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Vatican rejects Israeli complaint


The Vatican has rejected Israel's criticism that Pope Benedict XVI failed to condemn Palestinian militant attacks against Israel in his recent remarks.

The BBC reports that a Vatican statement said it could not condemn every Palestinian strike because Israel's own response had sometimes violated international law.

Israel had complained that the Pope on Sunday left the country off a list of those recently hit by terror attacks.

The Pope deplored the attacks in Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and Britain.

The latest statement from the Vatican said: "It's not always possible to immediately follow every attack against Israel with a public statement of condemnation."

It said this was mainly because "the attacks against Israel sometimes were followed by immediate Israel reactions not always compatible with the rules of international law".

"It would thus be impossible to condemn the first (Palestinian attacks) and let the second (Israeli retaliation) pass in silence".

The statement added that "the Holy See cannot take lessons or instructions from any other authority on the tone and content of its statements".

Earlier this week, it criticised the Pope for failing to mention a 12 July suicide bombing in Netanya that killed five Israelis.

Meanwhile Pope Benedict XVI completed his holiday in Valle d'Aosta in the Italian Alps, and travelled to his summer residence at Castelgandolfo, south of Rome, late on Thursday.

Shortly after his arrival, the Holy Father appeared at the balcony of the Apostolic Palace to greet the people waiting in the square below: "Dear brothers and sisters," he said, "I have just arrived from Valle d'Aosta where I spent two delightful weeks in the mountains; but I am happy to be with you here today in the castle of the Popes."

"For more than a month," he went on, "I will be your fellow citizen; it is a joy for me to be in this beautiful little town, to live with you and to contemplate the splendor of the ancient Roman countryside. Thank you for your affection and friendship."

His stay at Castelgandolfo will be interrupted from 18 to 21 August when the Pope will travel to Cologne, Germany, for World Youth Day.

SOURCE
Vatican rejects Israeli complaint (BBC 29/7/05)
Holy Father arrives at Castelgandolfo (Vatican Information Service 29/7/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Israeli Foreign Ministry

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32 Aug 2005