Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe

For some years now in Belgium we see a bad evolution, similar as the trend was evolving in the 1930s Berlin.

Media creating an idea of danger

Once a world full of entertainment and “joy de vivre”, without financial restriction the people loved to have their freedom, going out until late in the morning.  Being drunk they passed others, but found themselves, by their anti-social behaviour more looked at. This annoyed them. with the financial crisis they also saw that they could not any more enjoy their going out “a volonté” and could not have so many trips to other countries any more. Aannoying as well was that some cheaper regions became more dangerous because of Muslim Fundamentalists. Those also came more in the news and tried to get more Belgians involved in their ‘road to Damascus’. Sharia for Belgium took care that the Muslim community came in a worse picture, and the media did the rest to present all those Muslims as a danger for our community.

The banks corrupting and the financial market bringing down the people with the little savings while the Jews still kept the thriving market of jewellery. Seeing those sometimes ‘poorly’ black dressed Jews was a sneer in the face of those who envied their money.

Antisemitism is one of the most alarming examples of how prejudice can endure, lingering on for centuries, curbing Jewish people’s chances to enjoy their legally guaranteed rights to human dignity, freedom of thought, conscience and religion or non-discrimination. Despite European Union (EU) and Member States’ best efforts, many Jews across the EU continue to face insults, discrimination, harassment and physical violence that may keep them from living
their lives openly as Jews. Nevertheless, there is little concrete information available on the extent and nature of antisemitism that Jewish people encounter in the EU today – whether at work, in public places, at school or in the media – information critical to policy makers seeking to craft effective solutions to bring an end to such discrimination.

Nazi Anti-Semitic propaganda at Yad Vashem

Nazi Anti-Semitic propaganda at Yad Vashem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Data by European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has reported on the available official and unofficial data on antisemitic incidents in its Annual report on Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements, as well as in a separate annual working paper – Antisemitism: Summary overview of the situation in the EU – which presents trends on the available data covering up to 10 years. This provides a long-term view of the developments concerning
antisemitic incidents. These reports are part of FRA’s body of work on hate crime, shining light on the experiences of various groups such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons, immigrants and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities.

The available data fail to answer many questions, however, which are of keen interest to policy makers looking to improve responses to antisemitic acts. Effective solutions require information on the types of antisemitic incidents, the context in which they take place and the reasons why many incidents are not reported at all, indeed, why official statistics markedly underestimate the number of antisemitic incidents and the number of people exposed to these acts.
Furthermore, even the most basic official statistics on antisemitic incidents are not available in many EU Member States.

Need for rallying against something

For some it might be clear that people need something to rally against to stay united. A good example of that we could see in the ‘Cold War’ where we had the West against the East, the Americans against the Soviets. Many do think it was the best time when they had the USA to rally against the USSR. Several Americans do find they have come to sit in a slow-motion train wreck of a divisive, culturally degenerative society ever since the Soviet Union ceased to give them purpose and unity.

Others consider that certain people are looking for it by placing themselves as a separate people. They are convinced that the Jewish religion encourages a separate identity for Jews, asking them to keep themselves apart in certain respects from the cultures they live within. That naturally can lead to conflict. People hate certain Christians for much the same reason. Those who want to follow the Only One God undergo the difficulty of ‘not being of this world’ and still having ‘to be part of this world’. Non-trinitarians are as ridiculed and confounded as the Jews who have the same God of Abraham. (Check in your own environment how people do think for example of Jehovah Witnesses.)

Blamed for suffering

It's not a question of religion, the Jew is of...

It’s not a question of religion, the Jew is of a different race and the enemy of ours. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Historically, Jews have had religious traditions and doctrines that have allowed them to thrive (or at least survive) where others have struggled. Because those people did follow the Laws of the Divine Creator somehow they also where protected and blessed by this Creator God. They also seemed to cope better with their struggle for life and their suffering, which was a thorn in the flesh for the people around them who underwent more difficulties with the same problems.

During the Black Plague, Jews washed themselves more often than once a year, which reduced their infection rate; they were blamed.
Due to Christian bans on usury, they were inevitably the money lenders; they were blamed.

Having been able to cope with many diseases, many terrible incidents, every-time springing up again, like not destroyable weed, always forming one union with their community, combined with being members of a highly visible minority where race and religion are not equal but intermingled, is sufficient to trigger envy by others who also look at the actions taken in Israel where walls are build and Palestinians provoked.

