Catholic Holy Land leader put peace onus on Israel

The head of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land has rejected the idea of a religious State saying it would exclude other religions and that peace depends on
Israel's recognition that Palestinians are equal.

IN his Christmas message, AFP reports that Latin Patriach Michel Sabbah said the "occupier" - Israel - has the obligation to see what is just for all and carry out measure to attain this "courageously".

"Israelis and Palestinians are in a new phase after relaunching the peace process in the US city of Annapolis last month following a seven-year freeze," Sabbah said.

"There is something new in this Annapolis. That the American administration is decided (to push for peace), though the decision will be taken by those who are here, Palestinians and Israelis," he said.

"And the one who will make the decision will be Israel. If Israel decides for peace, we will have peace."

The patriarch, who oversees Catholics in Cyprus, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories, said the Holy Land was universal to Christians, Jews and Muslims, and that any state must recognise those claims.

"This land cannot be excluded for anyone, it belongs to three religions, without excluding one religion or the other," he said.

"That's why establishing a religious state, with a Jewish or Muslim religious character, would exclude the other religion and would treat unjustly the believers of other religions," he said.

Mideast Catholic leader says peace depends on Israel
(AFP, 19/12/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Michel Sabbah (Wikipedia)
Michel Sabbah (Catholic Hierachy)

20 Dec 2007