Christianity

Israel envoy lauds Christian groups

By James Martin, July 23, 2009

Israeli ambassador to the UK Ron Prosor has thanked Israel’s Christian friends for their “constant support of the state of Israel in difficult times”.

In a unique event at the ambassador’s residence this week, Mr Prosor told more than 50 representatives of British Christian groups: “At a time when our enemies are getting louder in the UK, we truly appreciate the backing from another religious group.”

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Pope sacks officials over Holocaust-denier

By Jessica Elgot, July 10, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI has sacked two Vatican officials and abolished their department after they persuaded him to reverse the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying British bishop.

Bishop Richard Williamson has repeatedly and publicly denied the existence of Nazi gas chambers and has claimed that no more than 300,000 Jews perished in the Holocaust.

In January, Pope Benedict was persuaded to lift the excommunication of Bishop Williamson who was expelled from the Church by Pope John Paul II for internal Church reasons unrelated to the bishop’s Holocaust beliefs.

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Archbishop restrains anti-Israel Anglicans

By Keren David, May 14, 2009

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has intervened to prevent a resolution highly critical of Israel being passed by an advisory committee of the Anglican Church.

The Archbishop’s contribution to the debate succeeded in softening the language of the resolution passed, although it still links Israel to an “apartheid” policy in the West Bank and makes no mention of Hamas.

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Jews thought of Jesus first, says Bible scholar

By Simon Rocker, May 14, 2009

The idea of a Messiah who is killed and then resurrected is a Jewish one that pre-dates Christianity, according to a Hebrew University scholar.

Israel Knohl, a professor of Bible, believes the evidence lies in the “Gabriel Revelation”, an inscription on a stone found at the Dead Sea, which dates back to the beginning of the first century CE or the end of the century before.

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Australian Bishop bans Jewish jokes

By Dan Goldberg, May 7, 2009

Heard the one about the Catholic bishop who wanted to ban Jewish jokes?

The Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, has written to almost 150 priests saying Catholics should be sensitive towards Jews.

“While I know most of you would not tolerate the improper nature and offence caused by Jewish jokes, I sadly note that this has happened in our church in the past. I know you will agree with me that this is unacceptable.

“Since the terrible crimes committed against the Jewish people in the 20th century, Catholics must continue to search their hearts,” he added.

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Jews and Muslims vow to protest against the Pope

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 23, 2009

Muslim and Jewish protesters are planning to disrupt the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Israel next month.

Residents of the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City are planning a demonstration against the closure of the area around the Western Wall for 12 hours during the visit. Protesters have vowed to flock to the Wall and remain there for the duration of the stay.

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Comedian is crucified over Easter TV stunt

By Dan Goldberg, April 14, 2009

An award-wining Australian Jewish comedian is the centre of controversy after being crucified in the Philippines on Good Friday for a new TV show.

John Safran, 36, was one of several people who were nailed to a cross near Manila as part of the ritual symbolising the suffering of Jesus at Easter.

Photographs clearly show the man — who identified himself as John Michaels — to be the TV funnyman who has built his reputation on outlandish stunts and who has been likened to Britain’s Sacha Baron Cohen.

He graduated from Yeshiva College, an Orthodox boys-only school in Melbourne.

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Sect tries to buy a church

By Simon Rocker, March 26, 2009

The Manchester Jewish Representative Council has protested against the proposed sale of a local church to the breakaway Catholic sect to which Holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson belongs.

Council president Barbara Goldstone said allowing the Society for Saint Pius X (SSPX) to buy St George’s, a disused Anglican church in Gorton, would “only destroy the religious harmony in the city of which we are very proud”.

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Shoah-denying bishop barred from preaching in UK

By Simon Rocker, February 26, 2009

Richard Williamson, the maverick bishop who has denied the Holocaust, cannot officiate in Catholic churches in Britain, its representatives stressed, following his return here from Argentina on Wednesday.

The English-born cleric was at the centre of an international controversy after Pope Benedict XVI lifted an excommunication order against him. But last week, the Argentinian authorities gave him 10 days to leave the country, where he had headed a seminary in Buenos Aires.

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Board outraged at Vatican

By Bernard Josephs, February 19, 2009

The reinstatement by the Pope of a Holocaust-denying bishop has been condemned as an “outrage” by the Board of Deputies.

A resolution passed at Sunday’s meeting reflected communal anger at the lifting of the excommunication of the British-born ultra-traditionalist Bishop Richard Williamson. The clergyman contends that the Holocaust was a Jewish invention and that “only” up to 300,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis.

The motion was proposed by former board president Lionel Kopelowitz, who said that a text of the resolution would be sent to the Vatican.

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