Remarks and an Informal Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Father Lawrence Martin Jenco
The President. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I think you all know who we have here with us today. And certainly his being here is an answer to a great many prayers by all of us, and we're delighted to have Father Jenco with us. And now, Father Jenco.
Jenco. I'd like to make a public statement: I have
already expressed my joy and gratitude over being home -- home with my family,
both physical and spiritual. I'm about to meet with the President later, to
whom I shall convey the confidential message from my captors. This completes my
mission. I've met with His Holiness the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and
now I'm meeting with President Reagan. I'm not a politician; I'm a pilgrim. I
believe, nevertheless, that there is a resolution to the tragedy of
appeal to those who held me captive, to those still holding Tom, Terry, and
David, and this situation. The best way they can do this would be to accept the
invitation of Mr. Terry Waite to continue the dialog aimed at resolving the
situation. He is a churchman, a man who knows the thinking of those in
authority in both the Catholic and
Q. Father Jenco, is there anything at all that you think the President could do to be helpful?
Father Jenco. We will talk about that now.
Q. Do you have any more or less hope for the release of your brothers, given the fact that you were released?
Father Jenco. For 19 months I lived with faith, hope, and love. I shared -- for many, many months together with these men -- faith, hope, and love. We never gave up hope. Thank you.
Q. Mr. President, do you have any reason for optimism?
The President. What?
Q. Do you have any reason for optimism, Mr. President?
The President. I'm always optimistic, and I still have faith in prayer. This is evidence of it.
The President spoke at in the Rose Garden at
the White House. Following the remarks and the exchange with reporters, the
President met privately with Father Jenco in the Oval
Office and then with Father Jenco's family in the
Cabinet Room. In his remarks, Father Jenco referred
to Thomas Sutherland, David Jacobsen, and Terry A. Anderson, who were being
held hostage in