POPE MEETS MEMBERS OF PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

VATICAN CITY, SEP 22, 1997 (VIS) - Following is the English-language address of Pope John Paul to a delegation of the Palestinian Authority. led by Emil M. Jarjoui, member of the PLO Executive Committee and the Palestinian Legislative Council for Jerusalem, whom he received in Castelgandolfo this morning.

"It is for me a particular joy to receive you today and, through you, to greet your Authorities and the whole Palestinian People. To think of that dear people is always, alas, to think of a sad reality: injustice, violence and fear of the future are still the daily bread of your brothers and sisters.

"The Holy See and the Pope have never failed to speak out in order that no one should forget the tragedies which have marked your history and your sufferings. No one can refuse to be concerned with the destiny of so many brothers and sisters in humanity, whose rights are too often not recognized, indeed, are often trampled upon. The Holy See has also frequently spoken out on behalf of the security of the State of Israel, being profoundly convinced that security, justice and peace go hand in hand.

"I would like once more to remind all who live in the Middle East and those who in that area exercise any sort of political, social or religious authority that a peace process has been set in motion, that the path of reconciliation has been marked out, that peoples have expressed their desire for justice, and that entire families are awaiting a peaceful future for their children.

"More than just human reason or political interests, it is God himself who asks every individual to have the courage of brotherhood, dialogue, perseverance and peace! I implore him to bless all those whom you represent and all those who live in that land which, for us, remains 'The Holy Land'." AC/PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY/CASTELGANDOLFO VIS 970922 (310)