn’t believe the Government has any plans to address the issue of Ireland’s blasphemy laws.

It follows the UN Human Rights Committee’s recommendation this week that the State should consider removing the prohibition of the offence from the Constitution.

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Children Exposed To Religion Have Difficulty Distinguishing Fact From Fiction, Study Finds

The Huffington Post  | By Shadee Ashtari

Young children who are exposed to religion have a hard time differentiating between fact and fiction, according to a new study published in the July issue of Cognitive Science.

Researchers presented 5- and 6-year-old children from both public and parochial schools with three different types of stories -- religious, fantastical and realistic –- in an effort to gauge how well they could identify narratives with impossible elements as fictional.

The study found that, of the 66 participants, children who went to church or were enrolled in a parochial school were significantly less able than secular children to identify supernatural elements, such as talking animals, as fictional.

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The Catholic Church still does not get child abuse

By Jacky Jones

The conviction of Rolf Harris is a reminder that child abuse is an abuse of power. The crime persists because perpetrators are not challenged and dealt with speedily by the criminal justice system. Children are still abused in Ireland every day.

According to the article by Irish Times, the HSE Annual Report 2013 shows that 6,462 children were in care at the end of 2013 and 1,547 children were on the Child Protection Notification system.

The HSE expects to receive about 40,000 referrals to the Child and Family Agency in 2014. Between April 2013 and the end of March 2014, 164 allegations were made against priests and religious to the National Board for Safeguarding Children.

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Think Twice, Lady Hale

Think Twice, Lady Hale

WRITTEN BY COEL HELLIER AND MARK KOLSEN, GUEST WRITERS OF AAI NEWS TEAM

Obama’s overhaul of America’s health care system required employers offering medical insurance to their employees to cover some costs of their birth control. A controversial move. The crafts retail chain Hobby Lobby (along with 80 other groups) sued the American government in protest (due to religious objection), and the Supreme Court ruled in their favor: 5-4.

Did this decision open Pandora’s box? Will religious believers now object to every government mandate that violates their “consciences”? Justice Kennedy has said “No,” that the decision is strictly limited to family-run businesses that object to providing certain contraceptives to their employees. But Justice Ginsberg has said that the decision opens the door to the many religious groups now demanding “conscience” exemptions in every conceivable area.

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