Catholics & the Palestinians


#1

Relations between the Palestinian Authority and the Catholic Church are governed by the Basic Agreement signed, on February 15, 2000, by the Holy See and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) on behalf of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). This treaty, which came into immediate effect, covers all the basic principles that regulate relations between the Palestinian government and the Catholic Church; for example it ensures that acquired rights are maintained, and that freedom of religion and of conscience is respected, along with equality among citizens regardless of religious affiliation.

Under article 4, the Agreement also refers to a very specific topic: respect for and maintenance of the legal code of the internationally recognized Holy Sites.* This code is known as the Status Quo. Specifically, article 4 deals with Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity Church, the main Christian shrine on Palestinian territory.

According to international law, the pro-tempore Palestinian civil authorities are obliged to maintain the Status Quo. But, questions remain open on this front as well. For example, an incident that took place in the spring of 2002 serves as a good indictor of the PNA’s will, or lack thereof, to protect religious freedom.* Two years ago, monks of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate stationed in Bethlehem stole the lock of the main entrance to the Nativity Church, replacing it with their own lock, thus depriving the Catholic Church and the Armenian Church of the right to have that church’s key.* That right is part of the Status Quo, recognized by article 4 of the Basic Agreement.

After months of useless
negotiations with the Greek Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church officially petitioned President Arafat on April 12, 2003, through a letter by the Custodian of the Holy Land, asking that the Palestinian Authority intervene to recover the stolen lock. The letter officially invoked the Basic Agreement, and specifically article 4.* The then-Custodian, Father Battistelli, followed up the letter by meeting personally with Arafat and with the papal representative. Arafat named an ad hoc commission to look into the problem.* This commission recently recognized the validity of the Catholic Church’s claim and was about to issue a definitive decree that would have obliged the Greek Orthodox to return the stolen lock, but the Palestinian government has yet, in effect, to ensure the lock’s return. This is a matter that the new Palestinian government will have to expedite on an urgent basis, if it wants to maintain its credentials for respecting international commitments. The key, in itself, can seem a trivial matter. Instead, it will be a test in credibility for the Palestinian Authority. The very existence of the Church in the Holy Land depends on respect for the Status Quo and, in this case, its respect depends solely on the PNA. Failure to uphold the Status Quo can be blamed on neither occupation nor armed conflict.

Violence against Christians and guarantees on the Holy Sites of Christianity are two fundamental indicators of what kind of state the future Palestinian Republic may turn out to be. In speaking at an Islamo-Christian meeting in Ramallah last August, Patriarch Sabbah said, “Rapid and decisive action is needed to contrast the attempts of those who seek to exploit the situation to create further damage and destruction in this land and against its people”. “The risk is,” the Patriarch said, “that onlookers worldwide, in seeing what happens, will reach the conclusion that the Palestinian Authority is unable to protect all its citizens and therefore does not deserve to become an actual state.”

asianews.it/view.php?l=en&art=1874


#2

What has an agreement between the Vatican and Arafat to do with the Orthodox?


#3

[quote=Myhrr]What has an agreement between the Vatican and Arafat to do with the Orthodox?
[/quote]

  1. If you will read the third paragraph you will find them mentioned. The matter of the door and access led to a highly reported incident not too long ago and frankly, whether or not my post referred to the Orthodox, I really do not understand your question.

#4

It’s over two years now. How long do we wait for decisive action?


#5

Oh come on, Myrrh.
If the situation had been that the Catholics had taken the original lock and the ORTHODOX hadn’t then been able to get in, you’d be up in arms about “lack of access”.

This isn’t a personal attack on you. It isn’t even an attack on those Orthodox responsible.

It is a simple, factual delineation of a particular problem that needs to be solved by the new Palestinian government, so that not only Catholic and Orthodox but EVERY group can feel that the PNA will abide by legitimate rules.

Members of both groups, Catholic and Orthodox, have been both “sinned against” and “sinning”. We’re not playing a game of “gotcha”. I’m sure that you, an Orthodox, and I, a Catholic, just want to be able to serve God and live our faith.


#6

What I meant was, what has an agreement between your Church and a terrorist organisation have to do with us, Orthodox? Israel is a democracy, unlike the Arab states that attack it, and has a duly elected government. Did your Pope make an agreement with the IRA too?

