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Love the First Amendment. It helps us spot the assholes from a safe distance.

Forget the high-minded principles of our Founding Fathers, kiddies. In the real world, letting the fascists, totalitarians, morons, psychopa...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Monday, February 05, 2007

Abbe Pierre, Requiescat in pace.

Paris - Organ music swelled through Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris as France bid its final farewell to Abbe Pierre, the country's best-loved priest and anti-poverty campaigner, who died this week aged 94.

Applause rang out as Abbe Pierre's coffin, held aloft by three members of his family and three Emmaus companions, was carried inside the cathedral and draped with his trademark cassock and priest's insignia.

To the right of the altar stood a giant portrait of the Abbe Pierre, his hands clasped in prayer -- a man whose death on Monday, in the words of President Jacques Chirac, "touched the very heart of France."

Chirac attended the religious ceremony, along with most of the government, artists, celebrities and dozens of members of the Emmaus community for the homeless founded by Abbe Pierre half a century ago.

Describing him as a "moral authority" for France, the Archbishop of Paris Andre Vingt-Trois led tributes to the resistance fighter-turned-ecclesiastic. The head of the French Muslim Council Dalil Boubakeur was also present, along with representatives of the Orthodox and Buddhist faiths.

Outside the cathedral, a crowd of around 2,500 braved the freezing weather, some of them shedding tears as they watched the ceremony broadcast on two giant screens.

A group of homeless people involved in a recent wave of protests in Paris to demand better housing rights held up a tent painted with the words: "Thank You."

Afterwards, as Abbe Pierre's coffin was carried from the cathedral, well-wishers pressed around it for a chance to touch the wood, and bid him one last farewell.

Abbe Pierre was buried later on Friday in a private ceremony in the Normandy village of Esteville, where he lived from 1992 to 1999.

Members of his family and Emmaus companions read out a text written by the Abbe: "The true peacemakers are those who open themselves to universal consciousness," it said.

Not exactly the Sermon on the Mount, but that is so old school...Today's kids just can't get it.

Nicknamed the "little father of the poor", Abbe Pierre topped French popularity polls time and time again, beating sporting icons, pop stars and politicians.

Prayers, wakes and ceremonies have been held across the country since his death, with tributes ranging from French leaders and the Vatican to the poor and homeless to whom he dedicated his life.

Speaking in several languages, Emmaus companions from around the world paid tribute to a man many considered like a father.

Catherine, a 40-year-old Franco-Beninese woman, told the gathering how she was rescued from homelessness by Abbe Pierre's association: "Thanks to Emmaus, I found a home, a job and the man of my life."

"The Abbe made my life, for ever," she said.

In the registry book, a woman whose family were given shelter by the Abbe Pierre in the winter of 1954, wrote her thanks: "I was four years old, I remember it well. You are a humanist such as can no longer be found."

Born Henri Groues, he was ordained a priest in 1938 and took the name of Abbe Pierre as a resistance fighter during World War II, when he helped French Jews escape to Switzerland.

Amen to that.

He went on to found the Emmaus movement, whose companions live mainly by recycling and reselling used goods, and for half a century championed the cause of the homeless and vulnerable.

My guess is canonization will follow relatively shortly.

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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