Catholic Church’s slow but steady movement on Israel/Palestine: public presentation and discussion in Ottawa March 22

Photo-Carl-Hetu-2

Carl Hétu is the Executive Director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA).  He has organized and led official visits of Roman Catholic Bishops to Israel, West Bank and Gaza. On March 22, he will discuss why and how the attitude of the Church on the Israel/Palestine issue is evolving. ….

Thirty eight percent of Canadians have been baptized as the Roman Catholics. The Catholic Church is one of Canada’s most important religious institutions.  It is also an important political institution. The views of its cardinals, bishops, priests and sisters are listened to. The church appears to be of two minds on the Israel/Palestine question. Powerful conservative voices are still of the opinion that the Church should not get involved in the struggle for human rights in the Holy Land. However, there are signs that church opinion is evolving on the issue and the current Holy Father has shown more concern for the Palestinians than his predecessors did.

Carl Hétu, Executive Director

Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)

 Churchill Seniors Centre, 345 Richmond Rd, Ottawa

Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Carl Hétu is the Executive Director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). Over the last decade, he has organized (and accompanied) many trips for Roman Catholic Bishops from around the world to visit Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza. On the ground and at various levels of the Church hierarchy, in Canada and in Rome, he has seen first hand a slow but steady evolution in the Church toward taking a firmer stand for human rights for Palestinians. Mr. Hétu will discuss some of the contradictory pressures inside today’s Church.

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Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue. If you support our educational mission, why not join? Or make a donation? Or learn more about what we do?  Contact us at: membership.ctip@gmail.com.

3 comments

  1. Met Carl in Vancouver two years ago: good man. Encouraging. DG

    On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 12:58 PM, Canada Talks Israel/Palestine wrote:

    > Peter Larson posted: ” Carl Hétu is the Executive Director of the Catholic > Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). He has organized and led official > visits of Roman Catholic Bishops to Israel, West Bank and Gaza. On March > 22, he will discuss why and how the attitude of the Ch” >

  2. @Peter

    I seriously doubt Canadian Bishops are going to divert from the Vatican’s line meaningfully. The Vatican has a very complex relationship with Israel presenting a series of interests somewhat orthogonal to the more typical BDS type issues. For example they would be strongly opposed to a secular state since they rather enjoy the official state authority the current policy gives the Latin Rite churches. On the other hand they support RoR for Latin Rite Palestinians (and often more generally). I wouldn’t classify them as Zionist or Anti-Zionist but rather something else all together.

    The Vatican has constantly pushed for the international status of Jerusalem rejecting the Israeli claim, the Palestinian claim and partition. They are primarily concerned with tax status of churches in Israel above all other issues.

    And of course let’s not forget that in their assessment the primary cause of the Israeli / Palestine conflict is that both people’s are unsaved and thus there is an unbridgeable gap in them developing an understanding of the grace they should confer on each other because they lack the grace of Christ.

    They also would be very surprised to see them use the term “human rights”. The church has ruled again and again that human rights constitute a legal framework and are valid in so far as they match with Natural Law regarding Human Dignity as explicated by the church. While the Catholic Church is an enthusiastic proponent of most International law they also freely grant to nations the right to override it when it contradicts Natural Law (for example contraceptive freedoms). They thus would reject BDS’s position that International Law must be implemented. I’ll link to a best single source on human rights vs. divine law by John Paul II (http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_01051991_centesimus-annus.html)

    I don’t know that Carl Hétu is going to say. But that doesn’t read like Catholic / Israeli relations.

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