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(photo credit: AP)
The Vatican stepped into the row over Jerusalem's Gay Pride Parade last week, issuing a diplomatic d marche, or note asking the government to intervene and cancel the parade, the Jerusalem Post learned.
The note relayed the Vatican's "profound disapproval" of the "so-called demonstration of homosexual pride" as it "constitutes a grave affront to the sentiments of millions of Jewish, Muslim and Christian believers" the Vatican's press office stated.
On Wednesday, the Vatican's ambassador to Israel, the Apostolic Nunciature, delivered the note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking it to "exert all its influence" to cancel the parade "as a mark of respect for the religious sentiments of all those who venerate the Holy City."
The Vatican's note came in response to a direct plea made last week by Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar to Pope Benedict XVI for his support.
The note stated that while the Vatican endorsed the "right to freedom of expression", there were limits to these rights, "in particular when the exercise of this right would offend the religious sentiments of believers. 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."
In 2004 the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel issued a joint statement on Jerusalem, calling for "all relevant authorities" to respect the city's "sacred character" and "prevent immodest parades and any overt actions which offend the sensibilities of religious communities that reside in Jerusalem and hold her dear."
The Roman Catholic Church hoped the government would intervene as "on previous occasions religious values have been systematically offended" by gay activists, the Vatican's press office explained.