FaithWorld

Pope Francis accepts resignation of head of scandal-plagued Irish church

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(Cardinal Sean Brady speaks to members of the media outside Armagh cathedral in northern Ireland May 2, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer )

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, the Vatican said on Monday, drawing a line under a career plagued by accusations that he kept quiet about the sexual abuse of children by clergy.

Cardinal Sean Brady announced his plan to retire in August, just before he turned 75, at which age all bishops must offer their resignation to the pontiff, who can reject or accept it.

Brady became embroiled in a child sex abuse scandal which has rocked the Church in Ireland when a BBC television documentary aired in 2012 said he had failed to warn parents their children were being sexually abused by a priest in 1975.

The Vatican said Brady would be succeeded by Monsignor Eamonn Martin, 52, who was appointed last year as “coadjutor” archbishop of Armagh, an important diocese in Northern Ireland whose archbishop has the title “Primate of All Ireland”.

French Muslims support Mideast Christians against Islamic State

(DATE IMPORTED:August 11, 2014Iraqi Christians, who fled the violence in the village of Qaraqosh, sit inside a church building in Arbil, north of Baghdad August 11, 2014. Iraqi Christian families sought sanctuary in the church after fleeing towns and villages to escape the advance of Islamic State militants. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal ()

(Iraqi Christians, who fled the violence in the village of Qaraqosh, sit inside a church building in Arbil, north of Baghdad August 11, 2014. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal)

The Muslim Council in France, home to Europe’s largest Islamic minority, denounced the persecution of Middle East Christians on Tuesday and said mosques across the country would pray for them this week.

In a joint statement with a Christian group, the Council (CFCM) said “barbarians are perpetrating crimes against humanity” in the region “exploiting Islam as their banner”.

Tunisia’s main Islamist party Ennahda to stay out of presidential election

(Supporters of the Islamist Ennahda movement wave national and party flags as they mark the 33rd anniversary of the founding of the party in Tunis June 7, 2014. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi )

(Supporters of the Islamist Ennahda movement wave national and party flags as they mark the 33rd anniversary of the founding of the party in Tunis June 7, 2014. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi )

Tunisia’s main Islamist party, Ennahda, said on Sunday it would not contest a presidential election in November, in the interest of ensuring an inclusive government for all Tunisians.

Ennahda is one of the two front-runners to win next month’s parliamentary election and provide the next prime minister, but opposition groups say its dominance of the last government almost derailed Tunisia’s transition to democracy following its revolution of 2011.

New Thai PM uses holy water and feng shui to ward off occult challenges

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(Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha prays before the first cabinet meeting at the Government House in Bangkok September 9, 2014. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom)

As he prepares to move in to Bangkok’s Government House this week, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is going to great lengths to sweep away any occult challenge.

Prayuth, 60, has left nothing to chance since leading a military coup to topple a democratically elected government on May 22. After a meticulously planned power grab, he has systematically snuffed out dissent.

Killing and preaching, Nigerian Islamist militants carve out their “caliphate”

(Girls recite Quranic verses at an Islamic school in Maiduguri, Nigeria, May 24, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney )

(Girls recite Quranic verses at an Islamic school in Maiduguri, Nigeria, May 24, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney)

First comes the killing, then the preaching.

Islamist Boko Haram militants carrying automatic rifles and machetes roar into northeast Nigerian towns or hamlets in columns of pickup trucks and motorbikes and fire at all adult men they see. They often finish them off with knives.

When they have hoisted their black flag inscribed with Koranic verses over government offices or the local emir’s palace, they tell the surviving women they will marry them and “live in peace”, according to survivors who escaped from the town of Gwoza, seized by Boko Haram last month.

After Syria and Iraq, Islamic State makes inroads in South Asia

(Board Bazaar in Peshawar, 27 May 2013

(Board Bazaar in Peshawar, 27 May 2013/Drsaeed90)

Islamic State pamphlets and flags have appeared in parts of Pakistan and India, alongside signs that the ultra-radical group is inspiring militants even in the strongholds of the Taliban and al Qaeda.

