Vatican Seeks Pieces of Jerusalem

From the January 2006 Trumpet Print Edition

Last November, Israeli President Moshe Katsav met with Pope Benedict xvi in what was the first official visit by an Israeli head of state to the Vatican.

Prior to this meeting, Christian publications around the world—including the official Vatican newspaper El Messagero—had reported that an agreement was to be signed that would transfer sovereignty of parts of Jerusalem’s Mount Zion to the Vatican. Specifically, as reported in October, the proposed contract would give the Catholic Church control over what it claims is the location of the Last Supper (a room actually built by the Crusaders in the 14thcentury)—one of Catholicism’s most sacred sites. Currently, a Jewish religious school is located there, which Jews believe sits atop King David’s tomb.

For seven years, the Catholic Church has been trying to acquire various sites and buildings in Israel that it claims it used to control.

“Final details on a long-delayed accord on the status of Roman Catholic properties in the Holy Land are expected to be agreed during the visit, marking a new era of reconciliation between Christians and Jews,” reported the Times of London (Oct. 14,2005). Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that it had received a blueprint of the proposed agreement from the Vatican.

The agreement was not concluded, however, during the November visit—possibly due to pressure from Jewish groups to hold on to the territory. Also, Katsav denied Israel is prepared to relinquish David’s Tomb.

It appears Israel is dragging its feet on this issue. The Vatican, no doubt getting antsy after years of negotiations, may have been attempting to pressure Israel by publicizing the possibility of this agreement.

We have not heard the last of this issue, however. The Catholic Church has an intense interest in Jerusalem—viewing it as its universal headquarters. The Vatican has even stated that Jerusalem should be an “international city”—which would open the way for papal control over much more than just parts of Mount Zion. One thing is certain: The Vatican isn’t about to give up its designs on Jerusalem.

Today’s tactics—negotiation and diplomacy—contrast with those of centuries past, when the Roman Catholic Church sought to obtain real estate in Jerusalem by means of the Crusades. Jerusalem was of such importance to the Catholics that they repeatedly fought Muslims and Jews to gain possession of it.

But current methods will get the Vatican only so far.

Using biblical prophecy as his guide, Gerald Flurry stated in his booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy, “The Vatican and Germany … have conquered Jerusalem several times before. And they are destined to do so one last time!” Read this booklet yourself for biblical proof of this assertion.