2012 Survey

5,847 self-identified Jewish people (aged 16 years or over) in eight EU Member States – Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the
United Kingdom gave their answers for the survey which was carried out online during September and October 2012.

Two thirds of the survey respondents (66 %) consider antisemitism to be a problem across the eight EU Member States surveyed, while on average three quarters of the respondents (76 %) also believe that the situation has become more acute and that antisemitism has increased in the country where they live over the past five years. In the 12 months following the survey, close to half of the respondents (46 %) worry about being verbally insulted or harassed in a public place because they are Jewish, and one third (33 %) worry about being physically attacked in the country where they live because they are Jewish. Furthermore, 66 % of parents or grandparents of school-aged children worry that their children could be subjected to antisemitic verbal insults or harassment at school or en route, and 52 % worry that they would be physically attacked with an antisemitic motive while at school or en route. In the past 12 months, over half of all survey respondents (57 %) heard or saw someone claim that the Holocaust was a myth or that it has been exaggerated.

Protecting Jewish people from discrimination

About one quarter of respondents (23 %) said that they have felt discriminated against on the grounds of their religion or ethnic background in the 12 months preceding the survey. Specifically concerning discrimination because of being Jewish, the respondents in all eight EU Member States indicate that they are most likely to experience discrimination at the workplace (11 % of respondents who were working during the period have experienced this), when looking for work (10 % of respondents who have been looking for work) or on the part of people working in the education sector (8 % of respondents in school or training or whose children were in school or training have felt discriminated against by people working in this area). More than three quarters (82 %) of those who said that they have felt discriminated against during the period because they are Jewish did not report the most serious incident, namely the one that most affected them, to any authority or organisation.

Antisemitism on the internet

Antisemitism on the internet – including, for example, antisemitic comments made in discussion forums and on social networking sites – is a significant concern for a majority of respondents. Overall, 75 % of respondents consider antisemitism online to be a problem, while another 73 % believe antisemitism online has increased over the last five years.
More than 80 % of the respondents living in Belgium, France, Hungary and Italy are concerned by the level of antisemitism on the internet which they say has increased either a lot or a little. Antisemitic hostility in public places and antisemitism in the media are the next two manifestations that respondents are most likely to perceive as on the rise.

Meeting the needs of Jewish victims of hate crime

Antisemitism in Budapest Gyermekavasut

Antisemitism in Budapest Gyermekavasut (Photo credit: Yigal Chamish)

One quarter of respondents (26 %) experienced some form of antisemitic harassment in the 12 months preceding the survey – including various offensive and threatening acts, for example, receiving written anti-semitic messages, phone calls, being followed or receiving offensive antisemitic comments in person or on the internet, according to the survey results. Overall, 4 % of respondents experienced physical violence or threats of violence because they are Jewish in the 12 months preceding the survey. Of all respondents, 3 % on average said that their personal property has been deliberately vandalised, because they are Jewish, in the 12 months preceding the survey. A majority of the victims of anti-semitic harassment (76 %), physical violence or threats (64 %), or vandalism of personal property (53 %) did not report the most serious incident, namely the one that most affected the respondent, in the past five years to the police or to any other organisation protecting Jewish people from discrimination The relative position of antisemitism on the list of other social and political issues varies slightly among the EU Member States surveyed. When asked to consider whether each of the items presented is a problem or not in the country where they live, the respondents rated unemployment (85 % saying that it was ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’), state of the economy (78 %) and racism (72 %) ahead of antisemitism (66 %) in terms of the present magnitude of the problem. Anti-semitism was followed as a problem, respondents said, by crime levels (62 %), immigration (59 %), religious intolerance (54 %), state of health services (51 %) and government corruption (40 %). In contrast with other countries, in Germany antisemitism was regarded as the greatest problem (61 %) in comparison to the other issues listed in the survey, such as unemployment (59 %), racism (57 %) or others.

Respondents from all the EU Member States surveyed except of Germany – consider unemployment to be the most pressing issue facing the country where they live.
Over 90 % of respondents in five countries (France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia and the United Kingdom) saw the state of the economy as ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’. Respondents in Germany and Sweden seem less concerned with the state of the economy – 41 % and 25 % of the respondents, respectively, said it is ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’.

Most pressing social and political issues

Antisemitism was rated among the three most pressing social and political issues in France, Germany and Sweden (85 %, 61 % and 60 %, respectively, considered it ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’). In a pattern that differs slightly from the other survey countries, respondents in Belgium viewed – besides unemployment – crime levels and immigration as the problems which most affect the country where they live (81 % and 80 %, respectively).