A splinter group of Pakistan’s Taliban insurgents, Jamat-ul Ahrar, has already declared its support for the well-funded and ruthless Islamic State fighters, who have captured large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria in a drive to set up a self-declared caliphate.

“IS (Islamic State) is an Islamic Jihadi organization working for the implementation of the Islamic system and creation of the Caliphate,” Jamat-ul Ahrar’s leader and a prominent Taliban figure, Ehsanullah Ehsan, told Reuters by telephone. “We respect them. If they ask us for help, we will look into it and decide.”

Putin is under Satan’s influence, says leader of Kiev Orthodox Church

(Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a signing ceremony with his Mongolian counterpart Tsakhia Elbegdorj (not pictured) at the national parliament building in Ulan Bator, September 3, 2014.  REUTERS/B.Rentsendorj ()

(Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a signing ceremony at the national parliament building in Ulan Bator, September 3, 2014.
REUTERS/B.Rentsendorj )

President Vladimir Putin has fallen under the spell of Satan and faces eternal damnation unless he repents, a top Ukrainian clergyman said in an unusually blunt statement that squarely blamed the Russian leader for the war in Ukraine.

Patriarch Filaret heads the Kiev Patriarchate, a branch of the Orthodox Church that broke away from Moscow in 1992 after the fall of the Soviet Union and the declaration of an independent Ukraine.

Turkey’s Erdogan to seek Gulen extradition in Obama talks: media

(DATE IMPORTED:February 05, 2014Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania September 24, 2013. Born in Erzurum, eastern Turkey, Gulen built up his reputation as a Muslim preacher with intense sermons that often moved him to tears. From his base in Izmir, he toured Turkey stressing the need to embrace scientific progress, shun radicalism and build bridges to the West and other faiths. The first Gulen school opened in 1982. In the following decades, the movement became a spectacular success, setting up hundreds of schools that turned out generations of capable graduates, who gravitated to influential jobs in the judiciary, police, media, state bureaucracy and private business. Picture taken September 24, 2013. To match Insight TURKEY-ERDOGAN/GULEN REUTERS/Selahattin Sevi/Zaman Daily)

(Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Zaman Daily)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will seek the extradition of his ally-turned-foe, U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, when he meets U.S. President Barack Obama at the NATO summit on Friday, Turkish media reports said.

Erdogan, inaugurated last week, has vowed to press his battle with Gulen and his supporters whom he accuses of using influence within the judiciary, police and state bureaucracy to plot against him in his final year as prime minister.

‘Love Jihad’ and religious conversion polarize in Modi’s India

(People take part in a religion conversion ceremony from Christianity to Hinduism at Hasayan town in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh August 29, 2014. Picture taken August 29, 2014. To match Insight INDIA-RELIGION/MODI REUTERS/Adnan Abidi )

(People take part in a religion conversion ceremony from Christianity to Hinduism at Hasayan town in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh August 29, 2014. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi )

Fired up and full of vitriol, Hindu activist Rajeshwar Singh is on a mission to end centuries of religious diversity in India, one conversion at a time.

His voice echoing off the walls of a Protestant church across a narrow street, Singh railed against foreign faiths at an event last week to convert a Christian family to Hinduism in the rural town of Hasayan, 140 km (87 miles) south of Delhi.

Shimon Peres floats idea of U.N.-style “United Religions” with Pope Francis

(Pope Francis and Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) arrive in the Vatican Gardens to pray with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (not pictured) at the Vatican June 8, 2014. REUTERS/Max Rossi )

(Pope Francis and Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) arrive in the Vatican Gardens to pray with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (not pictured) at the Vatican June 8, 2014. REUTERS/Max Rossi)

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres has held talks with Pope Francis to illustrate his idea for a U.N.-style “Organisation of United Religions” to combat violence in God’s name.

Peres, 91, who was president of the Jewish state until July and is one of the Middle East’s most prominent elder statesmen, spoke to the pope for about 45 minutes on Thursday in his residence, the Vatican said.