Vatican urges Israel to ban Jerusalem gay parade
Reuters reported today that:
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican has condemned a gay pride parade due to be held in Jerusalem on Friday as offensive to religious believers and urged Israeli authorities to stop it taking place.
"It is with bitterness that we have learned that the day after tomorrow, November 10, 2006, there is scheduled in Jerusalem a so-called 'gay pride parade'," the Vatican said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
In a letter to
Israel's Foreign Ministry, the Vatican urged authorities to withdraw permission for the parade which is expected to attract up to 8,000 people.
"The Holy See has reiterated on many occasions that the right to freedom of expression, sanctioned by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is subject to just limits, in particular when the exercise of this right would offend the religious sentiments of believers," the letter said.
"It is clear that the gay parade scheduled to take place in Jerusalem will prove offensive to the great majority of Jews, Muslims and Christians, given the sacred character of the City of Jerusalem."
Gay pride festivals have been held each year in Jerusalem since 2001, but this year's, bigger and with international participation, has caused greater outrage than before.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews, dressed in black suits and hats, have protested in the city, burning tires and pelting the police with stones. Organizers say the parade will promote understanding, tolerance and open-mindedness.
The Vatican has often criticized the rise of gay rights as a potential threat to the traditional model of the family.
In June, it said gay marriage, abortion, lesbians wanting to bear children and a host of other practices it saw as threats to the traditional family, were signs of "the eclipse of God."
Wouldn't it make more sense for the Pope and the Vatican to concentrate on sorting out their own problems with pedophile bishops and priests before throwing stones at Israel and a peaceful gay pride celebration?