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International News Archive
August 29 - August 31, 2001


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This page contains news for the period August 29 through August 31, 2001.



<<   August 2001  >>

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Friday, August 31, 2001

Chileans divided on issues of contraception and divorce

A story released today by Reuters reports that Friday’s debate by Chilean lawmakers over the ''morning-after'' pill has exposed deep splits in Chilean society as the left-leaning government clashed with church-led traditionalists over attempts to outlaw the contraceptive.

"It is the Health Ministry that directs policy on these issues and we do not think it is appropriate that health authorities can be overridden by law courts in these cases,'' said government spokesperson Claudio Huepe reacting on the Supreme Court ruling Thursday that banned the use of the contraception.

 Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, is also at odds with the church over divorce and introducing sex education in schools.

On Friday, the government acknowledged it had given concessions to the church in talks over a planned divorce law. The government said that it had watered down the divorce bill that it was advocating to take into consideration the church's views.

Lagos on Monday warned the Vatican's top liturgy expert, Chilean Cardinal Jorge Medina, to stay out of politics after the churchman called on Chileans not to vote in the elections for candidates who support allowing divorce and abortion.

As it stands, many estranged Chilean couples have their marriages annulled through legal loopholes.

Between 70 percent and 80 percent of Chileans regard themselves as Catholics, but many appear to be at odds with the church's teachings on the family. A recent opinion poll by the Catholic University of Chile showed 44 percent of those interviewed supported the teachings, while 32 percent were opposed.

Thursday, August 30, 2001

'Morally unfit' Scottish teacher gets support from community

A story published today by the Daily Record reports that a phone poll conducted by them revealed that an overwhelming number of their readers believe that the Catholic Church's decision to force out school teacher Veronica McLeod  for being an unmarried mother was completely wrong.

The phone poll went against the dismissal of the unmarried mother by a massive margin of more than three to one.

When the lines closed last night, 754 had voted against the church ruling that Veronica was no longer "morally fit" to teach in St. Kessog's primary in Balloch, Dunbartonshire. Only 236 backed the sacking.

The poll was organized after protests from pupils' parents and leading Catholics.

The 35-year-old teacher, who is a practicing Catholic, had applied to have her job made permanent after four years at the school. Instead, she has been transferred to a non-denominational school.

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Scottish teacher fired for 'living in sin'

A story published today by the Daily Record reports that a Scottish teacher at a Catholic primary school in Scotland has been terminated from her position for being an unmarried mother.

Veronica McLeod, 35,  was branded "morally unfit" by the Church for her continuing relationship with the child's father whom she was not married to. She applied to make her job permanent at St. Kessog's in Balloch, Dunbartonshire, but the Catholic Church refused to grant a "certificate of approval" - needed for a teacher to take a new post at a Catholic school.

Parents are furious about the school's action and has vowed to support McLeod in her fight to get her job back.

McLeod, a Catholic, has been currently moved to a non-denominational school. 


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