There was more trouble in the West Bank yesterday as an angry group of Palestinians opened fire inside a Nablus church to express their anger at the speech made by Pope Benedict XVI in his academic lecture at Regensburg University last week.
The Pope's intention was to spread the word of love throughout the world in these difficult times and was a renunciation of violence in the name of religion. Some folks in the Muslim world however, interpreted things differently and regarded it as an invitation to violence between religions and as a consequence churches are being desecrated in several places across the globe. Leading the charge were those inside the Palestine Authority areas governed by the Islamic party Hamas.
Of course, the AFP which carried the report was careful not to associate Hamas or any of the known terror organisations operating in the area with the vandalism.
In fact, according to AFP "no casualties or damage were reported in the incidents". Which is rather strange given that the report also says that in "one incident, gunmen opened fire inside an empty Catholic church after the building's entrance door was burnt down." One can only suppose that the church won't be making an insurance claim for repair of the bullet holes and the burnt down entrance door because it wasn't really damaged at all.
Still, intimidation gets you everywhere these days and, as the above article concludes "The Vatican issued a statement Saturday saying that the Pope was 'extremely sorry' for the offence his comments had caused."
Some would call it "saying sorry" but I call it "damage control".
I wish the Pope and his flock lots of luck!