Pope Benedict XVI made a really wonderful speech to the “sons of Abraham.”
Some forums are complaining that the pope didn’t leave in the middle of the speech. Some are complaining that he shook the sheikh’s hand on the way out. I say give the Holy Father props for maintaining the absolute minimum diplomatic courtesy to a very discourteous person and then absenting himself from this evil. I say give him some props for appearing to be the last man on the international stage with some both dignity and moxie.
A site called Benedict in Israel has the reaction of the Holy See:
“The intervention of Sheikh Tayssir Attamimi was not scheduled by the organizers of the meeting. In a meeting dedicated to dialogue this intervention was a direct negation of what a dialogue should be. We hope that such an incident will not damage the mission of the Pope aiming at promoting peace and also interreligious dialogue, as he has clearly affirmed in many occasions during this pilgrimage. We hope also that interreligious dialogue in the Holy Land will not be compromised by this incident.”