Friday, 10 June 2011

Here comes the Anti-Christ : Palestinian state is an urgent need : Pope



Vatican Says Jews' Wait for Messiah Is Validated by the Old Testament


Pope: Palestinian state is an urgent need

June 04, 2011 02:01 AM Agence France Press

“Particular stress was laid on the urgent need to find a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the Vatican said in a statement after the talks.

Any resolution to the conflict will have to respect the rights of all parties including through “the attainment of the Palestinian people’s legitimate aspirations for an independent state,” the statement added.

“It was thus reiterated that soon the State of Israel and the Palestinian State must live in security, at peace with their neighbors and within internationally recognized borders,” it continued.

Also Friday, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe concluded his visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories by claiming that the proposed Middle East peace conference in Paris next month had “a chance” of taking place.

Juppe met with Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak and opposition leader Tzipi Livni before leaving Friday.

“I have read in the press that the Israeli government is studying our proposal, so there is no barrier,” he said after meeting Livni.

After meeting Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah Thursday, Juppe called the current stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians “untenable.”
Fayyad welcomed the idea of a peace conference but Israel has yet to make a formal response.

Juppe is to head to the United States next week to promote France’s plan, which has so far drawn a non-committal response from Washington.

Earlier Friday in Jerusalem Juppe met the parents of a Palestinian with French nationality who has been in an Israeli jail for six years over a plot to kill a right-wing Israeli rabbi.

Salah Hamuri, 26, was arrested in March 2005 on charges of conspiring with the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to assassinate Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

The rare gesture by France’s top diplomat came the day after he met the parents of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was captured by Palestinian militants in June 2006.

“He assured me that in all his meetings with the Israelis, he had requested clemency for Salah but in every time they said no,” said his mother Denise Hamuri.
“He said he wanted to give us the same attention [as the Shalit family] and that he wanted to meet both families,” she added.

Hamuri was convicted in April 2008 by an Israeli military court on charges of conspiracy to murder and sentenced to seven years behind bars.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 04, 2011, on page 8.

Jews Affirmed in their wait for Messiah –
Vatican Affirms Torah as Scripture !

Debating the Messiah


Eric J. Greenberg

Courtesy of The Jewish Week

The Wait Is Over: Jews' Messiah Now Kosher, Vatican affirms Jewish position; scholars scramble to decipher new doctrine.

In 1967, during the early thaw of Catholic-Jewish relations, Rabbi Irving "Yitz" Greenberg addressed a Catholic audience about the conflicting Messiah beliefs. The Orthodox rabbi noted that one difference between Jews and Catholic is whether the Messiah is coming for the first or second time. Christians believe the Messiah - a Jew from Nazareth called Jesus - came 2,000 years ago, and after dying and being resurrected, will someday return to redeem the world. Jews say the Messiah has yet to arrive - a belief that led to centuries of Christian anti-Semitism and killings of Jews who refused to accept the Christian view.

Rabbi Greenberg suggested the dispute be tabled until the Messiah arrives. When the Messiah comes, Jews and Christians "can ask him if this is his first coming or his second," finally putting the issue to rest.

But this week, the Messiah debate suddenly took center stage in Jewish-Catholic relations, in an appropriately bizarre and mysterious manner. It follows the revelation last week that the Vatican's top biblical scholars recently issued a report that for the first time in nearly 2,000 years apparently validates as legitimate the Jewish wait for the Messiah.

A 210-page document titled "The Jewish People and the Holy Scriptures in the Christian Bible," by the Pontifical Biblical Commission and authorized by the Vatican's top theologian, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, reportedly states that "the Jewish messianic wait is not in vain." It reportedly says Jews and Christians share their wait for the Messiah, although Jews are waiting for the first coming and Christians for the second. The new document also reportedly contains an apology to the Jewish people for anti-Semitic passages contained in the New Testament, and also stresses the continuing importance of the Torah for Christians. (AMAZING !?!)

How that declaration squares with the new "Messiah document" was a source of much speculation this week. But Fisher contended it's a major positive development. "If you put off the moment that Jews will come to recognize Jesus as the Messiah until the end of time, then we don't need to work or pray for the conversion of Jews to Christianity," he said. "God already has the salvation of Jews figured out, and they accepted it on Sinai, so they are OK."

