Belfast Islamophobe is not welcome in Wales


This video is called Islamophobia and Antisemitism: Same message, different minority.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Preacher of hate flees Welsh tour

Tuesday 7th October 2014

A notorious hate preacher who has labelled Islam “satanic” was run out of Wales at the weekend by anti-racist activists.

Belfast-based Pastor James McConnell had been due to address supporters at a leisure centre in Pontypridd on Sunday as part of a speaking tour.

But he called off the Welsh leg of his hate tour after Unite Against Fascism (UAF) discovered the event was taking place and called a protest outside.

It took just half a dozen committed anti-racist campaigners to make him think twice.

UAF Wales spokesman Jeffrey Hurford said: “We wanted to show that his racism and Islamophobia is not welcome in Wales.

Especially at this time, importing religious hatred is an irresponsible crime.”

Bombing Iraqi civilians does not stop ISIS crimes


This video from Britain is called Lindsey German-Stop the War Coalition-The People’s AssemblyNo More Austerity 21.06.14.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Activists rally against Iraq bombing campaign

Monday 6th October 2014

OPPONENTS of Britain’s bombing missions in Iraq rallied in London this weekend, arguing that waging war would not bring peace to the Middle East.

The protest took place against a background of revulsion following the murder by Islamic State (Isis) extremists of aid volunteer Alan Henning.

Mr Henning, a taxi driver from Eccles in Salford, Greater Manchester, was beheaded and a video of the execution posted online by Isis.

His brother-in-law Colin Livesey has accused the government of doing too little to save him.

“They could have done more when they knew about it months and months ago,” he said.

“Just the same with David Haines as well — I don’t think they did enough for him either.”

Mr Haines was the first Briton to be executed by Isis after being kidnapped in Syria.

Saturday’s anti-war protest in London was organised by the Stop the War Coalition.

Demonstrators held placards saying “stop bombing Iraq” and “don’t attack Syria.”

Francis O’Neill, 36, from Oxford, said: “I just think it’s insane.”

He said he had “every sympathy” with Mr Henning’s family, but said dropping bombs is not the answer.

Mr O’Neill said Britain inflicts “equal barbarity” on the people of Iraq, but people in Britain feel “distanced” from it.

Josh Blakely, 35, from Berkshire, said: “The war is not in my name. It’s in MPs’ names. If we’re going to go to war then the whole country should get to vote.”

A special multi-faith church service for Mr Henning will be held in Eccles in the near future.

Imam Asim Hussain, of Manchester Central Mosque, said those responsible for Mr Henning’s death are “the most misguided individuals” who are “causing a huge amount of problems for the name of Islam.”

They are not Islamic in any way, nor are they a state,” he said. “Neither do we as Muslims consider them to be Muslims.”

Mr Henning’s wife Barbara said: “Alan was a decent, caring human being. His interest was in the welfare of others. He will be remembered for this and we as a family are extremely proud of him and what he achieved and the people he helped.”

‘DON’T bomb Iraq! Don’t attack Syria! – How can we fund a war when we can’t feed the poor!’ Shouted marchers in the pouring rain on the 3,000-strong march ‘Stop the War’ march in London on Saturday: here.

“Ammunition transferred into Syria and Iraq to help stabilize governments has instead passed from the governments to the jihadists, helping to fuel the Islamic State’s rise and persistent combat power. Rifle cartridges from the United States, the sample shows, have played a significant role. ‘The lesson learned here is that the defense and security forces that have been supplied ammunition by external nations really don’t have the capacity to maintain custody of that ammunition,’ said James Bevan, director of Conflict Armament Research, the organization that is gathering and analyzing weapons used by the Islamic State.” [Story, Image via NYT]

In Fallujah, the US used poison gas, and phosphorus weapons and also depleted-uranium-tipped ammunition to kill large numbers of men, women and children. As in Vietnam, among the newly born children there are still the grossly deformed. Now the US imperialists are back, and their bombings of these cities will undoubtedly aid the ISIS movement which has not got the support of the Sunni masses in western and northern Iraq. In fact, there was no Al-Qaeda or anything like ISIS in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and when they tried to impose themselves after the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein, they were driven out of the region by the ‘Awakening Movement’ of the Sunni tribes. In fact, the US had to come to the Sunni tribes, cap in hand, and pay them to do the job. So the appearance of US helicopter gunships and fighter planes attacking Fallujah and Ramadi can only strengthen the Islamists: here.

