by JOE KOVACS
Pope Francis is set to be put on trial later this year by a self-declared, revived Jewish Sanhedrin unless the pontiff retracts his statement that the Jews have no right to the land of Israel or to Jerusalem.
According to BreakingIsraelNews.com, the religious high court dating back to biblical times is composed of 71 sages who now object to recent ties between the Vatican and the so-called “State of Palestine.”
“The Sanhedrin has no political or legal status, and clearly has no authority over the Vatican,” the website says. “However, it is comprised of some of the greatest rabbis of the modern Jewish nation, men who have dedicated themselves to Torah, serving God and Israel.”
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The trial is slated for Sept. 20 in Jerusalem, and the Sanhedrin says it will try the pope in absentia if he doesn’t show up in person.
In February 2013, the Vatican officially recognized the “State of Palestine.”
And in June, the Vatican signed a treaty with “Palestine” in which the Holy See switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the “State of Palestine,” the website reported.
The treaty is seen as an official recognition of a Palestinian state, since it’s the first legal document negotiated between the Vatican and the Palestinian state.
The Hebrew magazine Matzav Haruach reported the Sanhedrin sent a letter to Pope Francis, stating:
Because the Vatican recognized the organization known as the Palestinian Authority as a nation, and has begun to refer to it as a nation in its documents. His honor has named the head of said authority as an “Angel of Peace,” as was explained by a spokesman for the Vatican, that his intention was to encourage Abu Mazen to advance towards peace. These actions, to our great dismay, are consistent with a long series of actions and stances that are as in the days of the Roman Catholic Religion, that swore to persecute Israel because we refused to accept their Messiah as the Messiah of Israel, and to renounce our faith. The recent announcements and actions of the Vatican are a rebuke to the Jewish Nation and to the Bible, which you use to interpret the prophecies, as if God has abandoned his original Nation of Israel. Reality has proven the opposite to be true.
We require from you an apology for your recognizing as a nation those who stole the land, those who are known as the Palestinian Authority, and we are informing the Vatican that the sole God given right to the land of Israel is to the Nation of Israel. If His Honor the Pope, and the Vatican, do not apologize within two weeks of receiving this letter, and if he does not change his ways, we shall judge these actions in the Court of Mount Zion, in a court of 71 Jewish elders of Zion, and enact the prophecy of “The liberators will rise up upon Mount Zion, to judge the Mountain of Esau and the kingdom shall be God’s” (Obadiah 1:21). The court shall judge the Vatican in its presence or in absentia, and it is possible that the Vatican will be found guilty of anti-Semitism, as has been known to be done several times throughout history, and to place responsibility upon the Vatican for all of the outcomes of its actions.
The letter was signed, “The Secretariat of the Court of Mount Zion.” The authorized representatives of the high court are Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, Rabbi Dov Levanoni, Rabbi Israel Ariel, Rabbi Daniel Stavsky, Rabbi Yehuda Edri and Rabbi Dov Meir Shtein.
“The court’s rulings have the highest spiritual significance,” BreakingIsraelNews noted. “The commandment to appoint judges is learned directly from the Bible (Exodus 18:13) and the present Sanhedrin is an effort to re-establish a tradition dating back to Moses.”
The Book of Exodus recounts how God instructed Moses to select groups of righteous men to help him with the task of governing the people:
“Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: And let them judge the people at all seasons” (Exodus 18:21-22).