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Question of Palestine Christian Shrines May Involve United States

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The United States may be involved in the question of the Christian holy places in Palestine which will come up for discussion at the present session of the Assembly of the League of Nations, the semi-official Roman Correspondendzi says. Differences between the Vatican and Great Britain over the creation of a proposed commission to deal with the holy places has kept the entire matteer in abeyance since 1922.

The differences arise from the fact that while the Vatican seeks to have the permanent commission composed of all the consuls in Jerusalem with the representatives of the religious groups called in for consultation only, without the right to vote, England suggests that an American be appointed chairman of the commission which should consist of three sub-committees.

The Vatican has declined this offer because it fears that the Catholics will be in a minority if the British plan is adopted. The Vatican also turned down this offer because of the possibility that the American chairman might be a non-Catholic. The Correspondendzi also mentions the demand of the Italian government for certain of the holy places in Palestine, a demand believed to be inspired by the Vatican. The paper also reports that Italy will support the Vatican’s demands at the League of Nations.

Recently the Vatican issued a communique on Palestine in which it voiced the hope that the favorable action by the League on the Mandates Commission’s report would lead to a solution of the problem of the holy places in accordance with the Vatican’s proposals.

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