2014
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Meeting with refugees and young people with disabilities in the Latin Church in Bethany beyond the Jordan (24 May 2014)

ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCIS

Latin Church, Bethany beyond the Jordan, Saturday, 24 May 2014

Distinguished Authorities,
Your Eminences, Excellencies,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As part of my pilgrimage I have greatly desired to meet with you who have had to leave your homes and your country as a result of violence and conflict. Here in Jordan you have found welcome and refuge. I have wanted also to meet with you, dear young people who bear the burden of physical disabilities.

The place where we are meeting commemorates Jesus’ baptism. Coming here to the Jordan to be baptized by John, Jesus showed his humility and his participation in our human condition. He stooped down to us and by his love he restored our dignity and brought us salvation. Jesus’ humility never fails to move us, the fact that he bends down to wounded humanity in order to heal us: he bends down to heal all our wounds! For our part, we are profoundly affected by the tragedies and suffering of our times, particularly those caused by ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. I think particularly of our beloved Syria, rent by nearly three years of civil strife which has led to countless deaths and forced millions to flee and seek exile in other countries. All of us want peace! But as we observe this tragic conflict, seeing these wounds, seeing so many people who have left their homeland, forced to do so, I ask myself: who is selling arms to these people to make war? Behold the root of evil! Hatred and financial greed in the manufacturing and sale of arms. This should make us think about who is responsible for this situation, for providing arms to those in conflict and thereby sustaining such conflict. Let us think about this and with sincere hearts let us call upon these poor criminals to change their ways.

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Meeting with refugees and young people with disabilities in the Latin Church in Bethany beyond the Jordan (24 May 2014)

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