It’s been a moving moment for me and the delegation to be here at the Church of the Nativity.
THE PRESIDENT: Madam Minister, thank you very much for your hospitality. It’s been a — it’s been a moving moment for me and the delegation to be here at the Church of the Nativity. For those of us who practice the Christian faith, there’s really no more holy site than the place where our Savior was born.
And I want to thank the government for arranging this trip. I also thank very much the three different churches for welcoming me here. It’s a fascinating history in this church, so not only was my soul uplifted, my knowledge of history was enriched.
I want to thank the people of Bethlehem for enduring a presidential trip — I know it’s been inconvenient for you. I very much appreciate your tolerating my entourage. Some day I hope that as a result of a formation of a Palestinian state there won’t be walls and checkpoints, that people will be able to move freely in a democratic state. That’s the vision, greatly inspired by my belief that there is an Almighty, and a gift of that Almighty to each man, woman and child on the face of the Earth is freedom. And I felt it strongly here today.
Anyway, thank you very much.
|President George W. Bush lights a candle in St. Catherine’s Church during his visit to Bethlehem Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008. With him is Khouloud Daibes, Minister of Tourism, and Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land. White House photo by Eric Draper|