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If Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa can, today, pray freely in Jerusalem, it is thanks to the fact that Israel controls the city.

He should learn more about freedom of religious practice in all countries where Islam is the state religion, that is to say in all Arab-Muslim states! He would easily see that this freedom is zero!

It is true that he cares very little about the way his Christian Brothers are treated in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon or elsewhere... At a time when the Pope is so concerned about the fate of the Rohingyas (Muslims) and so few of the Eastern Christians!

We are a long way from the thought of John XXIII or John Paul II.

And, let us remind all those who criticize the presence of Israel in Jerusalem that freedom of worship in Jerusalem, and for all religions without exception, has only been guaranteed in this city since 1967.

Never before have the Roman, Greek, Christian or Muslim occupants been able or willing to ensure freedom of worship on this land and in Jerusalem in particular.

We can only regret that President Macron did not remember to remind King Abdallah, during his visit, that the sad time when Jews could not go to their holy places is over! That, as Donald Trump has so rightly proclaimed, never, never again, will the Jews accept being deprived of access to the Temple Wall which the Jordanian occupiers had transformed, in an ignominious way, into a latrine!

No, Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Jews will never again be subjected to anyone's contempt and don't forget that you are in a free and democratic country where you can say all these nonsense without being worried.

Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the words you speak are unworthy of a man of the church and unworthy of the sacred ground you walk on.

Your remarks to Vice President Mike Pence show how much freedom of access to holy places would be threatened if, unfortunately, Israel no longer ensured their free access.

Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa, your words spoil the spirit of God that reigns on this earth.


Richard C. ABITBOL



Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate during a press conference at the Patriarchate premises in Jerusalem's Old City on December 20, 2017. (AFP / GALI TIBBON)

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa says mainstream Christian churches would find it problematic for Mike Pence to officially visit holy sites in Jerusalem in January

The top Catholic official in Jerusalem on Wednesday blamed Donald Trump for undermining the spirit of Christmas by recognizing the city as Israel's capital, and for leading hundreds of Christians to cancel their visit.

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, also said mainstream Christian churches would find problematic any official request from US Vice President Mike Pence to visit holy sites in Jerusalem when he is scheduled to visit in January. .

He advised Mr. Pence “to listen more” to other communities than to the Christian evangelists of which he is a part and who are believed to have strongly influenced the decision of the American president.

Mr. Trump's December 6 announcement of his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, "created tensions around Jerusalem and distracted attention from Christmas," at a time of year when many pilgrims traditionally go to the Holy City, Archbishop Pizzaballa told the press.

It also caused tensions in Bethlehem, another center of Christianity in the West Bank, "it scared a lot of people, and we had fewer people than expected," he said.

The archbishop spoke of "dozens of cancellations" of group trips, representing hundreds of people.

The Church, however, maintained all planned holidays, to "express (its) determination to continue the celebrations", he said.

Mr. Trump's statement, breaking with decades of American and international diplomacy on the status of Jerusalem, one of the thorniest issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

US Vice President Mike Pence at the Christians United for Israel group conference in Washington, July 7, 2017. (CUFI via JTA)

Bishop Pizzaballa, the highest Roman Catholic dignitary in the Middle East, reiterated the Church's opposition to any “unilateral” initiative that changes the status quo governing relations between religious communities in Jerusalem.

Mr. Pence was originally expected this week in Jerusalem. The fate of Christians in the Middle East was initially to be at the heart of his trip, but this message has gradually been relegated to the background, to the point that he was not to meet any representative of the traditional Christian Churches.

The White House on Monday announced the postponement of that visit until mid-January to, it said, allow Mr. Pence to be present for a crucial vote in the Senate.

Archbishop Pizzaballa said US officials did not request that Mr. Pence visit holy sites in Jerusalem, such as the Holy Sepulchre. If they did in January, “it would be a problem for us”.

As a pilgrim, “we cannot say no to anyone, even the greatest sinner in the world, but if it was a request for an official visit, “we cannot neglect the consequences or the political aspects” , he added without specifying his point.

"I suggest he listen more to others, no one has a monopoly on Jesus, not even evangelists," he said.

Source: ©  Catholic leader accuses Trump of spoiling Christmas spirit in Jerusalem

0 Comment

  • Hot
    Published December 21th 20h27 0Likes

    The so-called Catholic dignitaries are not religious, but politicians.
    The Catholic religion was created at the time of the fall of the Roman Empire.
    This religion, by its doctrine, is brain manipulation.
    Officials also have the status of politicians (the legate is in fact an ambassador with the same rights as those of the countries).
    So stop moaning that Trump's announcement ruined the Christmas festivities.
    Knowing that the conquest of the Christian world was made with the sword and its share of deaths in the massacres.

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