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A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary.  Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”
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Vatican agrees first treaty with State of Palestine ‘disappointing’ Israel

Vatican has drawn up first treaty which is due to be signed by PalestineOfficials say they hope deal will help lead to a peace deal with IsraelPaperwork drawn up days before Mahmoud Abbas visits the VaticanHowever the agreement has been criticised by prominent Jewish figuresBy

Chris Pleasance for MailOnline

Published:
18:36 EST, 13 May 2015

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Updated:
04:54 EST, 14 May 2015


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The Vatican is preparing to sign a treaty which will recognise the state of Palestine on paper for the first time ahead of Pope Francis meeting the country’s President, Mahmoud Abbas.The treaty, which is being drawn up by a group called the Bilateral Commission of the Holy See and the State of Palestine, will cover properties, taxes and protocol at holy sites in Palestinian territory.However, Israeli officials were quick to criticise the new deal, branding it ‘disappointing’, and adding that it will not help the peace process.  Pope Francis is due to sign the first Vatican treaty with Palestine, which church officials hope will assist in reaching a peace deal with Israel (pictured, the Pope in St Peter’s Square today) The agreement has been drawn up ahead of a visit to the Vatican by President Mahmoud Abbas, where two Palestinian-born nuns will be recognised as saints (file image) An unnamed Israeli official said: Israel heard with disappointment the decision of the Holy See to agree [to] a final formulation of an agreement with the Palestinians including the use of the term “Palestinian State”.’Such a development does not further the peace process and distances the Palestinian leadership from returning to direct bilateral negotiations.’Despite the criticisms, church officials said the agreement would ‘enhance the life and activities of the Catholic Church and its recognition at the judicial level,’ the Vatican said.


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Vatican officials also stressed that, while the new treaty is the first of its kind on paper, the Holy See has officially recognised Palestine since 2012.The wording of the treaty has now been agreed and it will be signed by authorities from both sides ‘in the near future’, Catholic officials said. Mr Abbas is due to attend a Mass at the Vatican on Sunday to make saints of two 19th and 20th century Palestinian-born nuns. The Vatican’s deputy foreign minister, Monsignor Antoine
Camilleri, said in an interview with the Holy See’s official
newspaper that he hoped the agreement would indirectly help the
Palestinian State in its relations with Israel.’It would be positive if the accord could in some way help
with the establishment and recognition of an independent,
sovereign and democratic State of Palestine which lives in peace
and security with Israel and its neighbours,’ he told
l’Osservatore Romano. Senior Catholic figures have pointed out that the Holy See has recognised Palestine since a UN ruling on the issue in 2012, but the new agreement marks the first official deal between the twoBut European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor called
the move ‘unfortunate’ and said it would ‘diminish the chances
of a peaceful resolution of the conflict and embolden
extremists’.Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League said the treaty
was ‘premature’ and added that it would undermine a negotiated,
two-state solution to the conflict.The U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution on Nov. 29,
2012 recognising Palestine as an observer non-member state. This
was welcomed at the time by the Vatican, which has the same
status at the United Nations.’We have recognised the State of Palestine ever since it was
given recognition by the United Nations and it is already listed
as the State of Palestine in our official yearbook,’ Vatican
spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said.During a visit to the Middle East a year ago, Francis
delighted his Palestinian hosts by referring to the ‘state of
Palestine’ and giving support for their bid for full statehood
recognition. Pope THROWS CHARITY GIG… WITH FRONT ROW SEATS FOR THE HOMELESS Homeless people are being offered front row seats at a charity gig being held in Vatican today in Pope Francis’ latest gesture of goodwill towards the poor.The concert, due to be held in the Vatican’s main auditorium later today, is based on Dante’s The Divine Comedy and will feature ‘symphonic music, Gregorian chant, and hard rock’.It is being organised by Monsignor Konrad Krajewski, the Pope’s chief almsgiver, who has been at the forefront of efforts to include the homeless in church life. In March the Pope organised a viewing of the Sistine Chapel for around 150 homeless people, saying he wanted ‘a poor Church, for the poor’, and has now invited more homeless to a charity concertIn March, around 150 rough-sleepers from the streets of Rome were invited into the Sistine Chapel to view the frescoes painted by Michelangelo, and given a tour of the Vatican museum.Last month a homeless man who died on the streets around St Peter’s Square was buried in an exclusive cemetery within the Vatican that is usually reserved for senior German clerics.The pope, who says he wants ‘a poor Church, for the poor,’ has also had showers for the homeless installed in public toilets just off St Peter’s square.At tonight’s concern envelopes will be left on the seats of the auditorium to collect offerings for the poor.In a statement reported in The Telegraph, Pope Francis said: ‘I thank you for all that you have done, are doing, and will do for this concert which unites us.’Music has the capacity to unite souls and to unite us to the Lord. It is horizontal but also vertical, soaring high, and it liberates us from anxiety.’It will be a concert to seed joy, not a passing happiness: the seed will remain there in the souls of all and will do much good for all.’

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