The Holy See
The Fundamental Agreement is an historic international treaty signed by the Holy See and the State of Israel that established diplomatic relations between the two parties. The Agreement, signed by both parties in 1993 and entered into force in 1994, mandates a comprehensive agreement on all outstanding claims concerning economic and property status matters within two years. Seventeen years have passed since the treaty was entered into force and Israel was recognized, but the Agreement has not been finalized and ratified by the Israeli Knesset, making it impossible for church institutions to uphold the provisions of the Agreement in Israeli courts.
The Fundamental Agreement states that: “…The Holy See and the State of Israel will negotiate in good faith a comprehensive agreement, containing solutions acceptable to both Parties, on unclear, unsettled and disputed issues, concerning property, economic and fiscal matters relating to the Catholic Church generally, or to specific Catholic Communities or institutions.” It is vital that there be a comprehensive settlement of all outstanding claims so that various agreements can be written into Israeli law, permitting the Church access to due process in Israel’s democratic government and allowing Christian institutions to focus on serving the communities they serve.