Addressing Italian faithful on Sunday, Benedict deplored the "death, destruction and suffering in countries including Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and Britain," and asked God to "stay the hands of assassins ... driven on by fanaticism and hate." Israel's Foreign Ministry said it summoned the Vatican ambassador to ask why the sermon had not mentioned a July 12 suicide bombing by the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad that killed five Israelis.According to the International Herald Tribune, the pope's spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, issued a terse defense noting that Benedict had referred in his sermon to attacks in "recent days."
"The Pope's omission of this incident cries out to the heavens," the ministry said in a statement.
"Aside from the moral stain implied therein, this cannot but be interpreted as a granting of legitimacy to the carrying out terrorist attacks against Jews," it said.
The Vatican issued a statement that said: "The Nuncio (Vatican ambassador) has already responded to the Israeli authorities." It gave no details of what was said.
"It's surprising that one would have wanted to take the opportunity to distort the intentions of the Holy Father," he said. "Obviously, the other week's grave attack in Netanya referred to by Israel falls under the general and unreserved condemnation of terrorism."
I'm sorry to see Israel and the Vatican in a disagreemen. But it's funny to see that the mainstream press merely plays up the conflict (which appears minor) but can't settle on an angle, a villain, probably because it despises both Israel and the Vatican so vehemently.