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Sunday, December 4, 2016
Holy See expresses regret over meeting cancelled by Israeli delegation
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 The Holy See has expressed regret at the unilateral decision by the Israeli delegation to cancel a meeting scheduled to take place today in the Vatican. The meeting was supposed to deal with issues relating to the Fundamental Agreement, (signed on December 30, 1993, and came into effect on March 10 1994.) In a press release the Vatican said: ""On March 26 the Israeli delegation made known the impossibility of its participating in the meeting, due to the international political situation. The Holy See, while understanding the reasons, notes the circumstance with disappointment and hopes as soon as possible to be able to agree with the Israeli side a new date for calling the plenary. The plenary of the Commission has not met for the past five years and needs to conduct negotiations that should lead to an 'overall treaty' on questions such as taxation and Church property, that are still pending in Israel. It should also provide the Church in Israel the legal and fiscal security it needs. The Catholic Church wishes to see re-confirmed the historic tax exemptions that she possessed at the time that Israel came into being, in 1948. Likewise the Church in Israel hopes for the return of some confiscated ecclesiastical properties, for example, the church-shrine in Caesarea, which was confiscated in the 1950's and later razed to the ground. The Church would also like to see the security of Catholic sacred places owned by the Church, placed on a more legal footing, to ensure that any legal disputes concerning them should be decided by the courts, according to legal due process and not, as is the situation today, by politicians, in purely discretionary fashion. Source: VIS/AsiaNews
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