"Jews are already with the Father," he continued. "We do not have a mission to the Jews, but only a mission with the Jews to the world. The Catholic Church will never again sanction an organization devoted to the conversion of the Jews. That is over, on doctrinal, biblical and pastoral grounds. Finito."

Signer, also a Reform rabbi said, "What's really new is the validation of the Jewish position as truth, that the Jewish waiting for the Messiah is a correct theological viewpoint. If the document says what we think, it is another very important theological step in the respect for Judaism as a living tradition."

"It's a very important, critical statement," said Rabbi Jack Bemporad, head of the Center for Interreligious Understanding. "Up until now they were saying Jews are completely and absolutely wrong and we are waiting in vain and blind to the truth."

Others were more cautious, noting continued significant differences in Messiah beliefs - particularly that Christians believe that their Messiah is Jesus who is also God, while for Jews the Messiah is not a divine being and cannot be Jesus because he died before bringing the redemption.

Rabbi James Rudin, senior interreligious adviser to the American Jewish Committee, raised several concerns. "Does the new book instruct Catholics to fully accept the fact there is not only theological space in God's universe for Jews/Judaism, but they must also affirm that the identity of long awaited Messiah, so ardently prayed for by Jews for centuries, is unknown and will remain unknown until the Messiah appears?" he asked. "That is a clear affirmation of Judaism with no theological strings attached, no Jesus waiting for Jews at the end of the theological day. If this is the book's message, then it is an important step forward on the part of the Catholic Church."

Father Pawlikowski stressed that the new document also appears to affirm the importance of the "Jewish Bible," a new term for the Vatican that he said would be highly significant if it replaces the traditional "Old Testament," which has a negative implication as being replaced by the "New Testament." "The document seems to say that Christians should never deprecate or see the Jewish Bible as inferior, which coming from major Vatican biblical scholars could have profound implications for Catholic religious and educational material," Father Pawlikowski said.

Vatican Says Jews' Wait for Messiah Is Validated by the Old Testament
Published: January 18, 2002

The Vatican has issued what some Jewish scholars are calling an important document that explicitly says, ''The Jewish wait for the Messiah is not in vain.''

The scholarly work, effectively a rejection of and apology for the way some Christians have viewed the Old Testament, was signed by the pope's theologian, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

The document says Jews and Christians in fact share the wait for the Messiah, though Jews are waiting for the first coming, and Christians for the second.

''The difference consists in the fact that for us, he who will come will have the same traits of that Jesus who has already come,'' wrote Cardinal Ratzinger, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

At least one Jewish scholar said the new document is a marked departure from ''Dominus Iesus,'' a study of the redemptive role of Jesus that was released last year in Cardinal Ratzinger's name and that fanned disputes between Catholic and Jewish scholars.

The new document also says Catholics must regard the Old Testament as ''retaining all of its value, not just as literature, but its moral value,'' said JoaquĆ­n Navarro-Valls, the pope's spokesman. ''You cannot say, 'Now that Jesus has come, it becomes a second-rate document.' ''

''The expectancy of the Messiah was in the Old Testament,'' he went on, ''and if the Old Testament keeps its value, then it keeps that as a value, too. It says you cannot just say all the Jews are wrong and we are right.''

Asked whether that could be taken to mean that the Messiah may or may not have come, Dr. Navarro-Valls said no. ''It means it would be wrong for a Catholic to wait for the Messiah, but not for a Jew,'' he said.

The document, the result of years of work by the Pontifical Biblical Commission, goes on to apologize for the fact that certain New Testament passages that criticize the Pharisees, for example, had been used to justify anti-Semitism.

Everything in the report is now considered part of official church doctrine, Dr. Navarro-Valls said.

The Rev. Albert Vanhoye, a Jesuit scholar who worked on the commission, said the project sees Scripture as a link between Christians and Jews, and the New Testament as a continuation of the Old, though divergent in obvious ways.

