Vatican-Israeli Row Simmers Down

«Tempest» Is Over, Says Apostolic Nuncio

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 28, 2005 ( It was nothing more than «a tempest in a teacup,» said the apostolic nuncio to Israel when describing Israel’s recent diplomatic incident with the Holy See.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi’s comment refers to July’s conflict that arose when representatives of Israel’s government publicly accused Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI for not having condemned terrorist attacks against Jews.

The Holy See reacted with a long communiqué that cited John Paul II’s numerous statements against terrorist acts, as well as Benedict XVI’s condemnation of all acts of violence, including those against Jews.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said on Friday that the conflict has been resolved: «Relations between Israel and the Vatican are again as good as they were before,» reported the Italian newspaper Avvenire.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sent a letter on Tuesday to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, via Israel’s ambassador to the Holy See, Obed Ben Hur.

According to the ambassador, Sharon thanked the Vatican for its commitment to further the growing dialogue between Jews and Christians and invited Cardinal Sodano to visit Israel.

In the «friendly» meeting with the cardinal, Ben Hur said that «we definitively saw what occurred as something of the past and we are now trying to improve our relationship,» reported the Associated Press.

«Good weather has returned,» Archbishop Sambi told Avvenire.

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