July 2004

Negotiations between the Holy See and the State of Israel are reestablished

Delegations of the Vatican and the State of Israel reestablished negotiations for the application of the fundamental agreement that rules its relations. Said agreement, subscribed on December 30, 1993, inaugurated the diplomatic relations between both States. The Vatican delegation presided by Monsignor Gianfranco Galloni, Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature to Israel and the Israeli delegation presided by the diplomat Gadi Golan, considered among other issues, the fiscal statute of the Church, eventual restitution of ecclesiastic properties and State participation in the support of the social activities carried out by the Church for the local population.

Committee of Catholic-Jewish relations meets in Buenos Aires

The Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, inaugurated lastJuly 5 the XVIII International Encounter of the Catholic-Jewish relations Committee, where 53 participants dealt with the relations among faiths in the world order.

The importance of the Catholic delegation is marked by the presence of three Cardinals: William Kasper, president of the Pontific Council for Religious Relations with Judaism; Jorge Mejía who presided that commission for a decade since 1977, and William Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore. It also counted with the presence of Monsignor Michael Fitzgerald, President of the Pontific Council for inter religious dialogue.

The Jewish delegation was headed by Rabbi Israel Singer, director of the World Jewish Congress and it was integrated by other three former ambassadors of Israel to the Holy See and distinguished Rabbis of the different tendencies within Judaism.

Presentation of the Paul Carus award

The Paul Carus award, created by the Council of the Parliament of the Religions of the World with the Blouke Carus family, with the aim of distinguishing the contribution to inter religious dialogue, was presented by Bishop Meledo Baker Ochola II and the initiative of religious leaders ocholi for peace in Uganda. The award was granted in the Parliament of Religions of the World that takes place in the context of the 2004 Barcelona Forum.

Religious Award for peace is Created

The International Institute of Education has created the ”Victor J. Goldberg for Peace in the Middle East” award that will be presented annually to two people, a Muslim Arab and an Israeli Jew, who carry out in conjunction a work for peace in the Middle East. For further information log on to: www.iie.org

Inter Religious Theological Publication

The Cristiandad de España Publishing House has recently published the text ”Judeo-Christianity Theology” by Cardinal Jean Danielou. The sources, the intellectual atmosphere and the institutions of the origins of Christian Theology are analyzed in that work. Jean Danielou was ordained Pope Paul VI and was Professor of the Paris Catholic Institute.

Asis Award for Peace to Israel and Palestine

The 2004 Asis award for Peace has been presented by Father Vicenzo Coli, guard of the Basilica of San Francisco, an Israeli educator, Angela Edna Caló Livné, and a Palestine educator, Samar Sahar. Sahar has dedicated her life to work with children and runs the ”Jeel-Al-Amal Home” in Betania, the most important institution to help children in Palestine. Angela Caló Livne lives in a kibutz in the northern Israel and works as a teacher in multicultural schools, having created the ”Rainbow” theater composed by young Jews, Arabs Christians, Muslim Arabs and Druses.

Ansar-El-Suna Muslim Association

The Ansar-El-Suna Muslim Association has founded the Islamic Cultural Center ”The Rachman” in Nazareth. Said Center, including a mosque, gives information for imams, Muslim religion leaders, and offers some courses of Islamic formation for people in general. The Ansar-El-Suna Association works for a moderate and tolerant Islam, and its members participate in different inter religious activities.

Religious coexistence

The Museum of the Lands of the Bible in Jerusalem carries out a project of coexistence among Jewish and Muslim children called ”Abraham’s image”. In that program participate 130 students of the Paula Ben Gurion elementary School and the El-Tzal School of Eastern Jerusalem. The children explore their respective genealogical trees to find the name ”Abraham” or ”Ibrahim” in them, they study the cultures of the Ancient Middle East and track common elements in the Jewish and Muslim religious tradition.