A number of Jewish scholars and leaders said they were pleased but stunned and would have to take some time to digest fully the complicated, 210-page study, published in French and Italian.

Newly Leaked Cable: Pope ‘quietly supportive’ of GMOs

By Rady Ananda

Just released yesterday, a November 19, 2009 leaked cable indicates Pope Benedict XVI supports genetically modified foods, though he will not publicly admit it. A June 2009 cable from the US Vatican Embassy confirmed the Pontiff’s refusal to take a stance on GM foods, which was verified in December 2010 by a Vatican spokesperson. However, this latest cable tells quite a different story:

“Linking development with use of agricultural technologies (i.e., biotechnologies), Benedict stressed good governance and further infrastructure development as essential to increasing food security over the long-term. (Note: Benedict’s mention of agricultural technologies is a small but significant step towards more vocal Vatican support of biotechnologies. End Note)”

The analyst further concludes:

“While the Vatican’s message on caring for the environment is loud and clear, its message on biotechnologies is still low-profile (ref. b). Quietly supportive, the Church considers the choice of whether to embrace GMOs as a technical decision for farmers and governments.”

Providing much more analysis than the June 2009 cable, the November 2009 cable indicates strong support within the Vatican scientific community, which apparently remains unaware of the biotech industry’s penchant for suppressing science:
“The Vatican’s own scientific academy has stated that there is no evidence GMOs are harmful, and that they could indeed be part of addressing global food security. However, when individual Church leaders, for ideological reasons or ignorance, speak out against GMOs, the Vatican does not — at least not yet — feel that it is its duty to challenge them.”

Vatican proponents of GM foods may have missed several scientific reports [1] that highlight problems with GMOs. As previously reported, several times:
* GM foods have been linked to organ damage and sterility in mammals, while others correlate rising diabetes and obesity rates with GMO introduction. There’s also the question of allergic reaction to GM foods, proof of which is hidden by lack of labeling.

* GM crops (and GM forests) are genetically modified to produce or tolerate pesticides. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, has been linked to birth defects, cancer and miscarriages in humans. Pesticides are suspected in causing or contributing to mass bee, bat and butterfly die-off, as well as a pandemic amphibian decline. Their use is also linked to 11 million acres of superweeds in the U.S.

* Further, GM crops cannot be contained. They’ve spread in nations all over the world, even becoming established in the wild.

Given such strong evidence of environmental harm, the Pope’s strong advocacy of the environment would logically include opposition to GM crops. In fact, we find the opposite.

This latest cable further confirms that globally promoting genetically modified foods is a high priority for the US State Department. As discussed in a prior piece, numerous leaked cables reveal a strong focus by embassy officials on cataloging how nations perceive GMOs, boosting GM acceptance in Africa, and even going so far as to discuss spiking food prices to spur GM acceptance in Europe. The latest cable is no different:

“Post will continue to lobby the Vatican to speak up in favor of GMOs, in the hope that a louder voice in Rome will encourage individual Church leaders elsewhere to reconsider their critical views. End Comment.”
Strong opposition within the church cites the monopoly control over food held by multinational corporations:

“The Vatican cannot force all bishops to endorse biotechnology, he said, particularly if their opposition has to do with concerns over protecting profits oflarge corporations who hold the patents for the crops, versus feeding the hungry. In the Philippines, he noted, bishops strongly protested GMOs in the past. (Note: South African Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier’s November 16 comments to a news agency that ‘Africans do not need GMOs, but water’ is another example of specific Church leaders skeptical about the potential benefits of new biotechnologies. End note.).”
Corporate control of the food supply is only one problem with biotech foods, albeit a major one. After fourteen years of commercial experience, the U.S. is fast becoming the poster child for why nations, and the Church, should reject such technology.


[1] See, e.g.:
GM Soy: Sustainable? Responsible? Summary of scientific evidence on genetically modified soy and the effects of the herbicide glyphosate, Sept. 2010

Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use: The First Thirteen Years, The Organic Center, November 2009

Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops, Union of Concerned Scientists, April 2009

50 Harmful Effects of Genetically Modified Foods by Nathan Batalion, 2000, rev. 2009