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Israeli diplomat: no plan to give Vatican control of site of the Last Supper

Catholic World News - July 18, 2013

Israel’s deputy foreign minister has denied reports that his government is prepared to recognize the Vatican’s claim to ownership of the building that houses the site of the Last Supper. The same building in Jerusalem is revered by Jews as the site of King David’s tomb.

Deputy foreign minister Zeev Elkin, who has been actively involved with negotiations over a long-awaited pact with the Holy See, told lawmakers that there has been no discussion of ceding ownership of the building to the Catholic Church. He added that rumors of an exchange—with the Vatican relinquishing other properties in exchange for control of the building on Mount Zion—were inaccurate.

The Israeli government has engaged in discussions with the Vatican about ensuring access for Christian pilgrims to the upper room, known as the Cenacle, where the Last Supper occurred, Elkin said. After an agreement was reached, he said, no further discussions on the topic took place, he said. "Every detail regarding the Last Supper room was agreed upon in coordination with the Ministry of the Interior, and since then the subject has not been opened for discussion with the Vatican,” Elkin said.

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