FaithWorld

Chief Rabbi Korsia says French society has turned indifferent to anti-Semitism

(French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia meets with the Anglo-American Press Association in Paris, Sept.. 16, 2014//Tom Heneghan)

(French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia meets with the Anglo-American Press Association of Paris, Sept.. 16, 2014//Tom Heneghan)

France’s government has reacted strongly to a rising tide of anti-Semitic acts this year but French society seems indifferent to the threat they present, the country’s newly elected chief rabbi said on Tuesday.

Haim Korsia, who was elected in June, recalled the huge crowds that demonstrated in Paris in 1990 after a Jewish cemetery was desecrated in the southeastern town of Carpentras.

This summer, he told journalists from the Anglo-American Press Association of Paris, there was no similar reaction from civil society following attacks on synagogues and protests against Israel’s offensive in Gaza, during which some marchers shouted “death to Jews” and “Jews out”.

“There were a million people in the street then,” he said, referring to 1990. “In France (now), have you seen a march of support saying it’s inadmissible to attack houses of worship?

Philadelphia planning as if Pope Francis is coming in 2015, Chaput says

(Archibishop of Philadelphia Charles Joseph Chaput attends a news conference at the Vatican September 16, 2014. Chaput announced officially that the next World Meeting of Families will be held in Philadelphia from 22 to 27 September in 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

(Archibishop of Philadelphia Charles Joseph Chaput attends a news conference at the Vatican September 16, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is planning and raising funds as if Pope Francis will visit the city next year for the World Meeting of Families, the city’s Roman Catholic leader, Archbishop Charles Chaput said on Tuesday.

“The Holy Father has expressed an interest in attending if he can do that but we won’t have any official decision until several months prior to the event,” Chaput told a news conference at the Vatican on plans for the meeting.

from The Great Debate:

Avoid a classic blunder: Stay out of religious wars in the Middle East

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Muslims in the Middle East are fighting wars of religion. Like the carnage between Protestants and Catholics that haunted Northern Ireland during the last third of the 20th century, there is little anyone can do until local peoples crave peace so intensely they are willing to cultivate it.

History shows that outside meddling only intensifies sectarian fury. Stopping internecine war begins at home. President Barack Obama imperils Americans by trying to excise an abscess that can be cured only from the inside out. The decision to re-engage in Iraq, and the wider Middle East, also contradicts the president’s other, bigger objective: to exit the nanny business.

Shi'ite Muslims attend Friday prayers at the Imam Hussein shrine in the holy city of KerbalaThe last time religious aggression swept an entire subcontinent was during the Reformation four centuries ago, when Christians hashed out their hatreds much as Muslims of the Middle East are doing today.

At landmark Berlin rally, German Chancellor Merkel vows to fight anti-Semitism

(German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes an address during an anti-Semitism demo at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate September 14, 2014. Background reads ' Stand up !'. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch )

(German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes an address during an anti-Semitism demo at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate September 14, 2014. Background reads ‘”Stand up ! Never again hatred of Jews! REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

Germany will do all it can to fight anti-Semitism, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a speech on Sunday, following a surge of abuse against Jews and spreading anti-Israeli sentiment aroused by the Gaza conflict.

Merkel made her pledge to thousands at a landmark rally protesting a rise in anti-Semitism that authorities and Jewish leaders blame mainly on Muslim extremists and young immigrants, saying anyone who attacks Jews is attacking all of Germany.

Pope Francis marries couples who have cohabited, had children

(Pope Francis officiates a mass at the wedding of 20 couples in St.Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, September 14, 2014. REUTERS/Alberto Pizzoli/)

(Pope Francis officiates a mass at the wedding of 20 couples in St.Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, September 14, 2014. REUTERS/Alberto Pizzoli)

Pope Francis married 20 couples on Sunday, some of whom had already lived together and had children, in the latest sign that the Argentine pontiff wants the Catholic church to be more open and inclusive.

In the first wedding he has performed in his 18-month-old papacy, Francis took each couple through their vows in turn — including Gabriella and Guido, who already had children and thought such a marriage would be impossible, official broadcasting service Radio Vaticana said.

