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."