Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Not So Fast, Mr. Pope

For the 2nd time in less than a month, the leadership of my Church has managed to piss me off. This time, they've shot their collective mouth off about disaster aid being sent into the area devestated by the tsunamis, in particular to Sri Lanka. The Vatican newspaper editorial accused Israel of declining the request for aid. The only problem is that Israel did no such thing. In point of fact, they had a cargo plane on the tarmac, loaded with 80 tons of supplies and had 120 emergency responders ready to lift off to Sri Lanka. When the Sri Lankan officials heard of this, they requested the Israelis stand down and abort the mission.

In the ensuing discussion that followed, it first appeared that Sri Lanka was refusing the aid entirely. Sri Lanka clarified that they would accept the supplies and also a smaller, 50-member medical team. Exactly why they didn't want the original group of responders isn't clear, but I suspect that some of those were security personnel and Sri Lanka didn't want that kind of presence.

The point is all of this was known before the Vatican's editorial was published. I'm hoping there's some reasonable explanation for this but it seems, at best, to be sloppy researching. At worst, willful bias. I await further word from Rome.