Tag Archives: Palestine Liberation Organization

New at the #Vatican: Palestinian Liberation Organization –> State of Palestine.— Religion NewsService (@RNS) May 13, 2015


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Vatican decision to recognize Palestine upsets Israeli government, Jewish advocacy groups – Religion News Service


JERUSALEM (RNS) The Vatican’s decision to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state on Wednesday (May 13) angered Israeli officials.

The move comes four days before the first-ever canonization of two Palestinian nuns and it solidifies the standing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel that the government is “disappointed by the decision. We believe that such a decision is not conducive to bringing the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.”

Israel insists that for the Palestinians to achieve statehood, they must first end their armed struggle against Israel and recognize its right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Although the treaty codifies the Holy See’s relations with the Palestinian Authority, the Vatican has already referred to the “State of Palestine” in some official documents, including the official program handed out during Pope Francis’ Holy Land pilgrimage last year.

In recent years, the Vatican has stepped up its efforts to support Palestinian Christians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza as their numbers have dwindled due to emigration spurred by wars and economic hardships.

A majority of Christians in the Holy Land — including Israel — are either ethnic Palestinians or live alongside them in the same towns and villages. Sisters Maria Baouardy and Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, who were both Christian Arabs, are due to be canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday.

William Shomali, the auxiliary bishop of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said the Vatican’s announcement “was not a surprise” because “the pope called President Abbas the president of the State of Palestine” during his 2014 pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

But David Harris, executive director of the AJC, the leading global Jewish advocacy organization, said the decision was “regrettable“ and “counterproductive to all who seek true peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

“We are fully cognizant of the pope’s goodwill and desire to be a voice for peaceful coexistence, which is best served, we believe, by encouraging a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, rather than unilateral gestures outside the framework of the negotiating table,” Harris concluded.

Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the action was “premature” and would “undermine the only real solution to the decades-old conflict, which is engaging in direct negotiations.”

YS/MG END CHABIN

Categories: Institutions, Politics

Tags: AJC, Foreign Ministry, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Palestine, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Vatican

via Vatican decision to recognize Palestine upsets Israeli government, Jewish advocacy groups – Religion News Service.

Fr Gustavo Gutierrez: the poor are the starting point of liberation theology :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez Merino, O.P., who is regarded as the father of liberation theology. Photo courtesy of Notre Dame/Matt Cashore

Vatican City, May 8, 2015 / 01:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Attention to the poor was the point of departure for liberation theology claimed Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez Merino, widely acknowledged as the founder of the movement, in a May 8 article in the Vatican‘s newspaper.

Fr. Gutierrez underscored that this attention to the poor came from what liberation theologians experienced in their own lives and lands.

“We referred to the poor as non-persons, but not in philosophical sense, because it is obvious that each human being is a person, rather in a sociological sense; the poor, that is, are not accepted as persons in our society. They are invisible and have not rights, their dignity is not recognized,” the Peruvian theologian wrote.

The publication of the article may be considered a sort of response to the assertions of Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former general in communist Romania’s secret police during the Cold War who defected to the West in the 1970s. In an interview with Catholic News Agency, Pacepa said the KGB created liberation theology and helped to foster it in Latin America, a claim which garnered attention within the Vatican’s walls.

The article published in L’Osservatore Romano is in fact an excerpt from one of Fr. Gutierrez’ books. It begins by saying there are two schools of thought about poverty, and both come from the Gospel: the first is focused on Christ’s sensitivity toward the poor and their suffering, and the second, that Christ himself “had lived a life of poverty, and so Christians, from their origin, understood that in order to be his disciples they also had to live a life of poverty.”

“Both of these schools are true,” he said, but “we have to interpret these two points of view on the bases of our historical context and of our lives.”

Fr. Gutierrez said the first perspective may be found in Luke’s version of the beatitude of the poor (Blessed are you poor, for the kingdom of God is yours), while the second is reflected in Matthew’s (Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven).

“I think both lines of thought – poverty as scandal and poverty of spirit – can be useful, although their meaning must be actualized in our historical period,” reflected Fr. Gutierrez.

He explained that “a new notion of poverty” has emerged in the past century. “Poverty, in Bible and in our times, is not a merely economic issue. Poverty is very much more than this. The economic dimension is important, perhaps primary, but it is is not the only one.”

Noting that we have become more aware of the multiple dimensions of poverty, Fr. Gutierrez said, “poverty was clearly the starting point of liberation theology, though we had not fully understood its complexity or variety.”

The Dominican priest, who will speak at next week’s general assembly of Caritas Internationalis, stressed that liberation theologians referred to the poor in a sociological sense, as persons “who are invisible and and have no rights.”

“We also defined them as the “insignificant.” It is possible to be insignificant for several reasons: if you do not have money, in our society you are insignificant; the colour of your skin may be another reason to be deemed insignificant … what is common among the poor is insignificance, invisibility, and a lack of respect,” Fr. Gutierrez said.

He then added that “these mutual complexities are different from one another” and that “the sense of non-person can be caused by several prejudices,” whether based on race, sex, culture, or economic status.

Fr. Gutierrez provided the example of a black Protestant pastor, who began a 1969 speech with the words: “We must feel that we exist!” “That strong declaration is the shout of the poor,” Fr. Gutierrez said.

