Tag Archives: UK RELIGION

Pope Francis

Alejandra Pereyra had been knitting at her home in Argentina when she answered a call from the leader of the Catholic Church.

The 44-year-old had earlier written to the Pope, telling him about her experience of being raped at gunpoint by a police officer, the Catholic News Agency reports.

Pope Francis has delighted the masses with his informal style
On Sunday the pontiff personally called her to tell her: “You are not alone.”

“I started crying,” she recounted on Argentine television.

“With an angelic voice, he told me to be calm and that he was calling because he had read my letter and my story struck him.”

Earlier this month Francis telephoned a 19-year-old engineering student. The Pope blessed Stefano Cabizza and asked him to refer to him by his first name, The Telegraph revealed.

Cabizza, who did not answer the first time the pontiff rang, recounted: “I couldn’t believe it. We laughed and joked for about eight minutes.”

Pereyra added: “He restored faith and peace in me and gave me strength to carry on fighting.

“When I heard the Pope’s voice, I felt like being touched by God.”

The 76-year-old Pope’s informal style has apparently charmed the masses, with one Italian newspaper even offering telephone etiquette tips, should you find yourself on the line with him.

Among the advice published in the Corriere della Sera daily, columnist Beppe Severgnini suggests asking the football mad Francis about big games, and how his predecessor Benedict XVI is doing.

“It’ll make him happy”, Severgnini noted.

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British Teacher Argues Anti-Jewish Conspiracy Theories Are ‘Philosophical Belief’

Jessica Elgot


British Teacher Argues Anti-Jewish Conspiracy Theories Are ‘Philosophical Belief’

Posted: 05/07/2013                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           


A primary school teacher who compared Jews to Star Trek’s Vulcans, has lost his attempt to argue that his anti-Jewish views were a “philosophical belief” covered under the Equality Act.

The teacher, referred to only as Mr Arya, was sacked as a primary school teacher after being accused of pushing and shouting at a child; making sexist and racist comments about colleagues in letters to the National Union of Teachers; and directing anti-Semitic abuse at a colleague in a text and email.

Arya had argued that he was discriminated against by the London Borough of Waltham Forest for his view that “the Jewish religion’s professed belief in Jews being ‘God’s chosen people’ is at odds with a meritocratic and multicultural society, and was a philosophical belief, protected under the Equality Act.

primary school

The teacher argued it was his right to hold anti-Jewish views


During the pre-hearing review, Arya insisted he did not consider himself to be anti-Semitic, and drew a Star Trek analogy, comparing Vulcans to Jewish people.

The London tribunal heard about Arya’s conviction that a Jewish cabal controls society, with a Jewish lobby influencing politics and the media. He blamed Jews for “messing with his head” and believes that they may have the ability to send messages back in time.

Arya said he believed there was a “vastly disproportionate” emphasis in Western culture on the suffering and history of Jews, ignoring the “anti-social aspects of Hebrew culture”, compared with countries’ obsession with Islamism.

Referencing the Holocaust, he said that there is a “definite and controlled effort to give a one-sided version of history”, citing the use of the word “innocent” in the “ubiquitous” media term “six million innocent Jews [murdered in the Holocaust]”.

“The Jewish situation has been institutionalised to serve as a convenient profiteering racket by third and fourth generations of Jews,” he said.

Although the tribunal did conclude that the anti-Jewish belief was a serious belief “going back to his childhood” and was “genuinely held”, it did not meet the rest of the criteria for a philosophical belief. It was not “worthy of respect in a democratic society and not incompatible with human dignity and/or conflict with the fundamental rights of others”.

The tribunal judge dismissed his complaints of discrimination and harassment relating to the philosophical belief, but the tribunal will hear the other complaints he has lodged.

Arya is “allowed to hold these views” but his freedom of expression has to be limited in order not to infringe the freedom of others, it said.

XPertHR, which wrote a detailed report on the implications of the case, said the decision should “reassure employers that outrageous or offensive views are unlikely to be protected by equality legislation, because the open expression of these views would in turn discriminate against others.”

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