Daily Israel Report

Catholic Cleric: Jesus Cancelled Biblical ‘Chosen People’

The Creator’s promise that the Land of Israel is for Jews is no longer valid, a Catholic synod said, but added “The Word of the Lord is eternal".
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 10/24/2010, 12:29 AM / Last Update: 10/24/2010, 12:23 AM

The Creator’s promise in the Bible that the Promised Land belongs to the Jewish People is no longer valid, a Catholic synod declared. An American archbishop at the Synod explained Saturday that the promise of the Creator was "abolished by the presence of Christ."

In a decision that is bound to set off a furious reaction from many Jewish leaders, the synod concluded that “recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the Word of G-d to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable.”

However, an inherently contradictory Synod statement also declared, “The same Scriptures unite us; the Old Testament, the Word of G-d is for both you and us...  We believe in the promises of God and his covenant given to Abraham and to you. We believe that the Word of G-d is eternal.”

The Catholic church in recent years has been trying to overcome centuries of anti-Semitism and proof that it exploited the Holocaust to try to convert Jews who were saved.

U.S. archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, who heads the commission that issued the Synod statement, is a Lebanese native. He told reporters, "For Christians, one can no longer talk of the land promised to the Jewish people… There is no longer a favored people, a chosen people; all men and women of every country have become the chosen people.” 

The term "chosen people" does not  symbolize superiority in Judaism, rather it means chosen to be obligated to the 613 commandments in the Bible and to inherit the Land of Israel.

After two weeks of meetings, the Synod also said that a two-state solution of a Palestinian Authority country, in place of most of the Land Israel, would help stem the exodus of Christians from the area.

Concerning Jerusalem, the Synod said it is “anxious about the unilateral initiatives that threaten its composition and risk to change its demographic balance.” After Jordanian-occupied area of Jerusalem were restored to Israel in 1967, the Israeli government opened all Christian holy sites after Jordan had banned non-official visits and closed the sites to tourists from 1948.

The Synod recognized "the suffering and insecurity in which Israelis live" but focused on what it called Palestinian Authority “suffering [of] the consequences of the Israeli occupation: the lack of freedom of movement, the wall of separation and the military checkpoints, the political prisoners, the demolition of homes, [and] the disturbance of socio-economic life and the thousands of refugees."