French racists target mosque


This French video shows footage about Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front, and her contacts with Franz Schönhuber, German neo-nazi and ex-officer in Hitler’s SS.

From AFP news agency in France:

French mosque files complaint over pork pate in letterbox

Accompanied a threatening letter

Published: 18:13 April 18, 2014

Versailles, France: A mosque in the Paris suburbs said Friday it had filed a complaint with police after slices of pork pate and a threatening letter were stuffed into its letterbox.

Authorities at the mosque in Mantes-la-Ville, a town of 19,000 in the western suburbs of Paris, said the incidents reflected a “worrying climate” after the town last month elected a mayor from the far-right National Front.

The head of the association that runs the mosque, Abdul Aziz Al Jaouhari, said about a dozen mouldy slices of pork pate were discovered in the letter box on Wednesday.

The next day, an anonymous letter arrived calling Muslims “cockroaches” and wishing “good luck” to the new mayor “because he has a lot of work to do for a good cleansing, in particular of the Muslim race”.

“There is no question this was a racist and provocative act. It is the first time in the 12 years of the mosque’s existence that it has been the target of this kind of racist attack,” the association said in a statement.

It said it had filed a criminal complaint for “provoking racial hatred or religious discrimination” with police.

The association said the incidents were “especially worrying” given the “worsening social and political context” in the town after the election of FN [National Front] candidate Cyril Nauth in last month’s municipal elections.

Nauth won the town with 30 per cent of the vote, becoming the only elected mayor from the FN in the Ile-de-France region that encompasses the French capital and its suburbs.

USA: Outrageous Tea Party Bigot Allen West Attacks Muslim-Americans On Fox News (Video): here.

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Bishop Gijsen threatened little boy he abused with hellfire


This video is about an LGBTQ demonstration in 1979 in Roermond, the Netherlands, against homophobic speech by Jo Gijsen, then bishop of Roermond.

Translated from Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad today:

“Bishop Gijsen threatened abused boy with hell”

Former Bishop Jo Gijsen made two victims, according to statements by the complaints committee about sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. But according to advocacy groups Klokk and Mea Culpa there are more cases against the now deceased cleric. The abuse took placed when Gijsen was a priest in South Limburg.

On February 11, the complaints committee said that two accusations against Gijsen were well founded. One of their documents points out that in the late 1950s a little boy, then nine years old, had to bring regularly letters by his father to a curate in Valkenburg. That curate was Jo Gijsen.

On one of those occasions Gijsen invited the boy to drink chocolate. Then he pulled the little boy on his lap and proceeded to play with the penis of the terribly startled youngster. Gijsen told the boy to be silent about this or he would be punished by going to hell. This abuse happened more often, and the committee declared the complaint about it well-founded.

The victim says the former bishop has forced him to perform oral sex as well and has raped or attempted to rape him several times.

USA: Revelations of extra-marital affairs and a porn habit leave the 20,000 worshippers of one mega-church leaderless: here.

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Diocese knew already for months on Bishop Gijsen’s child abuse


This music video is a song against Bishop Gijsen written in 1979, as performed in 1981, by Dutch rock band Disease.

Translated from site nu.nl in the Netherlands:

The diocese of Roermond knew already on February 11 this year that former Bishop Jo Gijsen had abused children when he was chaplain in South Limburg. The diocese covered up this information all the time.

More about this here.

Dutch government condemns diocese on this: here.

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Roman Catholic Church admits ultra-conservative bishop abused little boys


Bishop Gijsen

Translated from RTL TV in the Netherlands today:

Diocese admits: Bishop Gijsen abused little boys

The diocese Roermond acknowledges that its former Bishop Jo Gijsen, deceased last year, abused two boys.

They do this in a statement from the diocese. [Present] Bishop Frans Wiertz apologizes to the victims and expresses his sorrow that “the later ecclesiastical and role model position of former Bishop Jo Gijsen has been damaged.”

Two underage boys

The statement follows a report by the Katholiek Nieuwsblad [Catholic Newspaper] earlier in the evening that Gijsen had groped the genitals of two minor boys between 1958 and 1961.

