Last updated on: 6/25/2008 5:08:00 PM PST
What Is the Vatican's Position on the Israeli - Palestinian Conflict?
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Benedict XVI, PhD, Roman Catholic Apostolic Pope, in a Sep. 15, 2005 Libreria Editrice Vaticana "Address to the chief Rabbis of Israel," pronounced the following:
"The eyes of the world constantly turn to the Holy Land, the Land that is considered holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Unfortunately our attention is too often drawn by acts of violence and terror, a cause of immense sorrow to everyone living there. We must continue to insist that religion and peace go together... On this occasion my thoughts turn also to the Christian communities in the Holy Land, a living presence and witness there since the dawn of Christianity through all the vicissitudes of history. Today these brothers and sisters in the faith face new and increasing challenges. While we are pleased that diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the State of Israel have led to more solid and stable forms of co-operation, we eagerly await the fulfilment of the Fundamental Agreement on issues still outstanding."
Sep. 15, 2005 - Pope Benedict XVI, PhD
John Paul II, PhD, former Roman Catholic Apostolic Pope, in the year 2000 papal visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, offered the following speeches, first on Mar. 21st in Tel Aviv, Israel, and then on Mar. 22nd in Bethlehem, West Bank:
"Mr President, you are known as a man of peace and a peacemaker. We all know how urgent is the need for peace and justice, not for Israel alone but for the entire region. Many things have changed in relations between the Holy See and the State of Israel since my predecessor Pope Paul VI came here in 1964. The establishment of diplomatic relations between us in 1994 set a seal on efforts to open an era of dialogue on questions of common interest concerning religious freedom, relations between Church and State and, more generally, relations between Christians and Jews. On another level, world opinion follows with close attention the peace process which finds all the peoples of the region involved in the difficult search for a lasting peace with justice for all. With new found openness towards one another, Christians and Jews together must make courageous efforts to remove all forms of prejudice. We must strive always and everywhere to present the true face of the Jews and of Judaism, as likewise of Christians and of Christianity, and this at every level of attitude, teaching and communication." (Mar. 21, 2000)At Gaza:
"Mr. Arafat, as I thank you for the warm welcome you have given me in the name of the Palestinian Authority and People, I express all my happiness at being here today. How can I fail to pray that the divine gift of peace will become more and more a reality for all who live in this land, uniquely marked by God's interventions? Peace for the Palestinian people! Peace for all the peoples of the region! No one can ignore how much the Palestinian people have had to suffer in recent decades. Your torment is before the eyes of the world. And it has gone on too long.
The Holy See has always recognized that the Palestinian people have the natural right to a homeland, and the right to be able to live in peace and tranquility with the other peoples of this area. In the international forum, my predecessors and I have repeatedly proclaimed that there would be no end to the sad conflict in the Holy Land without stable guarantees for the rights of all the peoples involved, on the basis of international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions and declarations... Dear Friends, I am fully aware of the great challenges facing the Palestinian Authority and People in every field of economic and cultural development. In a particular way my prayers are with those Palestinians—Muslim and Christian—who are still without a home of their own, their proper place in society and the possibility of a normal working life. My hope is that my visit today to the Deheisha Refugee Camp will serve to remind the international community that decisive action is needed to improve the situation of the Palestinian people. I was particularly pleased at the unanimous acceptance by the United Nations of the Resolution on Bethlehem 2000, which commits the international community to help in developing this area and in improving conditions of peace and reconciliation in one of the most cherished and significant places on earth."(Mar. 22, 2000)
Mar. 21 & 22, 2000 - Pope John Paul II, PhD