FORMER senior military commanders are runnng a campaign to strengthen the British army for a war in Syria: here.

In June, tens of thousands of Iraqi Security Forces in Nineveh province north of Baghdad collapsed in the face of attacks from the militants of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), abandoning four major cities to that extremist movement. The collapse drew much notice in our media, but not much in the way of sustained analysis of the American role in it. To put it bluntly, when confronting IS and its band of lightly armed irregulars, a reputedly professional military, American-trained and -armed, discarded its weapons and equipment, cast its uniforms aside, and melted back into the populace. What this behavior couldn’t have made clearer was that U.S. efforts to create a new Iraqi army, much-touted and funded to the tune of $25 billion over the 10 years of the American occupation ($60 billion if you include other reconstruction costs), had failed miserably: here.

Islamophobic advertisements removed after James Foley’s family protested


Pamela Geller and Anders Breivik

This picture is about United States extreme rightist Pamela Geller, an influence on mass murderer Anders Breivik.

By Isaac Finn in the USA:

Anti-Muslim ads removed from New York buses after protest from James Foley‘s family

4 October 2014

An anti-Muslim advertisement featuring a photo of American journalist James Foley, taken immediately before his brutal execution at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), will be removed from New York City buses and subway stations.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), a rabidly anti-Muslim group founded by right-wing blogger Pamela Geller, agreed to remove James Foley’s photo from one of their advertisements after an impassioned protest from Foley’s family. His parents insisted that Foley’s life and views were completely antithetical to the fascistic ravings of Geller and her group.

J. Patrick Rowan, the lawyer representing the family, in a letter to Geller, stated, “The use of Mr. Foley’s photo in your advertisement will cause profound distress to the Foley family.” The letter continued, “Having lived in and reported from communities in which nearly everyone was of Muslim faith, he had great respect for the religion and those who practiced it. The advertisement you are preparing to run seems to convey the message that ordinary practitioners of Islam are a dangerous threat. This message is entirely inconsistent with Mr. Foley’s reporting and his beliefs.”

Foley had stated opposition to US war, and had taken a critical attitude to the practice of embedded journalism—in which journalists are attached to US military units—because he believed it encouraged biased reporting.

The Foley family also criticized US actions in the Middle East, including how the government handled Foley’s kidnapping. Family members reported that the US government had threatened to prosecute them for “material support” for terrorism if they sought to raise a ransom of roughly $132 million demanded by the ISIS in order to free Foley.

Diana Foley, James Foley’s mother, in an interview with CNN in early September, said, “We’re dealing with very difficult people when we talk about ISIS. Their hate for us is great. And yet, some of our response to them has only increased the hate.”

The AFDI’s original advertisement included a photo of Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, Foley’s alleged executioner, next to a picture of Foley immediately before his execution. Text above the photos read, “Yesterday’s Moderate is Today’s Headline.”

David Yerushalmi, Geller’s lawyer, told the Agence France-Presse that a modified version of the advertisement will be released, with the photo of Foley replaced by a picture of a masked fighter holding a digitally blurred severed head.

The now modified advertisement is one of six posters made by the AFDI, in order to show, according to the group, “the uselessness of the distinction between ‘moderate’ and ‘extremist’ Muslims.” Geller and the AFDI have paid $100,000 to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to have these posters put on 100 buses and two subway stops for four weeks.

Geller is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and influential figurehead” and a “self-avowed Zionist,” who “has mingled with European racists and fascists.” Last year, she was barred from entering Britain, where she had intended to speak on the platform of the fascistic and racist English Defense League. The Home Office found that her statements “may foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.”

Geller and her organization are currently suing the MTA, for blocking another one of her advertisements. This one features the phrase “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah,” next to a masked face, attributing the quote to the Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas.

The MTA said it rejected the ad as inappropriate for covering the back of city buses because it could be interpreted as “urging direct, violent attacks on Jews.”

British Muslim women against ISIS


This music video is about a song by a young Syrian Kurdish singer.

By Louise Raw in Britain:

The British Muslim women making a stand against Isis

Tuesday 30th September 2014

As the US-led coalition launches air strikes, LOUISE RAW talks to Muslim women who reject ‘Islamist’ extremism and misogyny

LOOKING at a huge, rather beautiful poster of a young Muslim woman wearing a vivid Union Jack hijab, I know I’m not in standard leftie territory — and that’s before Theresa May pops in to press the flesh.

