Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM, Apostolic Administrator of the vacant see of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, expressed his disapproval regarding 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.
"I believe that this is a dangerous precedent. I hope
that this bill does not go ahead. There are other ways to solve the
problem of noise pollution", said Archbishop Pizzaballa on the occasion
of the pre-Christmas press conference held on Monday, December
19, at the headquarters of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
The bill, approved by the Ministerial Commission for legislation in
mid-November and now under consideration of Parliament, was motivated by
the need to protect Israeli citizens from the "noise".
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".
During the press conference Archbishop Pizzaballa also cited the
story of the Cremisan Valley, where the separation Wall wanted by the
Israeli government was built "despite our numerous appeals to the
The expropriation of the lands of Christian
families designed to build the wall - added the Archbishop - "represents
a seizure of their heritage".
Outlining also the assignment guidelines
received by the Pope as Apostolic Administrator of the Latin
Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Pizzaballa stressed 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".