In Catholic Philippines, father-priests seek blessing from Pope Francis

By Reuters Staff
January 14, 2015
(Roman Catholic priest Father Elmer Cajilig smiles as he poses with his common law wife Kristine and their children after a holy mass at a chapel in Lambunao, Iloilo on Panay island in central Philippines January 11, 2015. Church leaders in the Philippines consider Cajilig persona non grata for failing to adhere to one of the most important tenets of the priesthood - abstaining from sex. Although celibacy is not expected to be directly raised during the Pope's visit to the Philippines this week, some in the Church hope that the pontiff will in time listen to their pleas for change. In the Philippines, which accounts for about half of Asia's Roman Catholics, a handful of priests have been asked to leave the priesthood for fathering children. Picture taken January 11, 2015. REUTERS/Erik De Castro)

(Roman Catholic priest Father Elmer Cajilig smiles as he poses with his common law wife Kristine and their children after a holy mass at a chapel in Lambunao, Iloilo on Panay island in central Philippines January 11, 2015. REUTERS/Erik De Castro)

from The Great Debate:

Netanyahu’s invitation to French Jews was awkward. For many reasons.

By Dimi Reider
January 14, 2015

French President Francois Hollande welcomes Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Elysee Palace before attending a solidarity march in the streets of Paris

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an impassioned call for French Jews to immigrate to Israel, after a series of attacks that began on the day of the Charlie Hebdo massacre killed four in a kosher supermarket in Paris. To many, it seemed like the most natural response he could deliver. After all, this is Israel’s stated raison d’etre: to provide refuge to persecuted Jews, wherever they may be. Underlying this sentiment is a deeper one, shared by Israelis across the political spectrum. It is the idea that Jewish life is at its most meaningful, and relevant, if carried out in the Jewish state.

Charlie Hebdo to publish Mohammad cartoon on front page

January 13, 2015
(Satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo new editor in chief Gerard Briard (L) and columnist Patrick Pelloux comfort cartoonist Luz (C) during a news conference at the French newspaper Liberation offices in Paris, January 13, 2015. Charlie Hebdo will publish the front page showing a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad holding a sign saying "Je suis Charlie" in its first edition since Islamist gunmen attacked the satirical newspaper. With demand surging for the edition due on Wednesday, the weekly planned to print up to 3 million copies and in sixteen languages, dwarfing its usual run of 60,000, after newsagents reported that large numbers of customers around the country were placing orders. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer)

(Satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo new editor in chief Gerard Briard (L) and columnist Patrick Pelloux comfort cartoonist Luz (C) during a news conference at the French newspaper Liberation offices in Paris, January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer)

from The Great Debate:

Charlie Hebdo fallout: Specter of fascist past haunts European nationalism

By Jacob Heilbrunn
January 13, 2015

Members of DUEGIDA, Duesseldorf's section of anti-immigration movement Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) demonstrate in Duesseldorf

When up to a dozen world leaders and roughly 1.5 million people gathered in Paris on Sunday to mourn the murder of 10 editors and cartoonists of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and seven other people by three French-born Islamic radicals, they wanted to demonstrate that Europe will always embrace liberal and tolerant values.

Jewish Agency expects far more French Jews to move to Israel

January 11, 2015
(Men hang an Israeli flag on a tree before a rally in Tel Aviv, January 11, 2015, in tribute to this week's victims following the shootings by gunmen at the Paris offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the killing of a police woman in Montrouge, and the hostage taking at a kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu coupled a show of solidarity with France on Sunday with a reminder to shaken French Jews that Israel is keen to welcome them as immigrants. REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

(Men hang an Israeli flag on a tree before a rally in Tel Aviv, January 11, 2015, saying “I am Charlie – kosher too”.  REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

Voodoo priests and doctors on the frontline of Haiti’s mental healthcare

By Reuters Staff
January 9, 2015
(A voodoo priest (L) attends a mass ritual with his congregation during the Plain Du Nord Festival July 24, 2010. Thousands of believers sacrifice animals and pray in mud pools during the festival to ask the voodoo spirits and the dead for help with money, the future and children. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

(A voodoo priest (L) attends a mass ritual with his congregation during the Plain Du Nord Festival July 24, 2010. Thousands of believers sacrifice animals and pray in mud pools during the festival to ask the voodoo spirits and the dead for help with money, the future and children. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

Diaper-wearing volunteers guard Filipinos for Black Nazarene Catholic feast

By Reuters Staff
January 9, 2015
(A devotee shows his tattoo image of the Black Nazarene during the annual procession in Manila January 9, 2015. More than a million barefoot devotees joined the parade ahead of Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines next week. The Black Nazarene, a life-size wooden statue of Jesus Christ carved in Mexico and brought to the Philippines in the 17th century, is believed to have healing powers in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. REUTERS/Ezra Acayan)

(A devotee shows his tattoo image of the Black Nazarene during the annual procession in Manila January 9, 2015. REUTERS/Ezra Acayan)

Paris makes Charlie Hebdo ‘honorary citizen’ as support and subscriptions pour in

January 9, 2015
(Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo poses near a banner which reads "Charlie Hebdo, Honorary citizen of Paris" displayed in front of the Paris City Hall January 9, 2015 after Wednesday's deadly attack at the Paris offices of weekly satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo by two masked gunmen who shouted Islamist slogans. The two main suspects in the Charlie Hebdo killings were sighted on Friday in the northern French town of Dammartin-en-Goele where at least one person had been taken hostage, a police source said.   REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen)

(Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo poses near a banner which reads “Charlie Hebdo, Honorary citizen of Paris” displayed in front of the Paris City Hall January 9, 2015.  REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen)

from The Great Debate:

‘Charlie Hebdo’ killings are a test for France and all Western Europe

By John Lloyd
January 9, 2015

A woman participates in a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of a shooting, by gunmen at the offices of weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in downtown Lisbon

What follows the slaughter of the senior staff of the Parisian satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo will be a test of the depth of Europe's liberal instincts. The weekly paper, run by journalists with the real courage of their convictions, has done more than its duty for freedom of the press. It falls to Europeans to display their attachment to other pillars of a free society: the rule of law, the observance of democratic norms, the display of tolerance and nondiscrimination.

Attacked satirical French weekly to print a million copies next week

January 8, 2015
(A man holds a placard which reads "I am Charlie" to pay tribute during a gathering at the Place de la Republique in Paris January 7, 2015, following a shooting by gunmen at the offices of the magazine. Gunmen stormed the Paris offices of the weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, renowned for lampooning radical Islam, killing at least 12 people, including two police officers in the worst militant attack on French soil in recent decades. The French President headed to the scene of the attack and the government said it was raising France's security level to the highest notch. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)

(A man holds a placard which reads “I am Charlie” to pay tribute during a gathering at the Place de la Republique in Paris January 7, 2015, following a shooting by gunmen at the offices of the magazine. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)