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  • » 02/06/2008, 00.00

    VATICAN – ISRAEL

    Holy See-Israel Commission meet again

    Arieh Cohen

    The short press release says talks between the parties were conducted in “great cordiality.” another meeting has been set for 17 March. Negotiations have been going on for 15 years.

    Tel Aviv (AsiaNews) – A meeting took place on Tuesday, 4 February, of the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel. The delegations met at the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs. It was their first meeting since the Commission had met in plenary session last 13 December.

    The brief joint communiqué confirmed that the two sides have continued their negotiations on the fiscal and property questions pending between Israel and the Catholic Church, and described the atmosphere at the talks as one of “great cordiality.” The negotiators will meet again on 17 March.

    At the previous meeting on 13 December, the two delegations had “expressed their determination to accelerate their work in order to achieve further advances in the coming months and to conclude the Agreement as soon as possible.” However the negotiations have continued for almost 15 years. Their purpose is to work out a “comprehensive agreement” on all tax and property matters, which would give the Church in Israel legal and fiscal security.

    In practical terms, the Catholic Church wishes to see re-confirmed the historic tax exemptions that she already 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.

    In particular too, the agreement is important for the security of Catholic sacred places owned by the Church, to ensure that any legal disputes concerning them should be decided by the courts, according to the law (i.e. “due process”), and never, as is possible today, by politicians, in purely discretionary fashion.

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    See also

    29/10/2009 VATICAN - ISRAEL
    Holy See and Israel continue talks on taxes and holy places
    Church’s tax-exempt status was guaranteed on Israel’s foundation in 1948. It would allow worldwide donations to reach the Church in the Holy Land. Other issue is how to protect the holy places from expropriation. Next meeting is scheduled for November, the plenary on 10 December.

    22/09/2010 VATICAN - ISRAEL
    Holy See - Israel meet on protection of holy sites and fiscal status
    As has become tradition, the meeting took place in a "cordial" atmosphere and saw "progress." But the joint statement did not mention the dates of future meetings, which had been agreed.

    30/01/2013 VATICAN - ISRAEL
    Differences between Holy See and Israel can be solved, Israeli ambassador says
    The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel met yesterday in Jerusalem in a plenary session. For Zion Evrony, the two sides have made significant progress on many points of the Fundamental Agreement. There are reasons to be optimistic about a quick resolution to the negotiations.

    17/04/2008 ISRAEL - HOLY SEE
    Cordiality and signs of mutual trust between the Jewish state and the Vatican
    This is what is emerging from the meeting of the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission, which renews its commitment to accelerate the conclusion of an agreement. Among the objectives, the restitution of the Cenacle. The plenary meeting in Rome on May 28.

    21/05/2007 VATICAN – ISRAEL
    “Important progress” from bilateral commission meeting
    Their joint press release talks about an atmosphere of great cordiality and hoped-for developments over the next few months. Today’s meeting dealt with the legal and tax treatment of Church property in the Jewish state.



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