Friday, October 21, 2005

Official Vatican Report

Thanks again to Ellen H., we now have the official Vatican Radio report on the swap (see previous blogs 1, 2,):

The Upper Room

(12 Oct 2005 - RV) The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, has lamented the fact that Mass is no longer celebrated in the place where the Eucharist was instituted, the Upper Room in Jerusalem. The room was taken from the Franciscan Friars by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th Century. It is now in the hands of the Israeli Government. Negotiations continue to bring about its return to the Catholic Church.

Someone or some persons may be getting a bit too uppity about the Upper Room.

It reminds me of the story told about Barak, Arafat and Clinton at Camp David II when Arafat claimed there was no Jewish Temple ever on Mount Moriah and it was always Muslim turf. Clinton was taken aback, Dennis Ross recalled. Barak, to his everlasting credit came back with the retort:

"When Jesus came to the place to overturn the moneylenders' tables, he was in a Jewish Temple, not a Mosque."

Let's get our priorities right. This is the Jewish homeland, the Land of Israel, the Land God made a covenant with the Children of Israel. It was we Jews who had places, buidlings and sacred structures taken away from us, destroyed and withheld from us. We do not deny other religions the right to worship or to establish holy sites.

But we need not get too heated. After all, with Christians one never knows. A fight about a few keys over 150 years ago led to the deaths of more than 600,000 people.


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