The Papacy and the Middle East: The Role of the Holy See in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1962-1984

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The Papacy and the Middle East: The Role of the Holy See in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1962-1984

By George E. Irani
University of Notre Dame Press, 1986
218 pp.
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An outsider cannot write an authoritative history of papal diplomacy, as the Vatican archives are closed, but a fairly clear picture of what the Holy See has been trying to do in the Middle East can be drawn from the statements of the popes, from L'Osservatore Romano, and from a host of secondary sources. This the author has done, adding information gleaned from many interviews. He is able to trace Vatican positions under the last four popes on matters both spiritual and temporal involved in the question of Palestine, the status of Jerusalem and the warfare in Lebanon since 1975. Not the last word, but an objective study and definitely a good start.

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