I mean, seriously, one of the authors of the Kairos document - whose interview is reprinted in my previous blog post - meant that the Islamic conquest of Jerusalem in 683 was a second Pentecost. I am serious! A SECOND PENTECOST! (Boy, I wonder how my charismatic friends would have loved to hear THIS!) "In the end, we will send them [the Israelis] away just as we did to the crusaders", is another one of his pearls. WE. WE sent the Crusaders away. This is a dangerous over-identification, for a Catholic patriarch, I would remark.
Emotions do run high in these parts of the world. I remember an argument I had about the Kairos document with a Norwegian journalist, on the Mount of Olives on Palm Sunday. He told me that all Christian leaders have finally agreed that the world needs to boycott Israel until it ends the occupation. I replied, rather uncharitably, that if it had not been for the 'occupation', we may never have had the opportunity to go in this procession with palm branches. He wasn't going to argue much with me, but I found later on that none of the leaders actually signed the somewhat over-advertised Kairos (modeled on the South African one). In what can be called a clever PR-stunt, a short paragraph signed by the leaders of all churches in Jerusalem was attached to the text of the Kairos making it appear as if those leaders endorsed the document itself. The Norwegian journalist bought it. I didn't. Apparently, I was right. The paragraph simply stated that the leaders have heard the cry of their children and are hoping for peace and mutual understanding.
[Father De Gasperis, whose article I linked to the title of my blog post, published several articles in the Vatican journal Chiesa, e.g. http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/7586. The interesting story of Hebrew Catholics versus the ex-patriarch (I imagine they weren't too enthusiastic either...) can also be found in the Chiesa http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1335772?eng=y]