Respondents in Hungary and Italy alone considered government corruption to be among the top three problems in the country where they live (94 % of respondents voiced this opinion in both countries). A notable share of respondents in Latvia and the United Kingdom identified the state of health services as a problem (92 % and 69 % of respondents, respectively).

Respondents were also asked whether they felt that antisemitism has increased or decreased during the past five years in the country where they live. Antisemitism is reported to be on the increase – having increased ‘a lot’ or increased ‘a little’ – by a majority of respondents in all eight EU Member States surveyed . The percentage of respondents indicating that antisemitism has increased over the past five years was especially high (about 90 %) in Belgium, France and Hungary. These are also the countries, as shown earlier, where the respondents were most likely to say that antisemitism is ‘a very
big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’ today.

Manifestations and Attacks to affect community

Antisemitic attacks have a profound impact not only on the individuals concerned and those close to them, but certain manifestations of antisemitism also affect the Jewish community as a whole.

Among the specific manifestations listed, online antisemitism is seen as a particular problem: three quarters of all respondents (75 %) consider this either ‘a very big’ or a ‘fairly big problem’, and almost as many (73 %) believe that it hasincreased over the past five year.

59 % of the respondents feel that antisemitism in the media is ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’, while 54 % say the same about expressions of hostility towards Jews in the street and other public places. Half (50 %) consider desecration of cemeteries to be a problem.

The majority of the respondents in France (84 %), Belgium (74 %) and Hungary (72 %) consider expressions of hostility towards Jews in the street and other public spaces to be ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’ in the country. In Sweden (51 %) and Germany (48 %), about half the respondents consider it a problem, while in Italy (30 %) or the United Kingdom (35 %) one third of the respondents do so.

Arena’s

Regarding the four arenas where antisemitic comments may occur and comparing the eight survey countries, respondents from Belgium, France and Hungary indicate in particular antisemitic reporting in the media (64 %, 70 %, and 71 %, respectively, to be ‘a very big problem’ or ‘a fairly big problem’) and antisemitic comments in discussions people have (69 %, 72 %, and 76 %, respectively). Respondents in France and Hungary (87 % each) highlight political speeches and discussions. Respondents in Latvia were less likely than those in the other countries surveyed to highlight any of the four arenas as very or fairly problematic with regard to spreading antisemitic content. In Sweden and the United Kingdom, less than half of all respondents consider that  antisemitic content is ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’ in three of the four arenas, with the exception of antisemitism on the internet, for which respondents living in those two countries also give a higher rating, seeing it as a problem.

Prevalence and context of negative statements about Jews

Hearing or seeing statements that offend human dignity by assigning fictional negative attributes to individuals as members of a group can be detrimental to Jewish people’s sense of safety and security and undermine their ability to live their lives openly as Jews. The FRA survey addresses this issue by asking respondents to what extent they have been exposed to certain statements selected for the survey, and whether they consider these statements antisemitic. The statements selected cover various issues including the role of the Jewish community in society, their interests and distinctiveness, attitudes towards historical experiences and current issues. These statements do not necessarily reflect the whole spectrum of antisemitic views or connotations. They were used to guide the respondent into thinking about situations where they may have heard negative comments about Jewish people, in order to identify the contexts in which Jewish people hear these comments and to describe the person or persons who made the comments.
Respondents’ assessments concerning these statements offer an insight into the issues which they consider antisemitic. Respondents’ sensitivity to all things (perceived as) antisemitic has an impact on all of the other survey results.
First, the survey respondents were asked how often they have heard or seen non-Jewish people make these statements, in what contexts they have heard or seen them, and respondents’ perceptions concerning those who made these statements. The information concerning the medium used for making these statements and the context in which they are made can help the EU and its Member States in designing measures to counteract the use of such statements, for example, through awareness-raising and education campaigns.

Worrying level of discrimination

Antisemitism casts a long shadow on Jewish people’s chances to enjoy their legally guaranteed rights to human dignity, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and non-discrimination. The daily insults, discrimination, harassment and even physical violence, with which Jewish people across the European Union (EU) must contend, show few signs of abating, despite EU and EU Member States’ best efforts. Nevertheless, little information exists on the extent and nature of antisemitic crimes to guide policy makers seeking to effectively fight these crimes. This FRA survey is the first-ever to collect comparable data on Jewish people’s experiences and perceptions of antisemitism, hate-motivated crime and discrimination across a number of EU Member States,  specifically in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Its findings reveal a worrying level of discrimination, particularly in employment and education, a widespread fear of victimisation and heightening concern about antisemitism online.
By shining light on crimes that all too often remain unreported and therefore invisible, this FRA report seeks to help put an end to them.

