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Thursday, March 30, 2017
France's favourite priest
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 A French priest who has devoted most of his life to working alongside homeless and unemployed people has been voted France's most popular person. Abbé Pierre, aged 91, topped a poll carried out by the Journal du Dimanche newspaper. France's football superstar inedine Zidane, who plays for Real Madrid, took second place. Born Henri Groues, Fr Pierre served as a Capuchin monk before being ordained a priest in 1938. He became known as Abbé Pierre during his work with the French Resistance, smuggling Jews out of occupied France. In he 1990s, he angered the US Jewish organisation, the Anti-Defamation League, for allegedly comparing the acts of modern Israel towards the Palestinians as a modern Holocaust. The League said Abbe Pierre's remarks were "insulting to both Jews and Catholics," and urged the Catholic Church to take action against him. Fr Pierre's defenders said he was seeking justice for the Palestinians and was not anti-Semitic. Fr Pierre became a member of the French Parliament after the Second World War. In 1949 he founded the Emmaus movement, which is devoted to developing self-supporting communities of homeless people around the world. Emmaus communities are now being developed across Europe, North America and South Africa. For more information visit the Emmaus UK website at:
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