Progress Intensifies Ahead of Papal Visit
JERUSALEM, APRIL 24, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Ahead of Benedict XVI's visit to the Holy Land, members of the Israel-Holy See Bilateral Permanent Working Commission report that "meaningful" progress is being made to conclude their agreements.
A working-level meeting of the commission met Thursday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem to continue negotiations on the economic agreement regarding the fiscal system and Church properties.
"The meeting was characterized by great cordiality and a spirit of cooperation," stated a communiqué published jointly by the Holy See and Israel.
"Meaningful progress was achieved by receiving a report from a working group, and the delegations renewed their joint commitment to conclude the agreement as soon as possible," the note affirmed.
The commission will meet for a plenary session next Thursday at Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Since signing the Fundamental Agreement in 1993, which established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel, the two sides have been negotiating the particulars of tax exemptions and property rights for the Church, in particular for the holy sites. Talks stopped altogether in 2003 for several years, and began again in 2005.
While the negotiations have nothing officially to do with Benedict XVI's visit to the Holy Land, which will take place May 8-15, sources in the Vatican explain that Israel is interested in the good image the Pope's visit can give to the nation, and the Church is interested in consolidating its presence in the Holy Land.
Holocaust Hypocrisy! (YouTube video)
Holocaust Hypocrisy! (article)
Learn the lessons of Hitler's war against the Jews: there's no lasting place for Jews in the Exile (where most remain), that such a self-imposed exile will lead to self-destruction (in one way or another), that you must take your enemies at their word, not your wishful thinking (like the delusional "peace" process), and it's necessary to return to the Torah of God and Homeland of Israel.
Warning Jews about the pope's plans for Jerusalem: Rome's dream will become Jerusalem's NIGHTMARE
Pope's Evil Eye on Jerusalem! (You Tube video)
The Nazi pope aims to rip the heart out of Israel: Jerusalem!
The Vatican plot against Jerusalem exposed!
Israel must reject Vatican overtures for peace or lose Jerusalem!