Pagan Community Notes: Italian Druid speaks out, special edition of the Pomegranate, Solar Cross and more

BIELLA, Italy – A well-known Druid in Italy is speaking up for Pagans after several cemeteries were desecrated. Luigi D’Ambrosio, also known as Ossian, has told the local media that the damage was most likely done by vandals and not by Satanists or Pagans. He said, “It was [done by] disturbed young people looking for attention.” The damage occurred at the Catholic cemeteries in Oropa and Cosilla. According to the report, skulls and other bones had been extracted from grave sites, but left close by. This is not the first time it has happened there, nor in other parts of the country.

Pagan Community Notes: solidarity statement, Mother Grove, Sandy Artisfair Kucyk and more

CALIFORNIA — On March 17, several organizations located in the Bay Area published a solidarity statement that addressed the allegations reported against Yeshe Matthews by her former coven, CAYA. “We have watched with concern as word of this misconduct has spread,” the statement reads. They go on to call the handling of the situation and the reported lack of public clarity or of accountability by “spiritual leaders” and Matthews as “dismissive” and “unacceptable.” The entire statement is available on Facebook. The organizations represented are Solar Cross Temple, Strong Roots and Wide Branches, Coru Cathubodua, and Black Rose Witchcraft.

Threats to Jewish community centers concern Pagans

TWH — Jewish facilities have been targeted with vandalism and bomb threats in recent weeks, and that has some of their Pagan neighbors on edge even as they stand ready to assist. Hundreds of headstones were damaged in two Jewish cemeteries this month, and 100 bomb threats have been reportedly called into Jewish community centers and temples in the United States and Canada in what’s being called “telephone terrorism.” It was enough to get a mention by President Trump during his first speech before a joint session of Congress, although those remarks have been criticized for not outlining to plan to stop the attacks. While most of the bomb threats targeted community centers in the eastern United States, they were located in a total of 33 states as well as two provinces of Canada. The calls may have originated overseas, authorities believe, and used voice-masking technology, as in this example posted online.

Pagan chaplains and others share views on the death penalty

TWH –On June 17, 2015, violence ripped through a South Carolina community in one of the worst ways imaginable: the perpetrator joined his victims for a Bible study session at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and then shot nine people dead, wounding a tenth. The shooter, a white man, hoped to bring about a race war through his execution of his black victims. He was sentenced to death in federal court for those actions, but is now seeking a new trial. The case has received a significant amount of press coverage, and the nature of the crimes themselves — targeting victims during a religious service in the hopes of igniting further racially-motivated violence — appears to typify one of the most serious cultural problems in the United States today. It is in the context of these recent stories that we decided to speak with a number of Pagans to examine views on the death penalty. Like members of the overarching society, those interviewed had varied and nuanced positions on this complex topic.