Vatican body urges UN to end Israeli occupation
VATICAN CITY (AFP) – Catholic bishops in the Middle East urged the United Nations Saturday to end the Israeli occupation of Arab lands at the end of a meeting chaired by Pope Benedict XVI.
In a final statement of their two-week synod, the bishops and patriarchs of the region’s Catholic churches said the citizens of the Middle East “call upon the international community, particularly the United Nations, conscientiously to work to find a peaceful, just and definitive solution in the region, through the application of the Security Council?s resolutions and taking the necessary legal steps to put an end to the occupation of the different Arab territories.
“Recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the Word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable,” the synod said.
“On the contrary, recourse to religion must lead every person to see the face of God in others and to treat them according to their God-given prerogatives and God?s commandments, namely, according to God’s bountiful goodness, mercy, justice and love for us.”
Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, head of the Greek Melkite Church in the United States, who headed the commission that drew up the final statement, said, “The theme of the promised land cannot be used as a basis to justify the return of the Jews to Israel and the expatriation of the Palestinians.”
“For Christians one can no longer talk of the land promised to the Jewish people,” he told a press conference, because the “promise” was “abolished by the presence of Christ.”
In the kingdom of God, which covers the whole world, “there is no longer a favoured people, a chosen people, all men and women of every country have become the chosen people,” the Lebanese-born Butros said.
Not my usual subject, but it looks like “recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the Word of God to wrongly justify injustices” is still subject to interpretation.