As a former translator I had to laugh at this rendering of the Hebrew term bor bitachon! Normally it is translated "safety pit." (You find them at every public place in Israel. It is a barrel buried in the ground, with a lid, in which to put a found suspicious object , e.g. a bomb, until the police sapper arrives. )
But Safety Dungeon???
This sign was there for the Pontifical Mass which was celebrated on Franciscan property in Jerusalem's Kidron Valley.
Click to enlarge and you can see their emblem, the crossed arms of Jesus and St. Francis.
So what did I find amusing? Well, in a moment of (Jewish) collective memory I imagined dungeons of the Inquisition; I wondered if the sign's translator-friar had unconsciously been influenced by the vocabulary of his inquisitor brothers from the Middle Ages, like, in a moment of (Catholic) collective memory.
Thank God, nothing and no one was put down in the dungeon during Mass on May 14.
I do have a confession, however. I erred.
When reporting to you about Pope Benedict's Mass (here, here, here, and here) I assumed, since there were no statistics afterward in the media, that the place built specially for the event (to hold 6,000 people) was pretty much full.
A few days ago the newspapers suddenly announced that Church officials were "perplexed" about the low turnout for the Jerusalem Mass.
It seems that only 3,000 (or 3,500 according to the Franciscan website) of us got through the gate.
Sorry about that. I must remember the old rule: Assume nothing.