May 29, 2009

US charity leaders jailed for aiding Hamas

by David Masters

A US court has given the former leaders of a Muslim charity, lengthy prison sentences for providing aid to Palestinian group Hamas. The longest sentences were given to Shukri Abu Baker, former chief executive of the Holy Land Foundation, and Ghassan Elashi, the charity’s former chairman. Both were jailed for 65 years by the Dallas […]

Tutu applauds Kirk’s decision on gay clergy

by David Masters

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has applauded the Church of Scotland’s decision to appoint an openly gay minister. Speaking at the Kirk’s General Assembly in Edinburgh, the South African Archbishop affirmed all people as members of God’s family, whatever their race, class, or sexuality. “I would find it impossible to stand by when people are being persecuted […]

May 28, 2009

Archbishop Nichols criticises Blair’s pro-gay Catholicism

by David Masters

The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, has reproached Tony Blair for his views on homosexuality. The leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales said Blair’s attempt to change the Church’s teaching on homosexuality is ‘extraordinary’. Last month, Blair gave an interview in which he questioned the Pope’s line on same-sex relationships and called […]

Archbishops urge voters to shun BNP

by David Masters

The leaders of the Church of England yesterday warned of a potential ‘tragedy’ if the BNP is elected to the European Parliament next month. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York urged voters to exercise ‘great vigilance’ at the ballot box. Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu said they have been ‘deeply disturbed’ by the […]

New Archbishop of Westminster calls for ‘respectful dialogue’

by David Masters

The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols yesterday urged Catholics to engage in “respectful dialogue”, in his sermon following his installation as the Archbishop of Westminster The Archbishop addressed a 2,000-strong congregation, including 700 clergy, who attended to see him appointed as leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales. The 63-year-old is the 11th […]

Kirk seeks to heal rift over gay minister

by David Masters

The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly yesterday elected the Reverend William Hewitt as its new moderator amid rows over the Kirk’s appointment of a gay minister. Rev Hewitt, 57, will tomorrow oversee discussions about the Kirk’s appointment of the Reverend Scott Rennie in Aberdeen. An online petition has been set up to oppose the Kirk’s […]

Biker priest dies aged 89

by David Masters

The Rev William Shergold, famous for founding one of the world’s largest biker clubs as part of his ministry, has died at a Somerset care home, aged 89. Rev Shergold, known to his biker pals as Father Bill, or Farv, founded the 59 Club for rockers in 1959 in the East End of London. During […]

Virtual ministers to solve Kirk’s clergy shortage

by David Masters

Virtual ministers could soon be set up by the Church of Scotland to make up for the Kirk’s shortage of full-time clergy. Sermons would be preached by one minister to several congregations over video link technology under proposals currently being considered by the Kirk’s General Assembly. The minister would visit a different church each week […]

Jewish-Arab football team to tour Germany

by David Masters

An Israeli youth football team, with both Arab and Jewish players, is set to visit Germany to showcase its model for using sport as a tool for peacemaking. Visiting as guests of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the Hapoel Abu Ghosh-Mevaseret Zion youth team will present its model of mutual acceptance and co-existence […]

Muslim clerics consider Facebook ban

by David Masters

Muslim clerics in Indonesia are concerned that the prolific rise of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter could encourage illicit sex. Around 700 imams are gathering today to put together guidelines to regulate online behaviour in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country. Facebook is Indonesia’s most visited website, with the number of […]

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