Israel Democracy Institute
Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land take note that the proposal for a two-State solution has gone nowhere and is repeated to no avail. In fact, all talk of political solution seems empty rhetoric in the present situation". The relevant admission is contained in the message signed by the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, and shows an objective discontinuity with respect to the formulas and recurring contents in the official pronouncements of Catholic bodies around the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
In recent years, individual members of Churches in the Middle East had prefigured during interviews and media interventions the formula "two peoples - two States" envisaged as a declared objective of the Peace process initiated with the Oslo agreements and the Conference of Madrid: The negotiated creation of two distinct States, which already existed in the partition plan delineated by the UN in 1947. In November 2012, a UN resolution also recognized the State of Palestine. The Holy See recognized the State of Palestine and Pope Francis himself, in his official pronouncements, referred to the formula "two peoples - two States".
Now, the ordinary Catholic bishops of the Holy Land promote a new vision "for Jerusalem and the whole land, called Israel and Palestine, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea". According to this vision - reads their official statement - "everyone in this Holy Land has full equality, the equality befitting all men and women created equal in God’s own image and likeness. We believe that equality, whatever political solutions might be adopted, is a fundamental condition for a just and lasting peace".
Currently the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land is presided over by Moussa al Hage, Maronite Archbishop of Haifa. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and Father Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land, are part of this ecclesial body. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 22/5/2019)