During the Departure Ceremony of Pope Benedict XVI
11 May 2009
Members of the Clergy,
We gather here at the conclusion of this wonderful, historic visit: the first - and I hope not the last - by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. From Amman, to Mount Nebo and Madaba, to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, people have come together, revering the One God, to share in the blessings of worship and goodwill.
Your Holiness, it is my privilege, on behalf of all Jordanians, to offer you our thanks for the honour you have done our country and to express our good wishes for the successful continuation of your pilgrimage.
It is vital that we continue the dialogue of respect that we have begun. Let us engage at all levels to spread understanding, especially among youth, the wellspring of our future.
You have spoken of moral poverty being as great a threat to our world as physical poverty. Let us, as believers, share the moral richness of our faiths, to reach out to one another, to heal divides, and to create a better world for all.
It is vital to make justice real for those who suffer today, whether from occupation, deprivation or disrespect. For too long, the Middle East has been entangled in conflict. The Palestinian people in particular have suffered under occupation and its evils. It is time this suffering ended, through a settlement that will guarantee the Palestinians their rights to freedom and statehood, and give Israelis the acceptance and security they need.
The two-state solution enjoys the support of the international community, precisely because it offers the only promise of lasting peace. Let us all, together, work for this peace.
Accept our cordial good wishes for meaningful and successful visits in the days ahead. May you, and all who travel with you, enjoy the blessings and guidance of God ... and in the years to come, return to us again, as a cherished and welcome friend.