What Part of 'Everlasting Possession' Does This Man Not Understand?

In October Pope Benedict XVI met with leaders of other churches in communion with the Roman Catholic Church to discuss the increasing persecution of Christians in the Middle East. The closing statement on Oct. 23, however, as issued by Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, landed far afield from that synod's declared intent.

"For Christians, one can no longer talk of the land promised to the Jewish people," the archbishop said, because the "promise" was "abolished by the presence of Christ."


Because I'm not a member of his church, perhaps I shouldn't let it bother me that the archbishop has taken it upon himself to proclaim that the Bible is wrong and the Jewish people are no longer chosen by God, especially since my Bible doesn't say anything of the kind. But it does bother me.

It bothers me because it is a blatant contradiction of at least a dozen perfectly clear verses in the Holy Scripture, which the Catholic Church - both Greek and Roman - claims to uphold as the Word of God. It bothers me because it's impossible to tell if the pope, the head of the entire Catholic Church, backs the archbishop's statement or not. And it bothers me, well, because it seems to bother so few other people.

One of the other people it does bother, however, is Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch and co-author with Atlas Shrugs publisher Pamela Geller of the book The Post-American Presidency. Spencer is also a member of Bustros's church.

"If this is accurate," Spencer writes, "then it must be said that in his haste to parrot the jihadist political agenda, Archbishop Cyril contradicts the Catholic Church's teaching that the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures ... It is shameful, and indeed, makes me ashamed today to be a Melkite Greek Catholic."

The most obvious place one would look to find the latest on what the Catholic Church has to say about anything should be its official Web page for breaking news, http://www.vatican.va/latest/latest_en.htm. Could anything be more current than that? But at least as of this writing, the latest/latest page contains no reference at all to the synod or Bustros's allegation. Does that mean that the pope doesn't necessarily agree with the archbishop's statement, that he does agree but doesn't want to address the inevitable flak at this time, or that he simply wants to dispense with the issue altogether? Nobody seems to know for sure.

"We are especially appalled at the language used by Archbishop Bustros during his press conference," Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said. "We call on the Vatican to distance themselves from Archbishop Bustros's comments."

So do the prophets, Archbishop Bustros. In fact, in the cursory search I just ran using an electronic search engine, I counted 12 clear passages which include eight "forevers," two "everlasting possessions," and two "forever and evers." That makes for a pretty compelling case, don't you think?

Genesis 13:15
for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.

Genesis 17:8
Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."

Genesis 48:4
and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a multitude of people, and give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.'

Exodus 32:13
Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.'"

Joshua 14:9
So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children's forever, because you have wholly followed the LORD my God.'

1 Chronicles 28:8
Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, be careful to seek out all the commandments of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land, and leave it as an inheritance for your children after you forever.

2 Chronicles 20:7
Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?

Ezra 9:12
Now therefore, do not give your daughters as wives for their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons; and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land, and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.'

Isaiah 60:21
Also your people shall all be righteous; They shall inherit the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified.

Jeremiah 7:7
then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.

Jeremiah 25:5
They said, ‘Repent now everyone of his evil way and his evil doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers forever and ever.

Ezekiel 37:25
Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Marylou writes a series of children's books available through Amazon. You can read them all online at