The newspaper reports that it is a one time fondling of a former student of the boys’ boarding school in Kerkrade and repeatedly fondling a boy (9-10 years old) from the parish in Valkenburg where Gijsen was chaplain until 1959. This boy is also said to have been forced to perform oral sex. He says he was also repeatedly raped by Gijsen.

In December 2011 the complaints committee of the Roman Catholic Church has ruled that the former bishop had acted during the late 1950s at the Rolduc seminary “in an unseemly way” and had violated the privacy of a former student there ‘grossly’.

There are still more abuse accusations against Gijsen (not sorted out yet).

Like Gijsen was in a sexual abuse scandal in Iceland while being bishop there.

Joannes Gijsen had become bishop in Roermond, the Netherlands, as one of several ultra-conservative Vatican appointees, against the wishes of most Roman Catholics in the diocese. His position in the Netherlands became untenable because of various issues, including sexual abuse at a seminary founded by Gijsen because he considered existing seminaries to be too liberal. The Vatican then moved Gijsen to Iceland, where there are few Roman Catholics.

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Dutch priest murdered in Syria


This video from Syria, in Arabic, says about itself:

Wake up Call: Frans van der Lugt s.j./S.O.S.from Homs

January 27th 2014

Jesuit Father Frans Van Der Lugt does an emergency call from his church in Homs.

That day was [supposed] to enable and agree to Red Cross aid to women and children to leave the city. That didn’t seem to be fulfilled.

The last contact of the father with the home front would have been a week before Jan. 27. The date of the recording is not exactly known.

He talks about hunger and that it is the case that adults find street food for their children, he says: it may not be true that the world does nothing. We want to live!

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Dutch priest killed in Syria

Update: Monday 7 May 2014, 13:37

Dutch Father Frans van der Lugt (75) was shot dead this morning in the Syrian city of Homs. The order of Jesuits [Van der Lugt's order] said he was dragged away from his home by armed men. They have beaten him and then shot him in the head.

Van der Lugt gave several interviews in recent months, in which he said he was determined to stay in the country. He was concerned about the dire situation in the country and said that people needed urgent help.

The father lived for nearly 50 years in a monastery in Homs, where he housed people with disabilities.

This NOS TV Internet item does not mention, though the NOS TV news broadcast did, that a NOS correspondent said that Van der Lugt’s murderers may have been either pro-government or pro-opposition fighters in the Syrian civil war. The correspondent thought they were probably on the opposition side.

UPDATE: according to Dutch daily De Telegraaf, Van der Lugt’s murderers were members of the Al-Nusra Front, an armed opposition group, linked to Al-Qaeda.

Van der Lugt wrote critically abou the armed opposition.

United States weapons for Syrian opposition: here.

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Male Mormons exclude women


This video is called USA: Mormon women march for gender equality in church.

From Reuters news agency:

Mormons exclude women seeking ordination from male-only meeting

• Campaigners seek admission of women to lay priesthood
Ordain Women brave bad weather to press case

Salt Lake City

Sunday 6 April 2014 15.05 BST

Hundreds of Mormon women who want ecclesiastical equality were denied admittance to a male-only session of their faith’s spring conference on Saturday, in their attempt [to] promote the ordination of women into the lay priesthood.

Adorned in purple, members of Ordain Women marched through a hailstorm from a park to the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square, the heart of a four-block campus that is the global home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were seeking unfilled seats at the evening priesthood meeting at the faith’s biannual conference.

This follows the group’s attempt last autumn to gain admittance to the meeting. The actions have led to tensions between church officials and the women, who say they are steadfast in their faith but want to play a more significant role in the life of a religion that claims over 15 million adherents worldwide.

One by one, the women and some male supporters were politely turned away by a church spokeswoman. High school student Emma Tueller, 16, fought back tears after the rejection, which came with a hug from the church representative, who encouraged her to watch the proceedings of the meeting online.

Tueller, a resident of Provo, Utah, joined Ordain Women in the previous action last autumn. “This time it was more painful,” she said. “I love this church and I think my personal gifts and my personal talents could be much better utilised if I had the priesthood.”

