Jerusalem and the Vatican (2)
By Rev. Labib Kobti 3.9.1997
At the regular Sundays Audience in the Vatican, Pope John Paul II, on Sunday March 9, 1997 criticized Israel for its decision to build houses in East Jerusalem.
This Pope's open criticism to the Israeli decision "that could harm the spirit of trust" in the Middle East Peace Process, (as if it is, also, an answer to the USA VETO at the United Nations, on Friday March 7, 1997 on building in East Jerusalem) should be read in reference to the May 1996 Considerations of the vatican Secretariate of State statement that reads: "
...The Holy See's (the Vatican) attitude with regard to the territorial situation of Jerusalem is necessarily the same as that of the international community . The latter could be summarized as follows: the part of the city militarily occupied in 1967 and annexed and declared the capital of the state of Israel,IS OCCUPIED TERRITORIES, and all Israeli measures which exceed the power of a belligerent occupant under international law are therefore null and void. In particular, this same position was expressed, and is still expressed, by Resolution 478 of the United Nations security Council, adopted on 20 August 1980, which declared the Israeli "basic law" concerning Jerusalem to be "null and void", and which invited countries with Embassies in Jerusalem to move them elsewhere.
As is well known , when the Holy See entered into diplomatic relations with the state of Israel, it opened its Nunciature (Embassy) in Tel Aviv, where indeed the overwhelming majority of the Embassies are situated. It is also well known that the Apostolic Delegation for Jerusalem and Palestine, (opened) on 11 February 1948, before the state of Israel was established) continues to function..." (You can find the full statement on our web http://www.al-bushra.org under the webpage the Vatican and the middle East).
In fact the Osservatore Romano, the Vatican News Paper on June 30- July 1, 1980, one month before the Israeli governement enacted its "basic law" to formalize the annextion of Jerusalem took a clear stand over Jerusalem and its future, the Osservatore article reminded us of 1947, 1948 and 1948 United Nationes resolutions and especially the 1950 "special statue" approved by the Trusteeship Council.
On April 20, 1984 the Pope wrote "Redemptionis Anno", the `'On The Redemption Year" where he reiterated the stands of Pope Paul VI over Jerusalem in "Nobis In Animo" of March 25, 1974 "In Our Heart". Pope John Paul II said in 'Redemptionis Anno": "I feel it an urgent duty...to repeat that the question of Jerusalem is fundamental for a just peace in the Middle East. It is my conviction that the religious identity of the city and particularly the common tradition of monotheistic faith can pave the way to promote harmony among all those who in different ways consider the holy city their own", the Pope means Jews, Christians and Muslims.
The pope, concerned about Jerusalem and its future, said also on 1984, thirteen years ago, that if the International Community do not involve itself to find the right, the just and satisfactory solution for Jerusalem, Jerusalem would "only compromise further the longed-for peaceful and just settelement of the crisis of the whole Middle East".
The Pope saw it in the past, he sees it now and warn the whole World over the issue of Jerusalem. When he speaks in differnet languages, he wants to say to every People, Governement, State and Organizations, national and international that Jerusalem is the CAPITAL of everyone who beleives in ONE GOD, and no one has the right to claim exclusive rights over JERUSALEM.
The Pope's involement for peace and justice for Jerusalem is a great responsability that we should appreciate and support.