Thursday, January 12, 2006

Negotiating is good

Israel and the Holy See are moving forward with their talks. There is some concern about the situation of Ariel Sharon.

Tel Aviv (AsiaNews) – Negotiations continue between Israel and the Holy See to reach a comprehensive bilateral accord, despite the difficult political situation in Israel following Ariel Sharon’s illness. Delegations of the Holy See and the State of Israel have continued today, Wednesday, January 11, their negotiations aimed at reaching the "comprehensive agreement" mandated by the 1993 Fundamental Agreement, on the fiscal status of the Church in Israel, and on safeguarding ecclesiastical property, especially Holy Sites. [...]

[...] Franciscan Father David-Maria A. Jaeger, is not unduly preoccupied: "As is often mentioned these days, the State endures and, with it, endure its obligations, and its need to fulfil treaty obligations in particular. It matters not what the precise composition is of the council of ministers at any one time, the relationship other Sovereign entities, such as the Holy See, have is with the State as such, and there has never been, nor will there be, a time when the State is without legitimate representation on the international plane."

Apart from these impeccable juridical considerations, the fact remains that the future outcome of negotiations could also depend on political factors. Knowledgeable sources close to negotiations say that decisive factors are, nevertheless, situated in Washington, in the United States. It was Washington that persuaded Sharon of the importance of paying due attention to the Catholic Church, and it will fall to Washington to continue to press this matter on his successors, both before and after elections in Israel.

Read the complete article Talks continue between Israel and the Holy See, in the post-Sharon crisis from

The first line of the third paragraph of my excerpt above is amusing. Any political science major who has spent some time studying international relations or constitutional law will eventually hear or read about the 'no person is bigger than the office' idea. Don't shower the kudos too heavily on Father Jaeger for stating the obvious.

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