Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘EU

Halos Banned from Euro Coin

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Depicting St Cyril and St Methodius:

The Commission of the European Union has demanded that Slovenia remove the halos from its new Euro coin commemorating the 1,150th anniversary of the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Moravia. A spokeswoman for the Bank of Slovenia explained their decision to comply with the European Comissions demands:

‘The European Commission and some member states have asked Slovakia to remove some symbols from the draft coin to comply with the principle of religious neutrality. We believe the final coin will be a dignified combination of a symbol of state and a symbol of Christianity,”

The European Commission defended its insistence that Slovenia remove the halos from  Cyril and Methodius:

“Under EU rules, when designing the national side of a euro coin, Member States are required to take into account that the coins will circulate throughout the whole eurozone, and in that context, proposed designs are shared in advance with other Member States so that they can provide any comments they deem appropriate.

The Commission acknowledged that some members states objected to the coin, adding that Slovakia submitted a slightly amended design, “which has now been approved by the [EU] Council of Ministers.”

Protect the Pope comment:  The European Commission’s demand that Slovenia  remove the Christian symbol of sanctity that has been included on coins throughout Europe for thousands of years is yet another attack on our common Christian heritage. In the censored coin St. Cyril and St. Methodius have been reduced to the stature of  mundane historical figures, their eternal significance and role as intercessors and exemplars of sanctity removed from the public arena.  The secular reformation of Europe continues to impose its intolerant ideology under the guise of ‘religious neutrality’.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

January 7, 2013 at 17:04

Athens Is Only EU Capital Without a Mosque

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And the BBC is not impressed:

Stressing that Athens is the only EU (European Union) capital without a mosque, the BBC has revealed that some 300,000 Muslims living in the Greek capital are sandwiched in basements to pray, the To Vima (Greek) website reports today
(December 28, 2012).

“The absence of a mosque here (Athens) is a great tragedy for us Muslims,” said Mohammad Jamil Sient, a native of Pakistan now living in Athens. He added, “Greece invented democracy, culture, and respect for each other’s religion, but does not respect us Muslims enough to give us a normal, legitimate mosque.”

There is resistance from various quarters — including some priests of the Greek Orthodox Church — that are opposed to a mosque in Athens. Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus — the seaport area of Athens — told the BBC, “Greece suffered five centuries of Islamic tyranny under the Turkish yoke and construction of the mosque would insult witnesses who liberated us.”

A BBC correspondent said Seraphim’s viewpoint is Islamophobic and discriminates against Muslims.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

December 29, 2012 at 09:03

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Out: Christmas Tree; In: The Electronic Winter Tree

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Lest an offence is caused. Christmas cancelled in Brussels.

Here’s a little something from Friends of Hungary.


According to Brussels city government’s representative Bianca Debaets Brussels will not place a Christmas tree on its historical Grand Place square, because the tree, as a symbol of Christianity, could harm the feelings of people of other faiths. The electronic timber that has been granted and already placed is called “winter tree”. The “Christmas market” thus receives a new name, from which the word “Christmas” is missing. (The muslim community reached 25% of Brussel’s total population. According to most analysts the size and influence of the muslim community in Belgium was a key factor in making the decision.)

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

November 28, 2012 at 08:02

Catholic Church in France May Become Mosque

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A church in the central French town of Vierzon may be converted to a mosque, as Muslims across Europe are converting empty churches to fit their faith – but some locals are worried about the threat of radicalism

Vierzon has six churches, and in order to balance the books, the diocese is selling one of them off. A Moroccan organization is in talks to convert the church of St. Eloi into a mosque, although a final decision has yet to be reached.

With a nave of 26 meters, it can accommodate 200 people and is up for sale for €170,000.

Alain Krauth, the pastor of Notre Dame de Vierzon, explained to weekly newsmagazine Le Nouvel Observateur, “We must keep the buildings; Vierzon has experienced a population decline in recent years, the Christian community is not as important as it used o be in the past.”

“The church is modern and easy to re-arrange – it will be easy to sell,” he added.

Father Krauth explained that questionnaires have been distributed to the community about the proposed sale. “Some of the faithful rejoice that the place will be bought by members of the Muslim community – by believers in moderate Islam – but others were offended and fear radical Islam,” the priest reflected.

With about six per cent of EU citizens today identifying as Muslim, and that number set to grow, more and more churches are set to become mosques.

Nearly 150 new mosques are currently under construction to house France’s nearly five million Muslims, who make up about 7.5 per cent of the country’s population. France is home to the EU’s largest national Muslim community.

Attempts by European governments to unite the diverse cultures and religious groups living side by side in the continent’s cities have not always been successful, with tensions remaining between the Muslim and Christian populations in many countries.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 13, 2012 at 09:14

Children are Being Abandoned on Greece’s Streets

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Children ‘dumped in streets by Greek parents who can’t afford to look after them any more’


Children are being abandoned on Greece’s streets by their poverty-stricken families who cannot afford to look after them any more.

Youngsters are being dumped by their parents who are struggling to make ends meet in what is fast becoming the most tragic human consequence of the Euro crisis.

It comes as pharmacists revealed the country had almost run out of aspirin, as multi-billion euro austerity measures filter their way through society…

More here.

What a mess!

Lord have mercy…


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

January 12, 2012 at 21:31

Wise Men Indeed

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Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

December 25, 2011 at 12:07

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Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks: Has Europe Lost its Soul?

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Every so often a sermon or lecture is delivered which merits being published in its entirety. In truth, the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks delivers them all too frequently, but the pithy brevity of the blog is hardly the optimum medium for dissemination. This one, on the question of ‘Has Europe Lost its Soul?’ was delivered today at The Pontifical Gregorian University. It is replete with wisdom and insight (for those who don’t have the time to read it, His Grace highlights some salient points). Lord Sacks’ grasp of history, theology, philosophy, politics and economics is profound. His address is to the Roman Catholic Church, and his appeal is to their partnership…

Do read on here.

For the task ahead of us is not between Jews and Catholics, or even Jews and Christians in general, but between Jews and Christians on the one hand, and the increasingly, even aggressively secularising forces at work in Europe today on the other, challenging and even ridiculing our faith.

If Europe loses the Judaeo-Christian heritage that gave it its historic identity and its greatest achievements in literature, art, music, education, politics, and as we will see, economics, it will lose its identity and its greatness…

When a civilisation loses its faith, it loses its future. When it recovers its faith, it recovers its future. For the sake of our children, and their children not yet born, we – Jews and Christians, side-by-side – must renew our faith and its prophetic voice. We must help Europe recover its soul.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

December 13, 2011 at 14:27


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