Religion news 10 November

Image credit: EU Council

Living in Love and Faith by 2022

The Church of England has released a timetable for consideration of contentious divisions over homosexuality, same sex marriage and gender. The whole church is being asked to engage in a discussion over the differences  – theological, cultural and emotional – by using a set of podcasts, films, group discussion materials and books in the project “Living in Love and Faith”. At a news conference, the Bishop of London Sarah Mullally, who has been given the task of furthering the discussion,  said that she hoped the church would respond by the end of  2021 and  General Synod would vote on it the following year.  The resources do not express opinions, simply describe the different views within the church.  

Journalists in court over Cardinal George Pell case

In Australia, 18 journalists, editors and broadcasters face prison sentences and 12 media organizations face fines if they are found guilty of breaching reporting restrictions in relation to the case against Cardinal George Pell.  The Associated Press says that the order prevented reporting about the Cardinal’s sex abuse convictions in 2018, though details were widely available in the rest of the world. They have all pleaded not guilty. The Cardinal spent 13 months in prison, but his convictions were overturned on appeal and he has returned to the Vatican.

France “is fighting against terror and extremism, not Islam

France’s top diplomat has visited Egypt to calm tensions following reaction to the beheading of a history teacher in Paris and the killing of three people at Nice Cathedral. The minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said France is fighting against terror and extremism, not Islam… Meanwhile in the southern town of Lodeve, a French born Muslim gathered friends to protect the town’s 13th century cathedral for the All Saints’ holiday weekend. He described the beheading of a teacher as an act of “unbelievable, unprecedented cruelty”.

European Institute for training Imams

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, is seeking the creation of a European Institute for the training of Imams “to fight the Ideology of hatred” in Europe. In a speech he said online messages glorifying terrorism must be quickly removed. There must be no impunity for terrorists and those praising them on internet.

Portugal sees huge rise in number of Sephardic Jewish families wanting to relocate

The organisation representing Sephardic Jews – whose origins are in Spain and Portugal – says that in the last five years, the Jewish population in Portugal has grown from 600 to about 4,000, a new peak from its size in the 15th century. Different figures were quoted by the Times of Israel, which said that Portugal has received 76,000 applications from descendants of Sephardic Jews since 2015 and has granted citizenship to 23,000.

US Muslim ban destined for rejection

It  is widely reported that the United States president elect Joe Biden  will rescind on day one, the travel restrictions on people from 13 mainly Muslim countries including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Nigeria, Sudan and Myanmar. This became known as the “Muslim ban” and the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it would hold Joe Biden to his election promises.