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Excerpts of Fundamental Agreement

One-page compilation of excerpts from the Fundamental Agreement Between the Holy See and the State of Israel.

Excerpts of “Fundamental Agreement”

Freedom of religion and conscience. “…Israel…affirms its continuing commitment to uphold and observe the human right to freedom of religion and conscience…
“The Holy See affirms the…[same]…”

Repudiation of anti-Semitism. “The Holy See and…Israel are committed to…combating all forms of anti-Semitism…racism and of religious intolerance, and in promoting…understanding among nations, tolerance among communities and respect for human life and dignity….”

Sovereign rights. [Both parties] “recognize that both are free in the exercise of their respective rights and powers…

“…Israel recognizes the right of the Catholic Church to carry out its religious, moral, educational and charitable functions, and to have its own institutions…

“…the Holy See and…Israel will negotiate on giving [Catholic legal personality at canon law] full effect in Israeli law…”

Holy places and freedom of worship. “…Israel affirms its continuing commitment to maintain and respect the status quo in the Christian holy places…and the respective rights of the Christian communities…”

Favoring pilgrimages. [Both parties] “…have an interest in favoring Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land….”

Educational institutions. “The Holy See and…Israel jointly reaffirm the right of the Catholic Church to establish, maintain and direct schools and institutes of study at all levels…”

Cultural exchanges. “The Holy See and…Israel recognize a common interest in promoting and encouraging cultural exchanges between Catholic institutions worldwide and educational, cultural and research institutions in Israel…”

Communications media. “…Israel recognizes that the right of the Catholic Church to freedom of expression [to carry] out its functions is exercised also through the church’s own communications media…”

Health and social welfare. “The Holy See and…Israel jointly reaffirm the right of the Catholic Church to carry out its charitable functions through its health care and social welfare institutions…”

Property, economic and fiscal matters. “The Holy See and…Israel jointly reaffirm the right of the Catholic Church to property….[they] 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…”

International conflict resolution. “The Holy See and…Israel declare their respective commitment to the promotion of the peaceful resolution of conflicts among states and nations, excluding violence and terror from international life….”

Continued negotiations. [Both parties] “will continue to negotiate in good faith…”

Terminology and existing treaties. “In this agreement the parties use these terms…‘The Catholic Church’ and ‘the church’… including…its communities and institutions…‘The state of Israel’ and ‘the state’…including…its authorities established by law.

“…the parties agree that this agreement does not prejudice rights and obligations arising from existing treaties…”

Diplomatic relations. “Upon signing of the present fundamental agreement and in preparation for the establishment of full diplomatic relations, the Holy See and…Israel exchange special representatives…

“…upon the beginning of the implementation of the…agreement, the Holy See and…Israel will establish full diplomatic relations at the level of apostolic nunciature on the part of the Holy See, and embassy on the part of …Israel.”

Effective date. “This agreement shall enter into force on the date of the latter notification of ratification by a party.”

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