ARCHBISHOP Hilarion Capucci of the Melkite-Rite has been accused of terrorist acts against Israel and of being more interested in living the good life than in the wellbeing of the people to whom he is supposed to minister.
The allegations have been made by Fr Leo Rudloff. former abbot of the Benedictine Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem.
Fr Rudloff lived in Jerusalem from 1949 to 1969 and since 1970 has been on the advisory committee of the United States bishops Secretariat for Promoting Catholic-Jewish Relations.
In his essay Archbishop Capucci and Terrorism. he alleges that "Capucci has repeatedly smuggled arias into Israel, some of 'which were used to kill innocent victims."
On December 9 1974 "after a fair trial" by an Israeli Court, Archbishop Capucci, a Syrian was convicted of smuggling arms and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, said Fr Rudloff.
His release after only three years was on condition that "he would not be allowed to make anti-Israeli propaganda for the Arabs" and the "he would be posted far from the Middle East."
These terms have been repeatedly violated alleges Fr Rudloff, who adds that he appears to have taken little interest in his two subsequent appointments to Melkite-Rite communities in Latin America and later in Western Europe and has continued his involvement in Palestine affairs without permission and unknown to Vatican authority.
Fr Rudloff who was a member of the Vatican Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity from 1962-73, says that: "Capucci is claiming that Israel has no right to exist, a claim, alas, which is the basis of the whole Arab-Israeli conflict."
Last year Archbishop Capucci made headlines because of his frequent visits to Iran and as unofficial Vatican negotiator in talks with the Government aimed at the re-opening of Catholic Schools