More to be done

John Mann, chair of the UK’s all-party parliamentary group against antisemitism, said he was shocked by the survey’s results.

“It is extraordinary that 75 years after the terrible events of Kristallnacht, Jews are again living in fear,” he said. “The inaction of the European commission in combating antisemitism is inexcusable.”

Mann said the EU had to do more to co-ordinate Holocaust education work and to crack down on online antisemitism.

“The internet is a classic EU territory because it crosses borders and the EU could have a huge impact – if it had a thorough approach to antisemitism and other hatred and abuse on the internet,” he said.

A spokesman for the Community Security Trust, which monitors antisemitism and provides security for the UK Jewish community, said the research showed that much more needed to be done to protect Jewish people across Europe.

“In some countries, including Britain, politicians and police are trying to deal with the problem, but these efforts are sorely needed everywhere,” the spokesman said.

“Jews also require basic anti-racist solidarity in all of this – solidarity that has been partial, or deliberately denied, far too often since the year 2000.”

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Ambassador Gutman and the relationship between the inhabitants of Belgium
  2. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
  3. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  4. Pupils asked ‘why do some people hate Jews?’ in GCSE exam
  5. What Are The Sources Of Anti-Semitism? or Why do people hate Jews?
  6. Stand Up
  7. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  8. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  9. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  10. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  11. A world in denial
  12. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  13. Anti-Semitic incidents in Australia in 2012 highest ever on record

In Dutch:

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To me, it demonstrates the outdated mentality of a post-war generation. Too many of us are trapped in an anachronistic mind-set, always looking out for examples of antisemitism, always trying to “catch it on the edge of a remark” (as Harold Abrahams put it in Chariots of Fire).
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Being Jewish today can be a lot of fun. I work and socialise primarily with non-Jews, so I milk the Jewish angle whenever possible. I wear a chai necklace, drop Yiddish words into conversation and grow a beard and a Jewfro during the winter months.

Jews could hardly be better-positioned in our multicultural society, part of the mainstream but retaining a crucial bit of edginess. It’s a good place to be. The same goes for America, where the pollster Mark Penn now uses the voter category, philosemite, to describe people who either wanted to marry a Jew or emulate Jewish values.

Of course I’m not suggesting antisemitism is dead. It is an ancient and insidious prejudice that will exist as long as we do. There is still plenty of antisemitism in Britain, whether it’s troglodyte football fans chanting about Auschwitz or belligerent anti-Zionists obsessing over Jewish media influence.

 

  • EU Study: Jews in Germany Fear Rising Anti-Semitism (spiegel.de)
    The survey’s results provide insight into the perceptions, experiences and self-conception of European Jews. Rather than supplying absolute figures on anti-Semitic attacks, the study focuses on the perceived danger of such attacks and how much the anxiety this causes affects their lives.
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    In Germany, the KPMD, a service for registering crimes, has recorded a decline in anti-Semitic crimes since 2009. However, by itself, that says nothing about the perceptions of Jews living in Germany. According to the FRA report, 63 percent of the Jewish respondents in Germany have avoided “wearing, carrying or displaying things that might help people identify them as Jews in public,” such as a skullcap (kippa). Likewise, 25 percent of them claimed to have considered emigrating from Germany in the last five years because they don’t feel safe there.

 

When it comes to the relative seriousness of anti-Semitism, Germany was the only country in which a majority (61%) of respondents said it was the greatest problem. Respondents from the other seven countries believed that unemployment was the most pressing issue.

 

  • Alarming early figures from Euro antisemitism poll (thejc.com)
    In France, thousands of Jews have moved to Israel, North America and Britain. In Hungary, the situation is also very concerning, but very different, deriving from far-right nationalists. Then, there is Malmo in Sweden, widely regarded as the worst example of a local community living in fear.

 

In Britain, we are relatively fortunate. CST and the police have had excellent relations since the 1990s and, over the past decade, our politicians have taken antisemitism increasingly seriously.

Many of our continental cousins look on with envy, and really need this survey to kick-start better responses from local officialdom.