Scotland’s ‘Kirk’ appeals for reconciliation after independence vote

(DATE IMPORTED:September 12, 2014The Scottish Saltire flag (L) and the British Union flag are seen outside a shop in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland September 12, 2014. The referendum on Scottish independence will take place on September 18, when Scotland will vote whether or not to end the 307-year-old union with the rest of the United Kingdom. REUTERS/Paul Hackett )

(The Scottish Saltire flag (L) and the British Union flag are seen outside a shop in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland September 12, 2014. REUTERS/Paul Hackett )

On the last Sunday before Scotland votes on independence, minister urged Scots from the pulpit to work for reconciliation and avoid recrimination after the referendum.

They offered no guidance, heavenly or otherwise, on which way to vote. But they said it was important that Scots did not shirk from casting a ballot and shaping their future.

Pope Francis says world’s many conflicts amount to piecemeal World War Three

(Pope Francis walks inside the Austro-Hungarian cemetery at Fogliano in Redipuglia September 13, 2014. Pope Francis marked the centenary of World War One (WWI) at the Redipuglia Military Sacrarium with a mass. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini )

(Pope Francis walks inside the Austro-Hungarian cemetery at Fogliano in Redipuglia September 13, 2014. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini )

Pope Francis said on Saturday the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a “piecemeal” Third World War, condemning the arms trade and “plotters of terrorism” sowing death and destruction.

“Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep,” Francis said in the homily of a Mass during a visit to Italy’s largest war memorial, a large, Fascist-era monument where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried.

Pope to visit Turkey in November, first trip to a Muslim nation

(The sun sets over the Ottoman-era Suleymaniye mosque in Istanbul February 19, 2012. REUTERS/Murad Sezer )

(The sun sets over the Ottoman-era Suleymaniye mosque in Istanbul February 19, 2012. REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

Pope Francis will visit the Turkish city of Istanbul at the end of November, his first trip to a predominantly Muslim nation, the Vatican said on Friday.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the exact dates and the programme for the trip, which will last several days, were still not fixed.

Topless activists acquitted over raid at Paris Notre Dame Cathedral

(Activists from the women's rights organisation Femen ring a bell as the protest in front of the new eight bronze bells displayed in the nave of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral in Paris February 12, 2013. According to activists, the protest was organized to celebrate the resignation of Pope Benedict and the French parliament’s decision to approve a draft law allowing same-sex marriage. The slogan at 2ndL reads "Faith crisis". REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

(Activists from the women’s rights organisation Femen ring a bell as the protest in front of the new eight bronze bells displayed in the nave of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral in Paris February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

A French court has acquitted nine women from protest group Femen over a topless protest last year inside Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral, a Catholic cathedral visited by millions of tourists and religious devotees every year.

The feminist activists mixed with hordes of queuing visitors to enter the 12th century church unspotted in 2013 – one day after Pope Benedict resigned – before bearing torsos painted with slogans such as “Pope No More” and “Get lost, homophobe”.

Ian Paisley – “Doctor No” who said Yes to peace in Northern Ireland

(File photograph shows Northern Ireland's new first minister Ian Paisley (L) and deputy first minister Martin McGuinness smiling after being sworn in at a ceremony at Stormont, Belfast May 8, 2007. Hardline Protestant cleric and Northern Ireland's former leader Ian Paisley has died, his Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) said on Friday. REUTERS/Paul Faith/Pool/Files )

(File photograph shows Northern Ireland’s new first minister Ian Paisley (L) and deputy first minister Martin McGuinness smiling after being sworn in at a ceremony at Stormont, Belfast May 8, 2007.  REUTERS/Paul Faith)

Ian Paisley, the firebrand preacher-politician who for decades brayed “No Surrender!” across Northern Ireland’s sectarian divide, died on Friday aged 88, in the province to which he, belatedly, helped bring peace.

Founder of his own church when, at 25, he judged mainstream Protestants too soft on fighting the devil’s work he saw in Roman Catholicism, Paisley’s Biblical fulminations against popes and Irish nationalists echoed among the bullets, bricks and bombs to form the soundtrack to 30 years of blood-letting.