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Archbishop's remarks on Israel being misinterpreted?

Catholic World News - October 27, 2010

John Allen makes several good points about the remarks by Archbishop Cyrille Bustros, which have provoked some angry reactions from Israeli officials and American Jewish leaders:

  1. The Synod of Bishops on the Middle East produced dozens of important proposals. It’s unfortunate that the media have focused almost obsessively on one statement that was not approved by the Synod, but uttered by a single prelate.
  2. Archbishop Bustos was not speaking for the Synod. He was trying to explain a point—about the status of the state of Israel in Catholic thought—in his own words. To interpret his statement as an official Vatican policy is simply wrong.
  3. To interpret the archbishop’s statement as an expression of hostility toward Israel and/or the Jews is also wrong. Allen makes the observation that in context, the archbishop’s statement seems to point in another direction:

    To put the point crudely, Bustros probably wasn’t only, or even primarily, grinding an axe against Israel or the Jews. The backdrop to his comments probably wasn’t so much Israeli rhetoric (which doesn’t often pivot on the Bible, but on security considerations and Israel’s status as the region’s lone democracy), but rather that of some -- often U.S.-backed -- Evangelicals.

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  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Oct. 27, 2010 4:16 PM ET USA

    How long has the Vatican been trying to resolve issues with Israel since giving Israel diplomatic status? 18 years? The Jews keep dragging their heels since they already got what they wanted and fooled the Vatican into thinking that they would quickly resolve the issues of importance to the Vatican, like visas for workers and taxation on Church properties.

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