Not many media launches are both timed to coincide with the school run and surrounded by heavy security either. But Sara Khan is used to doing things differently.

Khan is the driving force behind new anti-extremism group Making a Stand, launched last week in Whitehall.

She is also the Director of Inspire, a group which I note is described by the Guardian as a “women’s human rights organisation.”

I don’t particularly want to give Alan Rusbridger a heart attack, but women technically are human beings. There, I’ve said it.

And while an increasing number of men accept that “women’s issues” are everyone’s issues, there’s still a tendency to see anything particularly affecting the female population as niche.

If it affects Muslim women, it’s usually even more a case of Nothing to Do With Us.

Khan is not letting Britain off the hook that easily, however, and is trenchant on the wrong-headedness of using supposed “cultural sensitivities” as an excuse not to oppose extremism and gender inequality wherever they’re found.

On this basis I’d asked her to speak at this July’s Matchwomen’s Festival, and she did so passionately, happily answering some “Everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-Islam-but-were-afraid-to-ask” questions from guests afterwards.

However, she was criticised for Islamophobia by two delegates over her condemnation of the murder of Lee Rigby.

The line on such atrocities from some on the British left is that the West has only itself to blame for “retaliations” to its foreign policy.

She replied that she was a practising Muslim who rejected such violence as outside her faith. The same went for the radical preachers who encouraged it.

As for the Islamic “women question,” Khan says that those in favour of gender inequality “don’t know [their] own faith. The prophet’s wives weren’t submissive women.”

She is adamant that we will see more and more young British women joining Isis, and about where part of the blame lies.

“We need to educate women better to improve this marginalisation problem in Muslim communities. For far too long mosques have marginalised Muslim women and their participation.”

However she’s also keenly aware that the perception of Islam as the ultimate oppressor of women is manipulated by the far-right, which publicly condemns the religion on this pretext even as supporters attack Muslim women on the street.

Some women won’t speak out against gender-based discrimination even though they loathe it, precisely because to do so may fuel anti-Muslim attacks, of which they could end up the victims.

So they can be caught between a rock and a hard place, suffering both fascist violence and gender discrimination from within their own communities. The resultant trauma and alienation is a risk in itself.

Khan says: “We know Muslim women who wear the headscarf are more likely to experience attacks. Will that make them feel they don’t belong? Are they [joining Isis] because all they’ve come across in this country in Muslim communities is a narrow view of women?”

This is the sort of difficult, and potentially dangerous, political terrain Khan has to constantly navigate.

It goes without saying then that “making a stand” will have required considerable courage for at least some of the women present at the launch last Wednesday. This was underlined by a total advance publicity embargo launch for security reasons.

But Khan made it clear on the day that silence was no longer an option when young British Muslims were being drawn to Isis — and there have been reports of British female recruits joining the al-Khanssaa brigade, an all-women militia set up by Isis which punishes women for “unislamic” behaviour.

“They have bought into a pack of lies,” says Khan.

“They think they’re following Islam, but actually it’s a patriarchal ideology that seeks to treat women as second-class citizens.”

Making A Stand has practical proposals for British Muslim communities — they ask mosques to start treating women more equally, communities to take more responsibility for women and women and young people to speak out on social media using the hashtag #MakingAStand, to directly challenge Isis sympathisers.

Later, over lunch, I spoke to some of the women present about the causes of radicalisation.

Sufiya Ahmed, Tamina Mir and immigration lawyer Piya Mayenim identified multiple factors that they saw as contributing.

High unemployment and institutionalised racism which limited Muslim young people’s futures made them feel they didn’t belong in Britain.

The three women saw Isis as something of a trend, though no less dangerous for that.

A generation with generally more liberal parents could only rebel by becoming more extreme, and Mayenim was aware of instances of teenagers criticising their parents for being “too Western.”

The black-clad, macabre chic of Isis could seem an appealing alternative to Western decadence and consumerism.

We talked about the government’s response to date. The Prevent initiative was launched in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11 2001 to counter radicalisation at community level, and continues to do so, but with significantly less funding under the coalition.

It hit another major roadblock in 2010 when it emerged that CCTV cameras placed in Muslim areas of Birmingham, 72 of them covertly, were partly funded by Prevent cash.

