Francis on the meeting with Peres and Abu Mazen: Don’t leave us alone

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 05/29/2014 - 21:42

At the General Audience dedicated to his recent trip to the Holy Land Francis said: “I ask forgiveness for what we have done to encourage the division among Christians”.

The meeting with the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew ("I ask forgiveness for what we have done to encourage this division between Christians.”). The visit to Christians in the Holy Land (the trip was also a way to "bring a word of hope, but I also received as much in turn!”). And the challenge of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. This is how Pope Francis summed up his “pilgrimage” to Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Saturday through to Monday, at today’s General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. Francis invited the jubilant crowd of faithful to pray for the meeting of prayer he will be holding with the Israeli president Shimon Peres and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) in the Vatican: “Please, I ask you, do not leave us alone.”

The pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Francis said, interrupting his series of catecheses on the gifts of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, was “a great gift to the Church.” Bergoglio thanked the Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal, the bishops of the various rites, the priests, the Franciscans (these Franciscans are good people!”) and Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli authorities “who welcomed me in such a kind and I would say friendly way.”

"The main purpose of this pilgrimage was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras … My meeting with His Holiness Bartholomew, beloved brother in Christ, was the highlight of the visit,” The Pope said before going on to recall the meeting in the Holy Sepulchre: “In that place where the announcement of the Resurrection rang out, where Jesus gives us life , we are still divided,” the Pope added in an off-the-cuff comment. “We felt the desire to heal the wounds that are still open and resolutely keep on the path towards full communion". "Once again, as previous Popes have done, I ask forgiveness for what we have done to encourage this division and ask the Holy Spirit to help us to heal the wounds that we have caused to others, our brothers. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and with Patriarch Bartholomew we are friends, brothers, and we share the desire to walk together, to do everything we can do today: to pray together, work together for the flock of God, to seek peace, protect creation,” Francis continued amid applause.

Another purpose of the trip, the Argentinian Pope went on to say, was “to bring encouragement "to journey towards peace that is, at the same time God's gift and the task of men". "I did this in Jordan, Palestine, Israel. And I've always done this as a pilgrim, in the name of God and man, carrying a great compassion in my heart for the children of that land who for too long have had to coexist with war and have the right to finally know days of peace!” “Peace is hand made. There are no industries of peace,” Francis stressed.

"During the pilgrimage to other places, I also encouraged the authorities concerned to continue their efforts to ease tensions in the Middle East, especially in the troubled Syria, as well as to continue the search for an equitable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That's why I invited the President of Israel and the President of Palestine, both men of peace and builders of peace, to come to the Vatican to pray with me for peace. And please, I ask you, do not leave us alone: pray, pray so that the Lord may give us peace, give us peace in that blessed land! I count on your prayers. Pray with great strength, pray, at this time, pray for peace.”

In Jordan “I was struck by the generosity of the people of Jordan in their reception of refugees, the many fleeing war in that area. May the Lord bless this friendly people, bless them abundantly. And we must pray that the Lord bless this welcome and ask all international institutions help the people in their efforts to receive these refugees.”

"This pilgrimage to the Holy Land was also an opportunity to confirm the faith of the Christian communities, who suffer so much, and express the gratitude of the whole Church for the presence of Christians in that area and throughout the Middle East.” “The trip was also a way to "bring a word of hope, but I also received as much in turn! I received from brothers and sisters who hope 'against hope' through so much suffering, like those of the many who have fled their country because of the conflict, such as those who, in different parts of the world, are despised and discriminated against because of their faith in Christ. Let us continue to stay close to them,” Francis said.

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