In advance of Saturday’s event, church officials had asked Ordain Women to refrain from bringing their cause to Temple Square, saying it would detract from the “spirit of harmony” at the two-day conference, which includes four events open to both genders and the male-only priesthood meeting. In a statement late on Saturday, church officials expressed displeasure with what they called the women’s “refusal to accept ushers’ directions and refusing to leave when asked”.

Ordain Women has objected to being characterized by the church as protesters. “We’re not activists. We’re not protesters,” said Kate Kelly, a Washington, DC-based human rights attorney and lifetime Mormon who last year co-founded the group with about 20 other women. “We’re people on the inside. We are investing in an institution … not critiquing it to tear it down,” she said.

Men ordained to the priesthood in the Mormon church can perform religious rituals, including baptisms, confirmations or blessings and can be called to lead congregations. Boys enter into the priesthood as deacons at age 12 and grow in authority and responsibility as they get older or are called to service by more senior church leaders.

Initially, about 200 people appeared to be taking part in the action, but a spokeswoman for the group put the number of participants at 510.

Women are powerless in matters of church governance and can make no autonomous decisions, even at the highest levels, Kelly said.

Church officials declined an interview request in advance of Saturday’s event.

“Ordination of women to the priesthood is a matter of doctrine that is contrary to the Lord’s revealed organisation for His Church,” said last month’s church letter to the group.

Outside the gates to Temple Square, church member Nate Brown said he does not object to the idea of women in the priesthood, but does not like the tactics of Ordain Women. “I perceive [their asking] not as a civil action, but more of a challenge of church leaders,” said Brown, 59, who came from Salem, Oregon, for the conference.

Brown is not alone. A 2011 Pew Research study found Mormons overwhelmingly disapprove of women joining the lay priesthood.

But Brown said he would welcome the ordination of women if a church president, whom Mormons consider a prophet who communicates with God, changed church policies. “I believe in following the prophet,” Brown said.

Since Ordain Women first pushed their cause last fall, church leaders have taken some actions to show their regard for women. For the first time, a woman was asked to pray at the conference and the men’s priesthood meeting was broadcast live on cable television and the internet.

That is a far cry from the 1990s when the faith’s leaders excommunicated some women who advocated for gender equity, said Nadine Hansen, a lifetime church member and an attorney who published her first article about women’s ordination nearly 30 years ago. “I appreciate the changes they are making,” said Hansen. “They are listening.”

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Cardinal O’Brien’s sexual abuse inquiry by pope


This video from Britain in 2013 is called Cardinal Keith O’Brien‘s accuser ‘warned of damage to Church’.

From the BBC:

4 April 2014 Last updated at 13:36 GMT

Vatican launches investigation into Cardinal Keith O’Brien

The Vatican is to investigate claims of sexual misconduct which led to the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, it has emerged.

Cardinal O’Brien resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh in February 2013 following allegations of improper conduct in the 1980s.

He admitted at the time that his sexual conduct had “fallen beneath the standards” expected of him as a bishop.

The inquiry will be carried out by Maltese bishop Charles Scicluna.

He will take testimony from clergy in the archdiocese in an attempt to discover what evidence there is against the cardinal or any other clergy.

It will be the first time that such an investigation has taken place in Scotland.

The BBC’s religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott said it was very rare for the Pope to actively and publicly investigate a cardinal in this way.

Cardinal O’Brien had been instructed to spend time in repentance and reflection outside Scotland after he acknowledged that his sexual behaviour had fallen short of what was expected.

He had faced allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour from three serving priests and a former seminarian.

His successor as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Leo Cushley, wrote to clergy earlier this week, urging them to co-operate with Bishop Scicluna in the inquiry.

Archbishop Cushley said: “I believe that this is a positive step towards truth and eventual reconciliation.

“This may not be an easy thing to do, but it is the right thing to do.

“In this sense I also hope that all those who wish to approach him will feel free to do so. It is important that such work be conducted in a way that protects those who wish to contribute to it.”

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