The resultant loss of confidence and trust was enormously damaging.

The women had also seen secular youth clubs close due to cutbacks, to be replaced with self-organised single-race or religious groups, decreasing cultural cross-pollenation.

Although May had come to praise the launch, there were no new commitments that day either — while promising the government would support Making A Stand “if you can do this” (ie counter and monitor extremism) we were left not knowing if this would mean an occasional fist-bump or anything more concrete.

I spoke also to Mehmoo Dah, an older Muslim woman living in sheltered accommodation who had travelled from Leicester for the launch.

She was visibly distressed as she spoke about the racism she says she personally experiences after every Isis incident, with locals saying: “You’re all terrorists.”

Khan has her work cut out for her, but is deeply committed to her mission.

“Extremist views from both sides blight the lives of British women and weaken our country,” she says.

“As a country that stands for equality, justice and women’s rights, we cannot allow extremists of any kind to deny British women their rights.”

Louise Raw is author of Striking A Light: The History of the Bryant and May Matchwomen’s Strike (Continuum). She will be chairing and speaking at the Freedom For Sussex 2014 Conference: Children and Young People on Thursday October 16 at the Pavilion Theatre, Marine Parade, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 3PX, 10.15am-4.30pm (registration opens at 9.45am). For more information visit http://www.safeinsussex.org.

As US and allied warplanes continued to strike targets inside Syria, the Obama administration is marshalling support for a war that is more and more explicitly aimed against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, rather than the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS): here.

This week, to bestow legitimacy on the US war on Syria, the US media suddenly discovered the coalition “leader”, Hadi Al-Bahrah, and highlighted his calls for US bombing of his country. But none of the US media mentioned the revolt against him and the call by his own Military Council to oust him: here.

Le Monde is serving as a mouthpiece of the French state’s war propaganda, trying to browbeat the public into accepting a massive, long-term escalation of war in the Middle East and Africa with mendacious claims that Paris and its imperialist allies are waging a “war on terror”: here.

Archbishop’s secret child porn archive discovered


Archbishop Wesolowski

From the Corriere della Sera in Italy:

Child Porn Found [on] Former Nuncio’s Computer

Józef Wesołowski knew how to use technology to make illicit internet connections. Grave violation of duties

by Fiorenza Sarzanini

ROME – Monsignor Józef Wesołowski kept a secret archive on a computer at the Santo Domingo nunciature. The 66-year-old Polish former archbishop, arrested three days ago for paedophilia by Vatican gendarmes at the order of Pope Francis, had more than 100,000 files containing pornographic photos and videos. Some were downloaded from internet and others the victims themselves were forced to take. The prelate stored part of this chamber of horrors on his own laptop. Images show youngsters aged between 13 and 17 being humiliated for the camera, filmed naked and forced to have sexual relations with each other or with adults. Inquiries to discover others involved continue as investigators seek anyone who may have aided Wesołowski to procure minors or taken part in sex acts. The charge sheet explicitly mentions “offences committed in complicity with persons unknown” and case documents make it clear that Vatican investigators have already found evidence that will help them to identify the offenders. The case file pieces together the picture of an affair that looks anything but over and could still produce more spectacular revelations. Wesołowski is suspected of belonging to an international network that extends well beyond what has emerged so far.

Four volumes and deleted photos

The extent of the network emerges clearly from an expert IT report that reconstructs the activities of the Santo Domingo nuncio, who was recalled by the Holy See a year ago and then defrocked. In the report, experts underline “the particular ability of the defendant to use electronic instrumentation that can be procured for illicit connections. The defendant pursued these actions in a manner that was strongly compulsive”.

Józef Wesołowski had “more than 100,000 files of a sexual nature, to which must be added more than 45,000 deleted images”. Investigators were alerted by the discovery of an archive on a Vatican-owned computer “divided into four volumes and containing about 130 videos and more than 86,000 photographs”. The former archbishop had saved the rest on the laptop he used mainly when he was travelling. The material, which is classified by type, shows dozens of young girls engaged in sexual activities but the preference is for males.