  • Poll: 76% of European Jews Believe Anti-Semitism Is On The Rise in Europe (jpupdates.com)
    On the 75th anniversary of Kristelnacht, the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has released the results of their first poll ever that they conducted on Jewish people’s experiences of antisemitic harassment, discrimination and hate crime in the EU. This report, which covers responses from 5,847 Jewish people in the eight countries in which some 90% of the estimated Jewish population in the EU live, will thus be a vital tool for EU decision makers and community groups to develop targeted legal and policy measures.

 

Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church

Looking at this capitalist world where the Word of God is forgotten by many, the Roman Catholic pope  Francis I attacked that unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”, urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in a  84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation. In  previous comment he had already criticised the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money” and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare“.

As first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years coming from South America he has seen enough poverty to know how people are suffering under it. This poverty should not exist in a Christian world and therefore the pontiff called on rich people to share their wealth.

“Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill‘ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,”

Francis wrote in the document issued on Tuesday and also presented this Sunday to the people.

Pope Francis spoke to a group of Argentine labor union leaders in Vatican City on Tuesday.

But people should not only share their material wealth, they should let others know what they believe in in Whom they trust.

Pope Francis offers his document to the Church as a map and guide to her pastoral mission in the near future. It is an invitation to recover a prophetic and positive vision of reality without ignoring the current challenges. Pope Francis instils courage and urges us to look ahead despite the present crisis, making the cross and the resurrection of Christ once again our “the victory banner”

The pope said renewal of the church could not be put off and the Vatican and its entrenched hierarchy “also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion”.

“I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” he wrote.

Pope Francis met with media

Pope Francis met with media (Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales))

The last Synod on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith (2012) may have influenced the drafting of this Exhortation but according to the pope it are his own words and ideas taken independent from the clergy of his church.

The Pope commits to paper not only his previous pastoral experience. He has a clear vision where he wants to bring the church of his Saint Peter which has come in a similar environment as the first church, very hostile world to the believe in the son of God and in the works of God. Not many are interested in God or church and one can wonder if there are still many who have some or little faith.

Extending the teaching of the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi of Paul VI (1975), this new pope emphasizes the centrality of the person of Jesus Christ, the first evangelizer, of whom many have forgotten his function at the early times of our current era. Many have forgotten the call of Christ and love at the people who still continue the task Jesus ordered them to do, namely preaching or witnessing for Jehovah.

Last weekend Pope Francis I told the people that Jesus still calles each and every one of us to participate with him in the work of salvation.

“The Church’s missionary action is the paradigm for all of her endeavours”,

affirms the Holy Father, so that it is necessary to seize this favourable moment in order to catch sight of and live out this “new stage” of evangelisation.

The Pope did not only directed his words to his Holy Roman Catholic Church but finds that each individual has to take up his responsibility. Spreading the Word of God is not only restricted to the institution of the Catholic Church. It should be the task of the whole Church, and each individual evangelizer, may discover a common methodology born of the conviction that evangelisation is always participatory, shared and never isolated.

He gave seven points, gathered together in the five chapters of the Exhortation, constituting the fundamental pillars of Pope Francis’ vision of the new evangelization: the reform of the Church in a missionary key, the temptations of pastoral agents, the Church understood as the totality of the People of God which evangelises, the homily and its preparation, the social inclusion of the poor, peace and social dialogue, and the spiritual motivations for the Church’s missionary action.
The cement which binds these themes together is concentrated in the merciful love of God which goes forth to meet every person in order to manifest the heart of his revelation: the life of every person acquires meaning in the encounter with Jesus Christ and in the joy of sharing this experience of love with others.

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Read also:

  1. Pope Francis says Catholics must become evangelisers
  2. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  3. Idolatry or idol worship
  4. Faith
  5. The possibilities of faith: A Faith that can move mountains
  6. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  8. Breathing to teach
  9. Church sent into the world
  10. Testify of the things heard
  11. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  12. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  13. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  14. Witnessing Glad Tidings
  15. Witnessing at LaGuardia Airport

