Pope Benedict on Monday called for a multiplicity of efforts to achieve a “stable peace” and allow coexistence in the Holy Land during his audience with Greek Orthodox Patriarch Teofilo III.
“This meeting offers me the opportunity to once again convey my closeness to all those who suffer from the conflicts that have plagued the Holy Land for decades,” the Pontiff said before the patriarch and his entourage, who will remain in Rome until Wednesday.
Francisco stressed that “the uncertainty of the situation and incomprehension between the parties continue to cause insecurity, limitation of fundamental rights and abandonment of the land itself for many.”
“That is why I invoke the help of God and I ask all the people involved to multiply their efforts so that the conditions for a stable peace based on justice and the recognition of the rights of all can be given,” he added.
For this, the pope said, “we must firmly reject the use of any type of violence, discrimination and intolerance for people or places of Jewish, Christian or Muslim worship.”
“The Holy City, whose status quo should be defended and preserved, should be a place where all can live peacefully, otherwise the spiral of suffering will continue for all,” he argued.
In this regard, he especially addressed the situation of the Christian community so that “it is always recognized as an integral part of society” and that, as citizens, “they never tire of their own contribution to peace”.
On the other hand, Francis expressed his desire to progress “on the path of full unity” between the Catholic Church and the Greco-Orthodox, separated since the “Great Schism” of the eleventh century.
“I am well aware that some of the wounds of the past continue to leave a mark on the memory of many. We can not change the history, but without forgetting the serious lack of charity for centuries, let us turn side by side to a future of full reconciliation and fraternal communion “the Pope concluded.