ECtHR, Grand Chamber: Italy’s ban on embryo research is not a “human rights violation”

European court of human rightsThe recent history of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is so rich in absurd manifestations of judicial activism that one always has to expect the worst. In that sense, we note with relief that in today’s Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Parillo vs. Italy the Court found with 16 – 1 votes that the applicant, a woman who had undergone fertility treatment in which five embryos were created in vitro, does not have a subjective right under Article 8 of the European Human Rights Convention to “donate” those embryos for research purposes. In other words, a law that prohibits the use of embryos for research purposes is not incompatible with the Convention. This time at least, the frivolous attempt to use human rights to undermine human rights has remained unsuccessful. Continue reading

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Donald Tusk corrects Frans Timmermans: “Defining marriage and family is the competence of EU Member States”.

Following controversial statements by Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans indicating his determination to put pressure on EU Member States to give legal recognition to same-sex “marriages”, the President of the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE), Antoine Renard, has written to Council President Donald Tusk, inviting him to clarify the Council’s stance on the matter. Tusk’s reply is clear and unequivocal, stating that “the definitions of marriage and family are matters of national competence for EU Member States”.

Read the full story on FAFCE’s website.

Vienna: Nursery school teacher is fired because she explained to her pupils the religious meaning of Christmas

A city-run kindergarten in the Austrian capital Vienna has fired a teacher because she “violated the kindergarten’s neutral stance on religion” by explaining her pupils, in response to questions asked by them, that on Christmas Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  According to the institution’s policy, “tolerance” means that religion cannot be tolerated, and “education” means that children must be kept unaware of the cultural context in which they grow up. Continue reading