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  • In Major Document, Pope Francis Presents His Vision – NYTimes.com (nytimes.com)
    In a challenge to the Vatican hierarchy, Francis called for decentralizing power in the church, saying the Vatican and even the pope must collaborate with bishops, laypeople and in particular women.
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    Francis’ prescription for the church is inextricably tied up with his analysis of what is wrong with the world. He devotes many pages to denouncing the “dictatorship” of a global economic system and a free market that perpetuates inequality and “devours” what is fragile, including human beings and the environment.
  • A map and guide to the Church’s pastoral mission (blognovic.com)
    The life of every person acquires meaning in the encounter with Jesus Christ and in the joy of sharing this experience of love with othersThe first chapter, therefore, proceeds in the light of the reform of the Church in a missionary key, called as she is to “go out” of herself in order to meet others. It is “the dynamic of exodus and the gift of going out of oneself, walking and sowing ever a new, always further and beyond”, that the Pope explains in these pages. The Church must make “this intimacy of Jesus, which is an itinerant intimacy”, its own intimacy. The Pope, as we are already accustomed to, makes use of effective expressions and creates neologisms to grasp the nature of the Church’s evangelizing action. First among these is the concept of “primerear”, namely God preceding us in love and indicating to the Church the path to follow.
  • “The Joy Of The Gospel” (dish.andrewsullivan.com)
    “I dream of a ‘missionary option,’” Francis writes, “that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world, rather than for her self-preservation.”
  • Pope Francis calls on Catholics to create more compassionate church (irishtimes.com)
    It challenges the church to “abandon the complacent attitude that says: ‘We have always done it this way,’” to find novel, “bold and creative” ways to speak to the faithful and to make the church more meaningful.
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    Bishops and priests on the ground have a better sense of the needs of the faithful, as well as their frustrations, and parishes should become a critical part of the church’s evangelisation and outreach.

    A parish should be a point of “contact with the homes and the lives of its people,” and not a “useless structure out of touch with people or a self-absorbed cluster made up of a chosen few,” he wrote.

  • Pope Francis calls unfettered capitalism ‘tyranny’ and urges rich to share wealth (theguardian.com)
    Called Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), the exhortation is presented in Francis’s simple and warm preaching style, distinct from the more academic writings of former popes, and stresses the church’s central mission of preaching “the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ”.
  • Pope Francis strikes again (millennialjournal.com)
    Pope Francis’s new apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel) is creating headlines throughout the world only hours after its release. In the 51,000 word text, Francis lays out a new vision for the Church and its role in today’s society.

    He’s done this is a less formal way throughout the first eight months of his papacy, but this document represents the first unified and complete communication of his vision.

  • Pope Francis Calls Unfettered Capitalism ‘A New Tyranny’ (businessinsider.com)
    A meditation on how to revitalize a Church suffering from encroaching secularization in Western countries, the exhortation echoed the missionary zeal more often heard from the evangelical Protestants who have won over many disaffected Catholics in the pope’s native Latin America.

    In it, economic inequality features as one of the issues Francis is most concerned about, and the 76-year-old pontiff calls for an overhaul of the financial system and warns that unequal distribution of wealth inevitably leads to violence.

    “As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems,” he wrote.

    Denying this was simple populism, he called for action “beyond a simple welfare mentality” and added: “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor.”

  • Pope Says Power Should be Moved Away from Vatican (goldenageofgaia.com)
    He called for power to be decentralised away from Rome and towards bishops and priests working in Catholic dioceses around the world.

    “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” the Jesuit Pope wrote in the document, formally known as an “apostolic exhortation” to the faithful. The Church must not allow itself to be “caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures”, he wrote, in what amounted to a mission statement for the Holy See.

    It was time for “a conversion of the papacy” because “excessive centralisation, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life”, said the pontiff, who has made reform of the Vatican’s dysfunctional finances and administration a priority of his papacy.

     

  • Pope Francis attacks ‘tyranny’ of unfettered capitalism, ‘idolatry of money’ (worldnews.nbcnews.com)
    Stressing cooperation among religions, Francis quoted the late Pope John Paul II’s idea that the papacy might be reshaped to promote closer ties with other Christian churches and noted lessons Rome could learn from the Orthodox such as “synodality” or decentralized leadership.

    He praised cooperation with Jews and Muslims and urged Islamic countries to guarantee their Christian minorities the same religious freedom as Muslims enjoy in the West.

  • Vatican officials say Pope’s document provides map for Church’s future (catholicherald.co.uk)
    The archbishop, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, told reporters that Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), is “an invitation to recover a prophetic and positive vision of reality without ignoring the current challenges”.

    When the Pope writes about the reform of Church structures to be always missionary or the need to improve homilies or the obligation to reach out to the poor first of all or his insistence that the church always will defend the life of the unborn, Archbishop Fisichella said, “the cement which binds all these themes together is concentrated in the merciful love of God.”

