Pope Francis met with members of the ROACO, an international committee which provides financial assistance to the Oriental Churches. Among them, there were several representatives of countries that face on-going conflicts, such as Syria and Ukraine.
Pope Francis spoke about peace. He recalled when he prayed along with the presidents of Israel and Palestine on June 8.
"The olive tree which I planted in the Vatican Gardens together with the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Presidents of Israel and Palestine, is a symbol of that peace which is secure and enduring only because it is cultivated by many hands.”
The Pope specifically referred to Christians living in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine. The Pope ask the ROACO members to continue "cultivating peace” and working for them.
"With unity and charity Christ’s disciples strive to be peacemakers everywhere, in all peoples and communities, and to overcome persistent forms of discrimination, starting with those based on religion.”
Lastly, Pope Francis thanked them for restoring 'dignity and security' to refugees,and for respecting their religious identity and freedom.