Vatican Chief Rabbinate Slam Assault on Armenian Patriarch

VATICAN (Haaretz)–The Holy See and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel this week issued a joint condemnation of an assault on the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem–when he was spat at by a yeshiva student in the Old City.

In a joint statement released in Rome–the Vatican and the Chief Rabbinate called on religious authorities to publicly protest actions of disrespect toward religious persons–symbols and holy sites.

The statement gave as an example "the desecration of cemeteries and the recent assault on the Armenian archbishop."

The statement also calls on all the relevant authorities to respect the "sacred character of Jerusalem and to prevent overt and immodest actions which offend the sensibilities of religious communities that reside in Jerusalem and hold her dear."

The joint declaration came at the conclusion of a three-day meeting of Catholic and Jewish officials in Grottaferrata–south of Rome–constituting the fourth dialogue session since June 2002 between the Holy See and the Chief Rabbinate.

The discussions this time were focused on Judeo-Christian beliefs regarding social justice and ethical behavior. Previous sessions have concentrated on the dignity of man–the value of human life and the family–and the importance of scripture for contemporary society.

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