Vatican City (Fides Service) – On Monday 10 November in the Vatican Pope John Paul II granted a special audience to a delegation of Christian members of the Organisation for the Liberation of Palestine (OLP). He said he hoped the visit would " lead to a better understanding of the situation of Christians in the Palestinian territories and the significant role which they can play in promoting the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.”
Confident that peace will be reached the Pope said: "Despite the recent setbacks on the road to peace and fresh outbreaks of violence and injustice, we must continue to affirm that peace is possible and that the resolution of differences can only come about through the patient dialogue and persevering commitment of people of good will on both sides. Terrorism must be condemned in all its forms, for it is not only a betrayal of our common humanity, but is absolutely incapable of laying the necessary political, moral and spiritual foundations for a people’s freedom and authentic self-determination.".
Lastly the Holy Father called on all parties “to respect fully the resolutions of the United Nations and the commitments made in the acceptance of the peace process, with engagement in a common quest for reconciliation, justice and the building of a secure and harmonious coexistence in the Holy Land. I likewise voice my hope that the national Constitution presently being drafted will give expression to the highest aspirations and the most cherished values of all the Palestinian people, with due recognition of all religious communities and adequate legal protection of their freedom of worship and expression.". (S.L.) (Fides Service 11/11/2003 – lines 18; words 252)