According to this report
, the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Cyril Bustros "then escalated the situation by declaring that the original promises made by God to the children of Israel 'were nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people.'"
If this is accurate, then it must be said that in his haste to parrot the jihadist political agenda, Archbishop Cyril contradicts the Catholic Church's teaching that "the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures" (Nostra Aetate
4). Moreover, God "does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle" (Nostra Aetate
4) -- a reference to Paul the Apostle's statement concerning the Jews that "the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable" (Romans 11:29).
Ever since the beginnings of Arab nationalism, Christian Arabs have identified with Muslims politically and culturally, in what was at least initially an attempt to blunt the force of the jihad against them by creating a foundation for an accord that was not religious, and allowed Christians and Muslims to coexist on equal terms -- a sharp departure from the institutionalized discrimination of dhimmitude.
But as the great historian Bat Ye'or has pointed out, this attempt was foredoomed, and indeed, it has already failed. This was because for Muslims Islam was always the heart of the Arab identity in any case -- as was succinctly summed up by pioneering Arab nationalist Michel Aflaq: "Arab nationalism is Islam." And as long as Islam continued to exist, the imperative to subjugate the Christians would eventually reappear, since it had not been reformed or rejected by any ulama. And so it has.
The Christian Arabs would have been much better off allying with their fellow dhimmis, the Jews. And indeed, only in Israel, alone among Middle Eastern countries, has the Christian population grown since 1948. As this report notes: "Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said it was absurd that the Jewish state had been condemned since Israel is the only country in the region where Christians are actually thriving. According to statistics he provided, there were some 151,700 Christians in Israel last year, compared with 132,000 in 1999 and 107,000 two decades ago."
Yet the bishops in their synod this week single out only Israel for particular criticism, and was relatively silent about the jihad doctrine, the Arab states' support for it, and its cardinal role in sabotaging any peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. It is shameful, and indeed, makes me ashamed today to be a Melkite Greek Catholic. In full.....