Posts Tagged ‘ Avignon ’

Catholic Church Still Sits At The Crossroads

popeThe recent news concerning the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI has drawn a wide range of reactions from surprise and dismay to sheer indifference. The main reason the outgoing pope has given is that he no longer has the state of body and mind required for the gruelling work hours as Supreme Pontiff in a world “subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith.” Pope Benedict is to resign at the end of the month, leaving the throne of St. Peter vacant and paving the way for the first papal conclave since 2005. Continue reading

Arrests made as the Burka ban is introduced

Muslim women who wear the burka in public in France face fines of €150 euro under a new veil law that has just come into force.

One woman who travelled from Avignon in the south east  to Paris to demonstrate against the ban has been arrested by police along with another woman during a planned protest at the Notre Dame Cathedral. Muslim clerics had called on followers to unite at the famous monument in protest.

The country`s five-million-strong Muslim community is the biggest in western Europe, but fewer than 2,000 women are believed to wear a full face veil.

Many Muslim leaders have said they remain neutral on the issue, neither supporting the wearing of burkas nor the law restricting their use.

The timing of the introduction of the ban is all the more sensitive after France’s ruling political party, President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP, called a debate on the place of Islam in France.

While many believe that protests will be somewhat muted, early indications have shown that the muslim community wont back down from their traditions.