The Vatican has been otherwise occupied with pressing matters of its own for some time but has now been moved to comment on the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Arabs, condemning Israel's occupation of territory captured during the 1967 Six Day War. According to the Vatican, "we Christians cannot speak of the promised land as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people" - West Bank occupation unacceptable: Vatican.
The Israeli response came from spokesman Yigal Palmor who told The Australian:
"The debate over who holds the correct interpretation of the scriptures was something debated in the Middle Ages and it would seem unwise to try to revisit that," he said.
Asked about the criticism of the use of the Bible to justify Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, Mr Palmor said: "Firstly, this has not been any official policy in Israel by any government and, secondly, he who has not sinned should cast the first stone - that is something they should understand."
What I would like to see now is a statement from the Vatican responding to the stands taken by Hamas, Hizbullah, other Islamic fundamentalist groups and Fatah which all have policies of different shades which claim the same land as the privileged province of the Palestinian Arab people - all of it.
Of course, if the Vatican was concerned with its flock in the Holy Land it might want to take a look at what's happening to the dwindling Catholic community in Gaza, of which this story is unfortunately but one example.