The apostolic administrator of the Latin-rite Catholic Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, told a pre-Christmas press conference on Monday, at the headquarters of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, that he condemns “the project supported by the Israeli government to take away the speakers from Israel mosques used to spread the Adhan, the call to Islamic prayer, usually made by the muezzin five times a day from the minaret,” the Vatican’s propaganda arm Agenzia Fides reported on Tuesday.
“I believe that this is a dangerous precedent. I hope that this bill does not go ahead,” Archbishop Pizzaballa said, adding, “There are other ways to solve the problem of noise pollution.”
According to the Vatican, the bill, approved by the Ministerial Commission for legislation in mid-November and now under consideration of the Knesset, “was motivated by the need to protect Israeli citizens from the ‘noise’ (sic),” however, “The legislative initiative was defined by Palestinians as a provocation, which – according to Palestinian President Abu Mazen – is likely to ‘make the region plunge into an abyss.'”
Talk about keeping calm in stressful times…
Of course, other than the reference to noise pollution, the Vatican’s report is virtually fact free, seeing as the new bill does not conspire to take away the loudspeaker systems of Israeli mosques – which, in most cases, were paid for with Israeli taxpayers’ money – but merely requiring that they curb their religious enthusiasm from 11 PM to 7 AM, when the faithful of all faiths would like to asleep.
As to “Palestinian President Abu Mazen” warning regarding the Muezzin Law and the abyss, it turns out, according to Arab News, that despite the fact that there are 800,000 Muslims living in Italy, Islam is not recognized as an official religion, unlike Judaism or the Mormon faith, and local municipalities make it impossible for their Muslim communities to build mosques there – let alone rattle the neighborhood with their bass monotone from 11 PM to 7 AM.
Nevertheless, the Archbishop had something nice to say at his press conference, when he outlined the assignment guidelines he had received from the Pope, stressing that “our local church here in the Holy Land also recognizes its own need for spiritual renewal, and is entering a period of reform in terms of administration, organization and pastoral work.”
Let’s hope this will include a special resolution to stop lying to the press about Israeli legislation.