One does not have to read too closely between the lines to deduce that Pope Benedict xvi has one overarching goal in mind for his papacy: the evangelization of the globe.
Recently, CatholicCulture.org reported that “With the October 12 promulgation of a motu proprio entitled Ubicumque et Semper, Pope Benedict xvi has established a Pontifical Council for New Evangelization.
“The new Vatican office is charged with coordinating plans to renew the vigor of the faith in regions where it was once dominant, but has lost ground to the forces of secularization—notably Europe ….”
Perhaps nothing has revealed what is really at the heart of this papacy more than the recent Synod on the Catholic Church in the Middle East, convened on October 10 and concluded on Sunday.
This particular gathering of Catholic bishops in Rome was in fact a watershed event in the pope’s program for evangelizing the world. For Benedict, the fulcrum around which his global project revolves is, as it has always been with the Vatican down through the ages, the city of Jerusalem. To this end, the Vatican is ramping up its involvement in the Middle East peace process.
“[I]f there is a place in the world today where ideas and plans are being hammered out to create the conditions for a possible peace, and not wars, in the Middle East, it is here. In Italy, in Rome, in Vatican City, in the Paul vi audience hall, in the Synod and even in the streets and trattorias of Rome. … The Vatican—so attacked, so reviled, so vilified—has erected a ‘school of peace’ in the heart of Rome, in the heart of the world, in these October days” (Inside the Vatican, October 20). So wrote Dr. Robert Moynihan in recent observations on the mood in Rome surrounding the special Synod of Bishops on the Middle East.
When I read that my mind went to a great prophetic warning that ought to ring in our ears every time we hear of Rome or Berlin, or for that matter Moscow, Tehran or Beijing, speak of “peace”—“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
What is most profound in relation to the “peace” spoken of at this recent synod in Rome is the stance it has taken on the tiny, embattled, fighting-for-its-own survival, Judaic nation of Israel.
Reuters reported that in their concluding statement, the bishops declared:
Israel cannot use the biblical concept of a promised land or a chosen people to justify … territorial claims ….
Asked about the passage at a news conference, Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros, said: “We Christians cannot speak about the promised land for the Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people. All men and women of all countries have become the chosen people. The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel …. The justification of Israel’s occupation of the land of Palestine cannot be based on sacred scriptures.”
The synod’s concluding message repeated a Vatican call for Jerusalem to have a special status “which respects its particular character” as a city sacred to the three great monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
While recognizing “the suffering and insecurity in which Israelis live” and the need for Israel to enjoy peace within internationally recognized borders, the document was much more expansive and detailed on the situation of Palestinians.
It said Palestinians “are suffering 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, the disturbance of socio-economic life and the thousands of refugees.”
The imbalance of the Vatican’s perspective on the situation of Jerusalem, the Jews and Palestinians is obvious. Peel aside the sophistry masking the reality of Rome’s stance on the Middle East peace process, and it is obviously biased against the Jews and Israel’s birthright claim to the city of Jerusalem and the biblical land of Israel, which were gifted by God to the nation of Israel in perpetuity. This, from a religion that claims to speak for all Christendom, indeed, claiming, albeit falsely, that its own religious roots lie in the birth of the land of Israel.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch said it all in a recent piece in Commentary magazine, under the headline, “The Aim Is to Make Israel a Pariah”:
Now the war has entered a new phase. This is the soft war that seeks to isolate Israel by delegitimizing it. The battleground is everywhere: the media … multinational organizations … ngos. In this war, the aim is to make Israel a pariah.
The result is the curious situation we have today: Israel becomes increasingly ostracized, while Iran—a nation that has made no secret of wishing Israel’s destruction—pursues nuclear weapons loudly, proudly, and without apparent fear of rebuke.
Murdoch, who received an award from Pope John Paul ii for his contributions to the media, made no reference to the Vatican’s stance on the nation of Israel, his statement coming before this latest startling declaration of the Vatican Synod on the Church in the Middle East.
But he did round on the European Union for its blatant bias against Israel and the fact that this EU slant against Israel is but grist for the mill for the rising anti-Zionism prevalent across the Continent:
We saw a recent outbreak when a European commissioner trade minister declared that peace in the Middle East is impossible because of the Jewish lobby in America. Here’s how he put it: “There is indeed a belief—it’s difficult to describe it otherwise—among most Jews that they are right. And it’s not so much whether these are religious Jews or not. Lay Jews also share the same belief that they are right. So it is not easy to have, even with moderate Jews, a rational discussion about what is actually happening in the Middle East.”
This minister did not suggest the problem was any specific Israeli policy. The problem, as he defined it, is the nature of the Jews.
This is the exact same argument that ex-German central banker and politician Thilo Sarrazin makes in his bestselling book Germany Does Away With Itself to underpin his thesis that Jews are unsuitable for residence in Germany.
Murdoch also hit out at the anti-Zionism prevalent in Islamic communities in Europe, and the degree of tolerance that Islamic-inspired anti-Zionist attacks are given by European authorities:
In Europe today, some of the most egregious attacks on Jewish people, Jewish symbols, and Jewish houses of worship have come from the Muslim population.
Unfortunately, far from making clear that such behavior will not be tolerated, too often the official response [suggests] Jews and Israel were partly to blame themselves.
When Europe’s political leaders do not stand up to the thugs, they lend credence to the idea that Israel is the source of all the world’s problems—and they guarantee more ugliness. If that is not anti-Semitism, I don’t know what is.
The world of 2010 is not the world of the 1930s. The threats Jews face today are different. But these threats are real. These threats are soaked in an ugly language familiar to anyone old enough to remember World War ii. And these threats cannot be addressed until we see them for what they are: part of an ongoing war against the Jews.
The reality is that this “war against the Jews” is just one part of an insidiously spreading anti-Semitic mindset. In reality it extends out to embrace the Anglo-Saxons. For unbeknown to the greater part of society is the fact that the Promised Land was gifted to the nations of Israel—plural! For proof of just who these nations are, read our eye-opening book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
The Eternal Creator of humankind promised the territory from the Nile River to the Euphrates to the descendants of Abraham, through his son Isaac and, in turn, the descendants of Jacob (Genesis 15:18-21; 28:13; Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 1:8). These are the true Israelites. Believe it or not, they include 11 other nations in addition to the Jewish people.
Since the Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35)—despite what Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros falsely maintains—and the Eternal God never changes (Malachi 3:6), His promise of the perpetual inheritance of that piece of Middle Eastern real estate by Israel is binding to this day and beyond.
It is certainly not conditional on the utterances of the Vatican. In fact, Israel is least accountable to that particular Babylonish institution, of all institutions.
Those who seek to refute the claim on the Promised Land by Israel will one day have to swallow their own words. Jerusalem is destined to be the capital of a new society, a whole new civilization to be established by the very King of Salem (Hebrews 7:2), the King of kings (1 Timothy 6:15), Jesus Christ Himself. It will remain the capital of that globe-girdling kingdom for over a thousand years. Then it will become the very site of the eternal throne of Almighty God Himself! (Revelation 21:1-3).
Those who falsely claim that “there is no longer a chosen people” will one day eat those words. For the very “peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9) chosen by God to do so, will soon claim their rightful inheritance of the Promised Land, and not long after, the whole world will learn to truly rejoice in the reality of that inheritance!
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