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Vatican distances itself from archbishop’s comments on Israel

Catholic World News - October 27, 2010

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, has distanced the Vatican from comments on Israel made by Melkite Archbishop Cyrille Bustros at a press conference on October 23, the day before the closing of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East. Archbishop Bustros served as president of the commission that prepared the synod’s message to the People of God.

At the press conference, Archbishop Bustros was quoted as saying, “The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands,” adding, “We Christians cannot speak of the 'promised land' as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people. This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people-- all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.”

In response, Father Lombardi said that the archbishop was speaking only for himself and that the message itself was the synod’s “only approved written text.”

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  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Oct. 27, 2010 11:15 PM ET USA

    Besides the political content of his thoughts on the Palestinian question which people of good will can and do disagree about, what did the Archbishop say about the old vs new covenants that doesn't fit with perennial Catholic teaching? We Catholics (the new Israel) superseded the old Israel. That doesn't mean we're automatically going to heaven and they to hell, but it does mean that Christ brought about a new Covenant.

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