Why Does the Vatican Want a Palestinian State?

Much of the world seems to want the Palestinians to have a state of their own. In September 2011, it looked like they had some momentum for their cause. Most of the international community expressed symbolic support for a Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations.

Of all the supporters, though, one stands out as being especially intriguing: the Roman Catholic Church.

In a statement last September, retired Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah, together with representatives from various Christian communities in Israel, pledged “support for the diplomatic efforts being deployed to win international recognition for the State of Palestine.”

In his sermon on Christmas Day, the current Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, reiterated Catholic support for Palestinian statehood. “We want a just and comprehensive peace to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We adhere to the position taken by the Holy See, clearly acknowledging the two-state solution with security and internationally recognized borders,” he stated.

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