Network of accomplices and email traffic

The report reconstructs all the relevant data traffic, including visits to gay sites and Wesołowski’s correspondence. Analysis of his network connections, email and other writings stored on the hard disk could reveal the identity of those with whom he exchanged images and provide leads to his accomplices. Investigators are confident that Francisco Javier Occi Reyes, the deacon arrested by Dominican police in June 2013 who subsequently blew the whistle on Wesołowski in a letter to the Vatican hierarchy, is only a pawn in a much bigger game. Now they have extended their inquiries to all the countries where Józef Wesołowski was based before he went to Santo Domingo. Above all, they want to investigate people with whom he was in frequent contact.

Testimony of three children

Wesołowski is believed to have solicited dozens of children but the case file names only three minors and their mothers as prosecution witnesses who have elected to denounce the horror and violence to which the prelate subjected them. They have confirmed what the Dominican police had partially reconstructed with the help of a local TV journalist who had conducted an investigation into Józef Wesołowski’s double life. One of the charges faced by the former priest is that he “acted, as a high-ranking member of the church hierarchy, in grave violation of his institutional duties in such a way as to cause damage to the public image of the state and the Holy See”. This is understood to be what convinced the Pope to approve the exceptional measure of house arrest.

Nuncio claims “I can explain”

When he was brought before prosecutors to be served with a detention order last Tuesday, Wesołowski said he wanted to make a statement: “I can clear my position and explain the mistake”. He was informed that he could do so with a lawyer, even though the evidence against him is overwhelming. It was this that led to action being taken against him so quickly. There was a serious risk that the nuncio would be arrested on Italian territory at the request of the Dominican authorities and then extradited. In that case, he would have had to be imprisoned until proceedings with the Holy See were completed. Prosecutors, acting in full collaboration with the Santo Domingo judicial authorities, preferred to avoid this situation. Józef Wesołowski will be questioned in the next few days and could face a fast-track trial, in compliance with international treaties on violence against minors.

English translation by Giles Watson

Article in Italian here

26 September 2014

British Islamophobe’s hatred of lesbian rabbi


This video, with Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah from England, is called Women in Judaism seminar – Part 1/2.

This video is the sequel.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

What did this lesbian rabbi do to make Julie Burchill mad?

A lesbian Jewish leader says she has endured years of vitriol from the writer renowned for her strident style

Emily Dugan

Friday 26 September 2014

Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah had been warned that welcoming one of Britain’s most controversial writers into her synagogue might have its pitfalls.

But when Julie Burchill, who lists “spite” among her hobbies, showed an interest in the Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue in spring 2009, the rabbi was keen to give her a chance. “I thought she was a very good writer and I knew she was interested in Jews,” Rabbi Sarah recalls. “I also knew that she was a bit of a loose cannon but… we don’t try to label people.”

Things began well. Burchill attended the Saturday shul regularly and was talking about converting. After a few weeks Rabbi Sarah and her civil partner, Jess Woods, even had the journalist and a friend over for a Shabbat dinner at their home.

But a couple of months later the rabbi got a sharp insight into her new congregant’s views. An email had gone round asking whether people would help with the synagogue’s 75th anniversary celebrations. Burchill replied: “No, because your rabbi respects PIG ISLAM”.

“I could have done a big public exposure,” Rabbi Sarah told The Independent this week. “But what I did was email her and said: ‘Julie, firstly this is deeply, deeply offensive. Both Jews and Muslims don’t eat pig. I don’t know what you’re doing but this is really unacceptable and offensive. I was incredibly polite.”

When this newspaper asked Burchill about the email, she replied: “PIGS AND APES are what some Muslims call Christians and Jews, by the way. Even in school textbooks! Google it.”

Burchill is not Jewish but describes herself as a Philo-Semite,

‘Philo-Semites’ of the Burchill type are basically anti-Semites turned inside out. They want to use Jews as battering ram cannon fodder in their Islamophobic violent crusade fantasies. If Jews don’t want to play along with these delusions, then these Jews become objects of hatred by these ‘Philo-Semites’.

Let us imagine that Islamophobic racists like Burchill succeed in their aim of cleansing all Muslims, supposedly the cause of all problems in Britain, ethnically from the United Kingdom. Then, people would find out there would still be problems. And who would people like Burchill blame for that, now that the Muslims were gone? Wouldn’t they blame ‘the Jews?’

and has become a vociferous defender of Israel. In a book out next month, The Unchosen, she charts her love affair with Judaism – but ends with an acerbic 23-page rant against Rabbi Sarah, whom she dubs “Call-Me-Elli” for her informal style.

