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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

U.S. Bishop Says Jews Have No 'Exclusive Right' To Israel

It is human to feel special, favored, blessed and privileged and that is good, the bad part of the equation is that it breeds arrogance to claim rights over others. Religions teach one to raise above those claims and the wisdom is, the more you feel privileged, the more isolated you become and makes you territorial and insecure and resort to unethical behavior bringing misery to yourselves and others around you.

God has not signed a deal with any one behind our backs. Neither Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus or any one has that deal. If God were to do that, we are painting him as a villain to those whom we don't like. Let's not mess with God. God simply cannot be prejudiced, discriminative and doing favors to one and not the others. God is not a Villain.

Indeed, God wants us to get along, like a mother wants for her children, like a chef wants his customers to enjoy his or her food, like the artist who wants the whole world to cherish her work.

Mike Ghouse
U.S. Bishop Says Jews Have No 'Exclusive Right' To Israel
First Posted: 10-25-10 04:58 PM   |   Updated: 10-25-10 04:58 PM
Vatican Israel
By Francis X. Rocca
Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A special Vatican meeting on the Middle East ended Saturday (Oct. 23) with a flare-up in Catholic-Jewish tensions, after an American bishop declared the Bible does not give Jews privileged rights to the land of Israel.

"We Christians cannot speak of the 'promised land' as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people," said Archbishop Cyril Bustros, a native of Lebanon who is currently a Melkite Greek Catholic bishop in Newton, Mass.

"This promise was nullified by Christ," Bustros said at a Vatican press conference marking the end of a two-week session of the Synod of Bishops. "There is no longer a chosen people -- all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people."

Bustros' remark drew swift and strong rebukes from Israeli spokesmen.

"The comments of Archbishop Bustros reflect either shocking ignorance or insubordination in relation to the Catholic Church's teaching on Jews and Judaism," said Rabbi David Rosen, director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee and an adviser to Israel's Chief Rabbinate.

Rosen, who addressed the synod in its first week, said the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s affirmed "the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish People, which is inextricably bound up with the land of Israel."

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called Bustros' statement "a libel against the Jewish people and the State of Israel," and expressed "our disappointment that this important synod has become a forum for political attacks on Israel in the best history of Arab propaganda."

"The synod was hijacked by an anti-Israel majority," Ayalon said.

The two-week meeting, which was attended by 185 bishops, most of them from the 22 "Eastern Catholic" Churches loyal to Rome, focused on the precarious plight of 5.7 million Catholics in 16 Middle Eastern countries.

The synod's closing document deplored both Palestinian suffering as a consequence of the "Israeli occupation" and the "suffering and insecurity in which Israelis live." It also reiterated a frequent theme of synod participants by calling for "religious freedom and freedom of conscience" in Muslim lands.

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