We’ve discussed this problem on two other threads now. I still haven’t had an answer from any of you about the blatant ill reporting for the Asian market about the Franciscan interference in an Orthodox procession. The Franciscans have become quite adept at creating situations to try and show the Orthodox in a bad light. This campaign is deliberate and it comes from your Church. Shall we discuss it?

This was the situation according to Jewish sources pre the Pope’s visit.

christianactionforisrael.org/isreport/attempts.html

If you’re going to discuss matters relating to Jerusalem I suggest you read both sides of the dispute first to get a better idea of the problems there.

christianactionforisrael.org/index.html


#7

[quote=Myhrr]What I meant was, what has an agreement between your Church and a terrorist organisation have to do with us, Orthodox? Did your Pope make an agreement with the IRA too? This campaign is deliberate and it comes from your Church. Shall we discuss it?
[/quote]

You sound like my wife when she says, “Do something with YOUR child!” after my son has irritated her.


#8

[quote=WBB]You sound like my wife when she says, “Do something with YOUR child!” after my son has irritated her.
[/quote]

:smiley:

…and you make her laugh…?


#9

Here’s the other two threads on the subject.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=19249

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=16295


#10

[quote=Myhrr]What I meant was, what has an agreement between your Church and a terrorist organisation have to do with us, Orthodox? Israel is a democracy, unlike the Arab states that attack it, and has a duly elected government. Did your Pope make an agreement with the IRA too?
[/quote]

The RCC makes concordats in every territory or nation in which it operates. It is the legal understanding between the Church and the government as to how the church may and may not operate in the area among those peoples. Since it operates in PLO territory they had one with Arafat.

[quote=Myhrr]We’ve discussed this problem on two other threads now. I still haven’t had an answer from any of you about the blatant ill reporting for the Asian market about the Franciscan interference in an Orthodox procession. The Franciscans have become quite adept at creating situations to try and show the Orthodox in a bad light.
[/quote]

That is your opinion and you’re stuck with it. Others here and elsewhere feel free to disagree. It is their right to post and say so.

[quote=Myhrr]This campaign is deliberate and it comes from your Church. Shall we discuss it?
[/quote]

Please feel free to initiate such threads as you wish to; those interested will join you I’m sure.

[quote=Myhrr]If you’re going to discuss matters relating to Jerusalem I suggest you read both sides of the dispute first to get a better idea of the problems there.
[/quote]

I feel free to discuss what I wish here; you do the same. I do not feel the need to account to you in anyway for what interests me and the POV I take.


#11

It was a suggestion, not an order, and generally to all who addressed me .

I’m still asking what has such an agreement have to do with us? By what right does your Church make agreements about property it doesn’t own?


#12

A p.s. to that. I’ll give you another example of this, Alexey II also made a deal with Arafat. Things are a little different now in the MP/ROCOR relations, but a few years ago the MP was still into acquiring ROCOR property by whatever means he could and Arafat gave him the ROCOR monastery in Jericho. His tactics have changed recently, but one has to know the background to be able to see that.


#13

…and you make her laugh…?
[/quote]

Of course I do! :smiley:


#14

[quote=HagiaSophia]Two years ago, monks of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate stationed in Bethlehem stole the lock of the main entrance to the Nativity Church, replacing it with their own lock, thus depriving the Catholic Church and the Armenian Church of the right to have that church’s key.* That right is part of the Status Quo, recognized by article 4 of the Basic Agreement.

[/quote]

Ah, would this be the door through which Franciscan monks allowed Palestinian gunmen to enter, before leading them to another part of the church (not under Franciscan control) and locking the door behind them? I’m not surprised the Orthodox changed the lock after the trust given to the Franciscan monks was so terribly abused.

Of course asianews.it/ never tell the whole story, do they. :mad:

rense.com/general25/bibles.htm

“All the media concentrated on the Franciscan [Catholic] quarter, where little damage was done,” the archbishop said. “Why? The Franciscans actually let the gunmen in, then guided the gunmen to our rooms.”

Archbishop Ironius showed onlookers where the militants had broken in to the monks’ quarters by smashing locked doors while, he said, the monks were praying downstairs.

“The Franciscans then blocked their own rooms’ doors with iron bars,” Archbishop Ironius said.


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