Monday, May 11, 2009

First, the Pope walked. Then things got good.

The Pope was at a church in Jerusalem for more touchy-feely mumbo-jumbo to make nice on television. Such are the times, and such is life. We can only roll our eyes and carry on in the real world. But even the phantasy world of diplomacy has its rips in the false fabric, like when a typical jihadi imam interrupts a carefully choreographed bull session with a hate rant. Then the truth is exposed. The Jerusalem Post covered the first part of the Pope's dignified walk-out. A close contact I have in Jerusalem provides us with the aftermath.

Chief Islamic Judge of the Palestinian Authority, Sheikh Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, launched a poisonous verbal attack at Israel at a Monday night gathering attended by Pope Benedict XVI.

In a meeting with organizations involved in inter-religious dialogue at the Notre Dame Jerusalem Center, Tamimi called upon Muslims and Christians to unite against what he said were the murderous Israelis.

Taking the podium after the pope without being on the original list of speakers scheduled for the evening, Tamimi, speaking at length in Arabic, accused Israel of murdering women and children in Gaza and making Palestinians refugees, and declared Jerusalem the eternal Palestinian capital.

Following the diatribe and before the meeting was officially over, the pope exited the premises. Army Radio reported that the pope shook Tamimi's hand before walking out.

Minutes after the embarrassing occurrence, Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, released a response to the incident.

"The intervention of Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi was not previewed by the organizers of the interreligious meeting that took place at Notre Dame Centre in Jerusalem," the message read. "In a meeting dedicated to dialogue, this intervention was a direct negation of what [it] should be," it continued.

"We hope that such an incident will not damage the mission of the Holy Father aiming at promoting peace and interreligious dialogue, as he has clearly affirmed in many occasions in this pilgrimage," Father Lombardi added.

"We hope also that interreligious dialogue in the holy land will not be damaged by this incident," the message concluded.

Nine years ago, Tamimi caused a similar scandal when at an interfaith meeting attended by then-Pope John Paul II at the Notre Dame Jerusalem Center, the Palestinian religious leader condemned Israel for a long list of offenses.

From the Jerusalem Post, excerpted from:

After the Pope walked out of the meeting he suddenly turned green and went crazy. He tossed a donkey cart against the wall of Damascus Gate and went right nuts, said my source. I asked my source to fill us in.

As a young priest working in the secret laboratory in the basement of the Vatican, Fr. Benedict Banner, later to become Pope Benedict, was accidentally exposed to gamma rays in an experiment gone terribly wrong, according to my source in Jerusalem.The normally withdrawn and reserved Father Benedict was deranged at a molecular level. Though this side of the Pope is seldom seen in public, and never referred to in polite company, the Pope can be an emotional and impulsive Hulk, a giant, raging, humanoid monster. As the Hulk, Pope Benedict is capable of significant feats of strength, which increases in direct proportion to his anger. Strong emotions such as anger, terror and grief are also triggers for forcing Benedict's transformation into the Hulk, as witnessed after today's walk-out.

The pope was quoted by one astounded bystander as saying, "Oy vey, I hates them jihadis!"

I like the Pope. We need more like him.


Charles Henry said...

I must disagree with your characterization of His Holyness' trip to the Middle East. He's simply not a shallow "photo op" kind of guy. If he's going to all this trouble it's because he has a purpose behind it.

Pope Benedict's speech was amazing. I hope the controversy at least brings it to people's attention, who wouldn't have heard of it otherwise, because it's worth reading and thinking about, in its entirety:

...Each one of us here also knows, however, that God’s voice is heard less clearly today, and reason itself has in so many instances become deaf to the divine. Yet that “void” is not one of silence. Indeed, it is the din of egotistical demands, empty promises and false hopes that so often invades the very space in which God seeks us.
Can we then make spaces –- oases of peace and profound reflection –- where God’s voice can be heard anew, where his truth can be discovered within the universality of reason, where every individual, regardless of dwelling, or ethnic group, or political hue, or religious belief, can be respected as a person, as a fellow human being?
In an age of instant access to information and social tendencies which engender a kind of monoculture, deep reflection against the backdrop of God’s presence will embolden reason, stimulate creative genius, facilitate critical appreciation of cultural practices and uphold the universal value of religious belief.

Dag said...

This is not the Renaissance and the Pope is not a dancing fool like our president. That speaks only to Benedict's person. Popes don't come out of a can, one like the next. This one is good, according to me; but I can't assume the next one will be worth anything more than our president. Time will tell. And the Pope telling today is of less importance than the Pope doing today. He showed himself, and by extension his followers, to be dignified and honest. @hat he actually said is of little importance to most of us given that he quietly walked out on a dangerous lunatic who has the applause of the world generally. It is in the act that we know the man.

Him tossing the donkey cart is just a bonus. I would have liked him anyway.

Dag said...

You might wonder who the man is the audience clapped in support of, this al-Tamimi. He's done this before, and the audience didn't just drop down from the moon either. As you point out, the Pope probably had good reasons, not that he ever tells me.

But this is the man he walked out on:

“The Jews are destined to be persecuted, humiliated, and tortured forever, and it is a Muslim duty to see to it that they reap their due. No petty arguments must be allowed to divide us. Where Hitler failed, we must succeed.”

OK, so the Pope has his reasons for showing up at an event like this. I'm pleased with his reaction. He walked out. He tossed a donkey cart. He turned green. More of same, please, more often.

Witness said...

Good for the Pope to walk out. Shame on the mainstream media for not reporting on this part of the visit. At least I did not see it mentioned in tonights broadcast. Maybe more of us would turn green and throw stuff around if we knew what these Islamists were all about. Or maybe not... Probably not...

Dag said...

Hello Witness, good to see you again.

I just read a comment from a mind far more devious than mine, Briars at Jihad Watch:

"The Pope has thrown the bait before and the jihadists bit on it when he hinted that Mohammed spread his religion with violence and Muslims erupted with violence. Now he talks of peace and inter-religious dialogue, and a Muslim Sheik destroys the dialogue with words of hate. The Pope walks out and shakes his hand: 'Thanks for showing them what I mean,' he says in Latin. Great piece of work."

I doubt it, but let's look on the bright side anyway.

Witness, we hope to see you at our meetings on Thursday. I'm not much to look at but we're all friendly and anxious to meet you.

Witness said...

Hey Dag,

I am still working Thursday nights so not able to come... for now. But one of these weeks I will surprise you.

Keep up the great blogging!! I'm still reading on and off when I can.

Derek H. said...

I'm glad that Pope Benedict XVI is visiting Holy Land at this particular time. People who live should listen to Him very closly what Pope is saying and they should hope for a better times. As myself as a Polish/Canadian when Pope John Paul II came to visit Poland for the first time during a Communism opression He told a nation these words " Do Not Be Afraid". And as we all know a communism collapsed later on in Poland. Pope can give great encouragment to people who wants a change.