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Bishop’s statement at Vatican sparks Jewish outrage

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The Vatican and the Jewish world are at odds over a Boston-area bishop’s rejection of a biblical rationale for Israel as a Jewish state.

Greek-Melkite Bishop Cyrille Salim Bustros of Newton, Mass., said at an Oct. 23 news conference that for Christians, “the concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians.”

Bustros was presenting the final document, or “Message,” of a two-week synod of Middle Eastern bishops held at the Vatican from Oct. 10 to 24.

The advent of Jesus, he said, meant that Jews “are no longer the preferred people, the chosen people. All men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.” Bustros added that “sacred Scripture should not be used to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestine.”

His remarks sparked condemnation from Israel and Jewish organizations. The Anti-Defamation League protested what it called “shocking and outrageous” comments.

“By stating that God’s Covenantal promise of land to the Jewish people ‘was nullified by Christ’ and that ‘there is no longer a chosen people,’ Archbishop Bustros is effectively stating that Judaism should no longer exist,” Abe Foxman, ADL national director, wrote in a letter to the new Vatican official in charge of Catholic-Jewish relations, Cardinal-elect Kurt Koch. “This represents the worst kind of anti-Judaism, bordering on anti-Semitism.”

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon expressed “disappointment,” saying the synod had been “hijacked by an anti-Israel majority.”

The Vatican’s chief spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, responded to the criticism by distancing the synod from Bustros’ remarks. He said Oct. 25 that personal comments by individual synod participants “should not be considered as the voice of the synod in its entirety.”

The final Message was the only text that expressed the approval of the full synod, he said. The Message mainly dealt with the plight of Christians in the Middle East, but it devoted a section to Israel and Jews.

Calling for a furthering of Jewish-Catholic dialogue, it also condemned anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism, noted “the suffering and insecurity in which Israelis live,” and affirmed Israel’s right to live at peace within its “internationally recognized borders.” But it also noted “the impact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the whole region, especially on the Palestinians who are suffering the consequences of the Israeli occupation: the lack of freedom of movement, the wall of separation and the military checkpoints, the political prisoners, the demolition of homes, the disturbance of socio-economic life and the thousands of refugees.”

The Message also said that “recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable.” It added, “With all this in mind, we see that a just and lasting peace is the only salvation for everyone and for the good of the region and its peoples.”


Comments

Posted by Lms
10/28/2010  at  09:39 PM
The catholic church has a

The catholic church has a “shadow” problem.  The vatican uses the “scipture” to justify not only its “statehood” but its pedofile priest as well. 

Shut Up Ratzinger!  Mind your own business.  Clean up all the intolerance in your own faith, and for goodness sake please stop using “holy scripture” to convince yourself that you are actualy turning God into a cracker and eating him.

Come on Ratzinger, take a look at your own shadow.  Stop casting It on Your brother.

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Posted by Jack Kessler
10/28/2010  at  11:04 PM
Same Situation?

Jewish-Catholic dialogue?  Do Jews have a history of persecuting Catholics?  Or is it the other way around?  The meeting ground is NOT in the middle, not halfway between.  There will be good relations when Catholics give up their antisemitism.

Similarly does Israel have a history of endless and pointless violence and bigotry against Palestinians?  Or is it the other way around?  Again, the meeting ground is NOT in the middle, not halfway between.  There will be peace when Arabs give up their hatred of Jews.

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Posted by proudisraeli
10/29/2010  at  01:44 PM
Not surprised

Anyone surprised by this? Have we forgotten the history of the Vatican and it’s treatment of Jews—it’s silent partnership with the Nazis?
Do not forget that the current pope, besides being an accessory in the pedophile scandal, is a former nazi himself

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Posted by grf
10/29/2010  at  06:15 PM
Sounds pretty good to me

Aside from the Jesus nonsense the guys says:

“....All men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.” Bustros added that “sacred Scripture should not be used to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestine.”

What? No religious pluralism allowed?

All god’s children can’t be chosen?

Does anyone other than a nut case really believe the Bible should justify the occupation? After all, even Israel continually claims itself to be a reluctant occupier looking for a way out.

What the hell are you guys whining about anyway?

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