The Dominican also provided the example of Peru’s indigenous people, who “are invisible, irrelevant … this is the sad story of an Indian’s daily life: even when he goes to the hospital to be cured, he is ignored,” wrote Fr. Gutierrez.

He then added that “poverty today is a phenomenon of our globalized civilization. For centuries, the poor have been close to us, they lived more or less near us, in the city or in the countryside. However, today we have realized that poverty goes very much beyond our gaze, it is a global phenomenon, if not universal. The majority of human beings in the world live in the condition we call poverty.”

This is a turning point, according to Fr. Gutierrez. He emphasized that in spiritual, moral or liturgical books of the past, writers “merely spoke of how to directly help the poor, who were close to us.” But “today we should be aware that our neighbors are both near and far. We must understand that a relation of ‘neighborhood’ is the result of our commitment.”

via Fr Gustavo Gutierrez: the poor are the starting point of liberation theology :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Palestinian Christians


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Palestinian Christians are Palestinians who belong to one of a number of Christian denominations in Israel and the Palestinian territories, including Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglican, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholic (Eastern and Western rites), Protestant, and others. In both the local dialect of Palestinian Arabic and in classical or modern standard Arabic, Christians are called Nasrani (a derivative of the Arabic word for Nazareth, al-Nasira) or Masihi (a derivative of Arabic word Masih, meaning “Messiah“).[1] In Hebrew, they are called Notzri (also spelt Notsri), which means “Nazarene”.

Today, Christians comprise less than 4% of the Palestinian population of Israel and the Palestinian territories – approximately 8% of the Arab population of the West Bank, less than 1% in the Gaza Strip, and nearly 10% of the Arab population in Israel.[2] According to official British Mandatory estimates, Palestine’s Christian population in 1922 comprised 9.5% of the total population (10.8% of the Palestinian population), and 7.9% in 1946.[3] The Palestinian Christian population greatly decreased from 1948 to 1967. A large number fled or were expelled from the area during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and a small number left during Jordanian control of the West Bank for economic reasons. Since 1967, the Palestinian Christian population has increased in excess of the continued emigration.[4]

Worldwide, there are nearly one million Palestinian Christians in these territories as well as in the Palestinian diaspora, comprising over 10% of the world’s total Palestinian population. Palestinian Christians live primarily in Arab states surrounding historic Palestine and in the diaspora, particularly in South America, Europe and North America.

Demographics and denominations

In 2009, there were an estimated 50,000 Christians in the Palestinian territories, mostly in the West Bank, with about 3,000 in the Gaza Strip.[5] Of the total Christian population of 154,000 in Israel, about 80% are Arabs, many of whom also self-identify as Palestinian.[5] The majority (56%) of Palestinian Christians live in the Palestinian diaspora.[6]

According to the CIA World Factbook, as of 2013, the population statistics on Palestinian and related Arab-Israeli Christians are as follows:[7][8][9]

Population group Christian population  % Christian
West Bank* 214,000 8
Gaza Strip 12,000 0.7
Arab Christians in Israel** 123,000 10
Non-Arab Christians in Israel 29,000 0.4
Total Arab Christians 349,000 6.0
Total Christians (including non-Arabs) 378,000 3.0
* The figure includes Samaritans and other unspecified minorities.[dubious ]**Arab Christians in Israel do not necessarily identify as Palestinian.

Around 50% of Palestinian Christians belong to the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, one of the 16 churches of Eastern Orthodoxy. This community has also been known as the Arab Orthodox Christians. There are also Maronites, Melkite-Eastern Catholics, Jacobites, Chaldeans, Roman Catholics (locally known as Latins), Syriac Catholics, Orthodox Copts, Catholic Copts, Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholic, Quakers (Friends Society), Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans (Episcopal), Lutherans, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Nazarene, Assemblies of God, Baptists and other Protestants; in addition to small groups of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and others.

The Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theófilos III, is the leader of the Palestinian and Jordanian Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, but Israel has refused to recognize his appointment.[10] If confirmed, he would replace Patriarch Irenaios (in office from 2001), whose status within the church became disputed after a term surrounded by controversy and scandal given that he sold Palestinian property to Israeli Orthodox Jews.[11] Archbishop Theodosios (Hanna) of Sebastia is the highest ranking Palestinian clergyman in the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, is the leader of the Roman Catholics in Jerusalem, Palestine, Jordan, Israel and Cyprus. The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem is Suheil Dawani,[12] who replaced Bishop Riah Abou Al Assal. Elias Chacour, a Palestinian refugee, of the Melkite Eastern Catholic Church is Archbishop of Haifa, Acre and the Galilee. Bishop Dr. Munib Younan is the president of the Lutheran World Federation and the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL).

THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: THE ROME AND VIENNA AIRPORT ATTACKS (1985)


The Rome and Vienna Airport Attacks (1985)

Nearly three months after Israel’s bombing of Palestine Liberation Organization headquarters in Tunisia, terrorists retaliated in two nearly simultaneous attacks at European airports. At Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Rome, Italy, gunmen opened fire and threw grenades at the Israeli airline’s ticket counter, while at an airport in Vienna, Austria, terrorists threw grenades into a crowd awaiting a flight to Tel Aviv. In all, 19 people were killed and more than 100 hurt. Who claimed responsibility? More… Discuss