Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Vatican to Israel: Straighten Out Your Act!

The Vatican, under B-16, is noticeably more 'edgy.'

The Vatican urged Israel Monday to send out the "positive signals" Pope Benedict XVI needs to pave the way for an historic visit to the Holy Land.

Israel and the Vatican have been in negotiations since 2004, following a 10-year hiatus, over a bilateral accord on the legal and financial status of the Roman Catholic Church in Israel

...Centered on the economic element of a heads of agreement signed between the two states in 1993, the negotiations are principally concerned with the legal and tax status of Church property and commercial activities of Christian communities in Israel.

In a related complaint, the Custos of the Holy Land, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, has bemoaned the difficulties for priests and monks who come from Arab countries in obtaining visas to travel to Israel.

He also described "the great suffering" of Israel's 170,000-strong Christian community, given political, economic and social problems in the region

It's not exactly news that Israel has found lots of twitzy rules, objections, and minor roadblocks for Catholics in the Holy Land--Palestinian Christians, for example, have very few (if any) job opportunities because it's almost impossible for them to cross into Israel to work.

But Israel's continuing foot-dragging is an embarassment.

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