Loading
Israel complains of bias in Middle East Synod
Archbishop Cyrille Bustros and Deputy Foreign Ministers Danny Ayalon
Archbishop Cyrille Bustros and Deputy Foreign Ministers Danny Ayalon
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The Vatican drew fire from the Israeli government for allegedly turning the recent Synod for the Middle East into a "forum for political attacks."

Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, downplayed the criticism, which was lodged by Israel’s deputy foreign minister.

Father Lombardi said the Synod was "largely positive" and that the statements of individual participants did not reflect the overall consensus of the synod.

Tensions flared in response to a statement from one synod participant, Melkite Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros of Newton, Mass.

In a press conference Oct. 23, he was asked about a passage in the synod's final communique that stressed that “the Word of God” should not be misused to “wrongly justify injustices.” This, the bishops said, "is not acceptable."

Rather, they said, "recourse to religion must lead every person to see the face of God in others and to treat them according to their God-given prerogatives and God’s commandments, namely, according to God's bountiful goodness, mercy, justice and love for us."

Asked to clarify what this passage meant, Archbishop Bustros responded that Christians cannot speak of a specific "promised land," because Jesus Christ had come to establish the Kingdom of God in the world and to make all who follow him his "chosen ones."

That means, Archbishop Bustros explained, that the idea of the "the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians." He added: "Sacred Scripture should not be used to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestine.”

These comments were met by "disappointment," from Israel’s deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon, the leader of the Israeli delegation that is participating in bilateral talks with the Holy See to determine the official status of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.

Ayalon complained that, the "important synod (had) become a forum for political attacks on Israel in the best history of Arab propaganda."

The synod, he added, "was hijacked by an anti-Israel majority."

He added that the Israeli government was "appalled" at Archbishop Bustros' words and called for the Vatican to distance itself from them. The "outrageous" comments, he said, "are a libel against the Jewish people and the state of Israel and should not be construed as the Vatican's official position."

In a message aired by Vatican Radio Oct. 25, the Vatican spokesman aimed to deflate the controversy.

He said the final message is "the only common written text approved by the synod," and that the "great richness and variety of contributions given" by those participating in the synod  "must not be considered on their own as the voice of the synod as a whole."

And in their final message, the synod bishops called for all governments in the region to promote  “the rights of citizenship, freedom of conscience, freedom of worship, freedom of education and teaching, and access to the communications media.”

In addition, they said: “We appeal to you to redouble your efforts to establish a just and lasting peace throughout the region and to stop the arms race. This will lead to security and economic prosperity and stop the haemorrhage of emigration which empties our countries of its living resources.”

The synod participants hope to enact change in the Middle East through a variety of propositions released at the conclusion of the two-week meeting.

The synod fathers made 44 propositions to Pope Benedict XVI, including the possibility of allowing married priests from Eastern Churches to work outside the historic boundaries of their rites; initiatives for more intensive formation of seminarians and all Christians in the Middle East; and a wide variety of other pastoral ideas for the Churches there, such as broader outreach through the use of new media.

Pope Benedict XVI will examine these propositions and the synod discussion to later issue an Apostolic Exhortation to clarify details of the synod proceedings. This is a papal document in which he studies the situation in the Middle East and offers his teachings to guide the Church's future there.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
25

Liturgical Calendar

October 25, 2014

Saturday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
10/25/14
10/24/14
10/23/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 4: 7-16
Gospel:: Lk 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/25/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 13:1-9

Homily
Date
10/25/14
10/24/14
10/23/14