JERUSALEM (Jan. 27)
A legal battle has begun in Jerusalem over the sale of the Notre Dame Hostel by the Assumptionist Fathers to Hamenuta, a subsidiary of the Jewish National Fund. The Vatican, trying to prevent the sale, obtained an injunction last month which Hamenuta is attempting to overturn. The hearings that began in Jerusalem District Court were adjourned Friday and will resume on Feb. 5.
Notre Dame was built by the Assumptionist Fathers in 1887 to serve French pilgrims, but its importance has declined in recent years. The Assumptionists claim they have the right to dispose of the property. The Vatican claims that only the Pope has the authority to authorize its sale. The Holy bee obtained a temporary injunction barring any alteration of the status quo at Notre Dame. It has also filed a separate motion asking that the transaction be annulled as a violation of canon law. The papers noted a discrepancy between the figure of $600000 cited in the land registry file as the price paid for the hostel and the $815000 which the Assumptionist Order was given permission by the Treasury to take out of the country. Hamenuta contends that the sale was legal. It plans to use the hostel for Hebrew University students.