     

Don’t be the weakest link

After the children boom the world has become so egocentric it chooses to have an other chain than before World War II.
The family became not any more in the first place, but the gain of money became prime priority. After enriching themselves the western world came confronted by more than one financial crisis and got in a deep well. Now people have to work with more than one to be able to survive. Children in the family are now seen as an extra cost better to be avoided.

Those who believe in God and His Plan, should remember their task given in the Garden of Eden and later renewed by the son of God.
We should rethink how we want to live and what to do with ourselves, future generations, education and the use of our environment.
We also should check which material we want to use to build up our necklace. Each of us has to make the right choice willing to be a good part of the chain, which can hold humanity together. We ourselves can make a weak or strong link, but should strive to be the better link, having openings for other chains to join.

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In If life was a manuscript… the writer says:

Habit deals with progressive and consistent action that is designed to build in you the discipline needed to succeed whatever your ambitions may be. The main point behind habitually performing progressive daily actions however small is that it cultivates a mindset that respects small beginnings and a willingness to try. Think of how even the great Usain Bolt was a baby learning to walk long before he became the fastest man in history.

English: Usain Bolt at the World Championship ...

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Craft encompasses a willingness to learn. Craft is what directs your habits and builds on your voice. Craft is the acquired knowledge and understanding needed to exploit your voice. A lot of people are interested in doing something special, to change the world or live an interesting life, but few are dedicated to these ends. A demonstration of dedication is the amount of time one devotes to acquiring knowledge in their area of interest. Education is meant to open one’s mind to the beauties of universal knowledge and lead to a path of continuous learning – a means to an eternal end and yet people have mistaken education to be an end in itself.

 

In What’s your score? Setting goals that work for you he continues:

Life by its very nature is a series of goal-achieving processes that have a cumulative effect on our entire existence. From the moment we are conceived, nature initiates a series of life stages required to help us build the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual maturity needed to live up to the demands of adult responsibility. In an ideal world, these life stages should occur smoothly in a way that rightly equips us for life. Sadly, most people even in adulthood do not have a solid foundation for life and are left to live lives based on correcting one mistake after another.
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The three elements -habit, voice and craft – help with goal setting because they help you create a rhythm for your life.

 

The celebrated writer Christopher Hitchens once made an interesting addition to the famous saying, “everyone has a book inside them”.

Christopher Hitchens

His addition was as follows,

“everyone has a book inside them, which is exactly [where], it should in most cases, remain”.

Than Moonga Mkandawire, the founder and Managing Director of ES Capital Partners and a self-taught musician and composer refers to Hitchens his rather cynical remark here because its humour masks a truth that applies to life in general, which is the value of perseverance during hardship.

Should yours happen to be the book that others believe is best kept inside and yet you are moved by a compulsion to write that will not let you go, the following elements of writing might come in handy no matter what anyone else says about you.

In the previous articles about fatherhood, stay-at-home dads and stay-at-home moms we told you that we do have to make choices in our life. Each of us has the free choice either to go with this world and continue in the direction the contemporary world wanted to evolve or to change direction. Each of us can choose the road which they would consider best for them. Depending on those who decide to take other roads, the world can turn around. We can make a difference, if we stop looking at those beyond our reach, and do put our priorities right, we can show other where our soul is. We also do have the free choice to choose those with whom we want to associate and work with. As a Christian such choices are very important, not only for ourselves, but also for the next generation.

 

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Fathers do one of three things: they perpetuate a cycle or they break a cycle or they start a cycle.

Our craft is how we shape our skills-set and acquire the knowledge needed to carry out our task.

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Find also:

  1. I’m not a Mooch
  2. Dignified role for the woman
  3. A learning process for each of us
  4. Determine the drive
  5. Be a ready giver
  6. Casual Christians
  7. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures

