Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Vatican, Israel near agreement on pact after 20 years of negotiations

Catholic World News - May 28, 2013

A long-awaited agreement between the Vatican and Israel, establishing the legal and economic status of Church institutions in the Holy Land, may finally be near completion.

Israeli sources indicate that two critical issues—the tax status of Church properties and the use of the “Upper Room” that was the site of the Last Supper—have been resolved, reports Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa. Negotiators will meet next week to discuss other remaining issues.

The Vatican-Israeli accord was promised as part of the “Fundamental Agreement” that was announced in 1993, opening the way for Vatican recognition of Israel. Negotiations proceeded fitfully for several years, and had effectively stopped before US intervention helped prompt renewed talks beginning in 2004. Since that time, Israeli government spokesmen have often said that an agreement was close, whereas Vatican officials have been more circumspect in their public statements. The Vatican has not offered any public comment on the latest round of talks.

Under the terms of the proposed agreement the building that houses the Upper Room, also known as the Cenacle, would reportedly remain under Israeli state ownership. However the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land—which had previously owned the building, and sought its return—will have administrative control over the Cenacle itself.

The agreement allows tax exemptions for Catholic churches, but stipulates that commercial buildings attached to the churches, such as gift shops and restaurants, will be taxed.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($14,338 to go):
$35,000.00 $20,661.73
41% 59%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Mystery of Music, Part II 3 hours ago
Our Spiritual Destiny and the Horror of War September 19
The Islamic roots of terrorism must be addressed September 19
Each of us is destined to marry Jesus Christ September 18
From simple husband to ascetical priest September 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18