The Holy Father visited Bethlehem today. He spoke of the rights of the Palestinian people and offered to them a challenge. I am quoting from the English original as reported by the Vatican website, www.vatican.va
“Mr. President, the Holy See supports the right of your people to a sovereign Palestinian homeland in the land of your forefathers, secure and at peace with its neighbors, within internationally recognized borders. Even if at present that goal seems far from being realized, I urge you and all your people to keep alive the flame of hope, hope that a way can be found of meeting the legitimate aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians for peace and stability….”
He concludes his remarks with the following challenge to the young:
“I make this appeal to the many young people throughout the Palestinian Territories today: do not allow the loss of life and the destruction that you have witnessed to arouse bitterness or resentment in your hearts. Have courage to resist any temptation you may feel to resort to acts of violence or terrorism. Instead, let what you have experienced renew your determination to build peace….. I pray fervently that the song which the angels sang here in this place will be fulfilled: peace on earth, good will among men.”
May the Pope’s journey of peace come to fruition.