In one of many withering put-downs, Burchill writes: “When not boasting about being gay and cool, she was – via the scenic route – boasting about how tolerant she was by ceaselessly ramming the merits of Islam down the collective throats of her captive audience.”

Looking at a copy of the book for the first time, in the home she shares with her partner overlooking the South Downs, Rabbi Sarah is appalled by Burchill’s words. “What do you do about somebody who has such vile attitudes which really stoke Islamophobia?” she asks.

She reads aloud a phrase about her partner Ms Wood, where she is described as “the partner-in-petting during that fateful Shabbat dinner” – and yelps. Burchill makes many more overblown references to the couple’s “canoodling” at the Shabbat dinner and whether it would “turn into a full-on Sapphic free-for-all”.

Rabbi Sarah is mortified. “It’s outrageous. In good faith I invited her into my home. My partner and I – anybody will tell you we’re not like that at all. On Shabbat what you do is greet everyone. Everybody is kissed and she will have been too. If you met my partner – I mean, how were we in our home? We are so not outrageous. We’re so ordinary and boring and middle aged. Do me a favour.”

Burchill’s deconstruction of the meal extends to the drinks the hosts did (and did not) serve, after Burchill brought bottles of champagne. “Surely I started to dislike Call-Me-Elli at the moment she substituted her homebrew for my Veuve Clicquot,” she writes.

For Rabbi Sarah, the critique epitomises the writer’s betrayal of their hospitality. “It’s such an invasion… We served the elderflower [wine] that my partner had actually made,” she says. Burchill is unrepentant, telling The Independent: “I don’t call giving someone home-brewed elderflower filth when they’ve brought two bottles of Bolly ‘hospitality’.”

Rabbi Sarah had tasted public criticism from Burchill before the book came out. In a Jewish Chronicle column in December 2009 the polemicist complained about the rabbi’s sermons, but did not name her. Ms Wood, Rabbi Sarah’s partner, who has an MBE for her charitable work with young LGBT people in Brighton, even took Burchill to the Press Complaints Commission over claims that Christians are persecuted all across the Muslim world. She lost the case because the article was judged to be fair comment.

As one of the first two lesbians to become Rabbis in Britain, 25 years ago, and as a Jewish supporter of a two state solution, Rabbi Sarah is used to being pilloried. But few have made their attacks so personal – or so concerted. Her chief crime, in Burchill’s eyes, was “nagging about the Palestinians” and using “her pulpit to hammer home the joys of Islam”.

The rabbi believes Burchill’s religious views are dangerously simplistic. “The problem is she doesn’t have any in-depth knowledge. I can imagine her endlessly watching the film Exodus with Paul Newman. She’s got a kind of Hollywood view of Jews. You know, ‘Jews are so clever, we’ve survived…’,” she says.

After five years of abuse in print from Burchill, Rabbi Sarah has come to the conclusion that the author is fixated on her. “One has to question Julie Burchill’s psychological motivation,” she says. “Here’s someone who claims she loves Jews who’s actually persecuting an individual Jew. She’s being a persecutor.”

Archbishop accused of child abuse under house arrest


This video says about itself:

27 June 2014

A tribunal in the Vatican has convicted the former papal envoy to the Dominican Republic of sex abuse and stripped him of the priesthood.

Jozef Wesolowski, who is originally from Poland, was recalled by the Church last year amid claims that he had abused boys in Santo Domingo.

Wesolowski is the highest-ranking Vatican official to have been investigated for sex abuse.

Pope Francis has urged the Church to root out and punish abuse by priests.

Wesolowski had served as envoy to the Dominican Republic for five years. He was ordained as a priest and bishop by his compatriot, Pope John Paul II.

He has two months to appeal against the sentence. As a citizen of the Vatican, he also faces criminal charges in the city state, which could lead to a prison sentence.

Authorities in the Dominican Republic have also opened an investigation into Wesolowski, but have not charged him.

From Reuters news agency:

Jozef Wesolowski, Former Dominican Republic Archbishop Accused Of Sex Abuses, Put Under House Arrest

09/23/2014 3:39 pm EDT

The Vatican said on Tuesday it had arrested a former archbishop who is accused of paying for sex with children while he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic.

Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole, is under house arrest inside the city state, the Vatican said in a statement.

Wesolowski was defrocked by a Vatican tribunal earlier this year and is awaiting trial on criminal charges.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)