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  • The Weakest Link (upstraight.wordpress.com)
    I’m pretty sure you’ve heard it said that the home is the basic unit of a society. This is true, as human beings make up a society and every human being is a member of a family, at the very least, he/she has a father and a mother (whether or not he knows who they are), otherwise he wouldn’t exist.Now, you most likely have heard the phrase/proverb “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. This proverb has …well a very literal origin. A chain is made from several pieces of metal or iron, usually ovally shaped, linked together. The strength of the chain to bind or pull or lift whatever you want, literarily depends on the weakest link, because if the load you want to lift, for instance, is too heavy for the weakest link, it will give way, and the load will come tumbling down.Interestingly, this principle applies to …virtually everything. The success or failure of an endeavor is tied to the weakest link, which may be a person or a technicality. If the weakest link is strong enough to see the endeavour through, we have a success. If it is not, we have a failed situation.
  • About Christopher Hitchens….. (atheistfallacies.wordpress.com)
    There is no way to use science to make a positive rational assertion for why human beings should have inalienable rights, likewise there is no way to us evolution to do the same.  In fact it is quite possible to use both to do the opposite.  The only way that you can make a positive rational assertion for why human beings should have inalienable rights is if you posit god in some form.  You have to assume some authority some universal law to which all people are beholding and then you can have human rights. {About Christopher Hitchens…..}
  • Christopher Hitchens Remembered (oldroadapples.wordpress.com)
    “The life and career of award-winning journalist Christopher Hitchens is chronicled in this video collection. Hitchens, in his singular voice, reports and reflects on cultural trends, political events, and the forces that define our Age.”
  • You Are The Weakest Link; Goodbye. (christopherryandueck.wordpress.com)
    The paradox that arises is that to be a truly selfless notion it should not conjure feelings of jealousy or contempt.
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    If I give myself a break and believe in my abilities and still joyfully stay back to allow others to succeed, that would be selfless. I know that I am good at my job, good at guitar, decent at writing, but I am Terrified of the implications if I admit it.
  • The weakest link (guiltyoverdose.wordpress.com)
    ever gazed at the sky and wondered if your’e a consistent person in the sense that do you portray the same image with all people no matter what they resemble to you , do you change your personality in order to accommodate with the group or individual that your’e interacting with. I think of it all the time , I like to retrace my day in my head go through the main events , sit alone and think what if I did something  in a different way how would it have affected me and then I remember that I’ve always been like that.
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    the next time you gaze in the stars or wander off in your thoughts don’t think what would’ve happened  instead make it happen.
  • “You Are Only As Strong As Your Weakest Link” (rsdstakeholders.org)
    We are all familiar with the saying; “you are only as strong as your weakest link”, but do we really know what it means?
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    In a previous blog, two Rockwood parents shared their varied experiences.  One of those parents goes on to share what they feel needs to be done to strengthen a weak link in our community district.
  • How Jeff Goins Went From 50 Blog Readers To 100,000 (sebastianmarshall.com)
    I found the paradox is, if you want to be happy and have a purpose-filled life, you actually need to do the opposite of what you’re inclined to do. Instead of get, give. Instead of trying to accumulate more, do something for yourself. Do the opposite. At least, try it as an experiment. If you’re constantly trying to strive for more, what if the point was the opposite? Fill the opposite, fix the brokenness. What if the design is that we shouldn’t live independent of others, but rather giving and helping others who are in need?
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    Why are people self-centered? I don’t know. The goal of philosophy and religion is often to answer that question. I’m more interested in the solution.Nobody likes this about themselves, being so selfish, but they think it’s the only way to survive. I think a better solution to filling that hole is give, be generous, empty yourself rather than trying to fill the hole.Everyone who has ever been in love, who has ever been a part of a cause bigger than themselves, then they’ve already felt this. It’s not a call to altruism, it’s confirming what you’ve felt — that you can work towards a larger whole.
  • Retired Navy Seal, Marcus Luttrell, Talks About Persistance (freeemployeenewsletter.com)
    The keynote speaker was Marcus Luttrell, #1 national best-selling author of Lone Survivor and retired Navy Seal from Operation Red Wing in Afghanistan in 2005. His purpose was to give the audience a perspective on a truly bad day and how a person can overcome anything.
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    “No matter how many times I got hit, I just kept getting back up. I never stopped. Don’t every quit for anything.”
  • I’m not a Mooch (steppingtoes.wordpress.com)
  • Surviving Motherhood: things to get excited about, right now (steppingtoes.wordpress.com)

32 lyrics

chainEvery person’s life is a link in a chain. From our families to the communities that hold our societies together, we form a perpetual link that holds humanity together. Whether our families and communities succeed or fail depends on the quality of decisions made by the individual members; a chain is only as strong as its weakest link goes the old adage.

But what makes a decision good or bad? Surely individual experiences are so diverse that a general rule for good or bad decisions cannot apply across humanity? Rest assured that this is not what I wish to establish in this article. What I want to share is an observation that was brought to my attention at the inaugural Cornerstone Men’s Conference by the keynote speaker, Bishop Simon Peter. Speaking on fatherhood, he said that fathers do one of three things: they perpetuate a cycle or they break…

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