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Vatican Urges Israel to Bar “Gay Parade” in Jerusalem

Calls It a “Grave Affront” to Religious Sentiments

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 9, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See appealed to Israeli authorities to cancel a “Gay Parade” scheduled for this Friday in Jerusalem, considering it an offense to Christians, Jews and Muslims.

A note published by the Vatican press office explains that “considering that on previous occasions religious values have been systematically offended, the Holy See cherishes the hope that the question will be reconsidered.”

The communiqué expresses “profound disapproval of this initiative as it constitutes a grave affront to the sentiments of millions of Jewish, Muslim and Christian believers, who recognize the particular sacred character of the city of Jerusalem and request that their conviction be respected.”

Jewish and Muslim leaders have expressed their opposition to the parade. Shlomo Amar, the Grand Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, sent a letter to Benedict XVI, requesting a gesture of support.

The note mentions the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in No. 2358, in which it requests that “every sign of unjust discrimination” against homosexuals “be avoided.”

No. 2358 states: “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”

Nunciature’s note

On Wednesday, the Apostolic Nunciature in Israel sent a note with a similar message to the country’s Foreign Ministry.

The nunciature recalled the Joint Declaration of the Meeting of the Bilateral Committee of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, held at Rome in October 2004.

That joint declaration stated: “Jerusalem has a sacred character for all the children of Abraham. We call on all relevant authorities to respect this character and to prevent immodest parades and any overt actions which offend the sensibilities of religious communities that reside in Jerusalem and hold her dear.”

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