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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/27/14

What the Pope Did Not Say

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Cross-posted from Wallwritings

Pope Francis in Israel
Pope Francis in Israel
(Image by Turkish World Bulletin)
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It is what the Pope did not say that should disturb the world.

The Turkish World Bulletin's News Desk points to crucial words missing from his Holy Land Papal trip May 25-26:

"Although the Pope has prayed at the separation wall in Bethlehem and called for a Palestinian state during his visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Al-Quds (East Jerusalem), he has not commented on Israeli abuses or on the blockade on 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza."

Also missing was the essential point that the Pope's visit was made in a political environment in which Israel and the U.S. have once again insisted on their "two sides" recurring diplomatic dodge.

President Obama repeated the dodge following the collapse of the latest round of "peace talks" between Israel and Palestine:

"What we haven't seen is, frankly, the kind of political will to actually make tough decisions, and that's been true on both sides."

Not so, by any standard of political realism. The prisoner is never equal to the jailer.

Naim Ateek, the Palestinian Anglican priest who founded Sabeel, told Time magazine before the Pope's trip:

"I would hope that the Pope will show great courage to speak against the injustice of the Palestinians, that he will speak against the occupation. I mean if he will just talk about the occupation, it will reflect the prophetic stance."

Ateek was identified by Time as:

"Founder of Palestinian liberation theology, a movement that for three decades has identified Palestinian occupation with Jesus' suffering and response to injustice.

"Ateek's 1989 book, Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation, is the movement's foundational work, and he runs the Sabeel Ecumenical Center in Jerusalem."

As yet, no Papal prophetic reflection and no condemnation of occupation, has emerged.

What we have, instead, is an invitation to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres, to visit the Vatican where the Pope and the two leaders will pray for peace.

Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery, a modern Jewish prophet, had more than prayers on his mind when he wrote this past week:

"When one says that 'both' did not ... make the 'necessary hard decisions' ... one consciously or unconsciously assumes that they are equal. Nothing is further from the truth.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)

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