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Better than birthday cake
A birthday party! What fun. How best to celebrate? A birthday cake with candles, plenty of food and drink, an afternoon of Israel-bashing… ?
The Carmelite Family, originated on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land in the early thirteenth century when the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Saint Albert, provided a group of hermits with a way of life, later to become a mendicant Rule.
The party will take place in York. Having been the site of the biggest massacre of Jews in England, perhaps this is an appropriate venue, given the nature of the celebrations.
No blowing out of 800 candles on a giant birthday cake for them. It all starts harmlessly enough with a religious service at York Minster. Well, maybe not so harmlessly:
The Celebrant will be the successor of Saint Albert as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Michel Sabbah.
With the involvement of a man known to some as the “Patriarch of Terror”, you can already guess the nature of the celebrations. Yes, that’s right. As soon as lunch is over, let the fun begin!
Following lunch, at 3.30pm, the Patriarch will take part in a Justice and Peace Forum addressing the plight of Christians in modern-day Israel-Palestine. The topic will be introduced by Anthony O'Mahoney of Heythrop College, the specialist Philosophy and Theology College of the University of London. The Forum will be chaired by PatGaffney, Secretary General of Pax Christi, the international peace organisation of the Roman Catholic Church.
Will they tell the truth about the persecution of Christians– not by Israelis, but by Palestinians? Ah, that might spoil the party….
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