CCSM recalls Pope Francis' historic visit to Jordan

CCSM recalls Pope Francis' historic visit to Jordan


The Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Amman recalls the historic visit undertaken by Pope Francis a year ago to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

In a statement issued today, Sunday May 24, CCSM Director Fr. Rif'at Bader took pride in the fourth papal visit, saying that its coincidence with Independence Day carries great significance and hopes for a fruitful future.

The CCSM statement added that Pope Francis had received a warm welcome that expresses Jordanian hospitality. The Pope described, in his first official speech at the Husseiniya Palace, His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein as a "peace maker," while King Abdullah said that the Pope is a "bridge builder",whose exact meaning is "Pontifex"--which is one of the most prominent qualities referred to the Pontiff.

Referring to the Mass celebrated at Amman International Stadium, and attended by thousands of citizens from the Kingdom, the statement added that the Pope had not only met with the Jordanian Church, but also with the entire Churches of the Middle East, which were represented by the patriarchs of the Orient who came to Jordan and participated in events relevant to the visit heeding an official invitation from the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal.

The historic visit undertaken by His Holiness the Pope to the Baptism Site of Lord Jesus Christ,the statement continued, drew global media attention, since His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen and the Crown Prince welcomed His Holiness the Pope at the holy Jordan River, which he touched, thus positively impacting religious tourism in our beloved country that abounds with unique religious and historic sites.

The statement said that the Jordanian history, which includes visits by four Popes in half a century, is indicative of the holy historical significance of the soil, water and human being of our country, and foremost of which is the wisdom of its leadership and openness to extend bridges of communication with the world. The statement added that the Vatican highly values Jordan, where this was represented by naming the first Jordanian Apostolic nuncio, namely Archbishop Ghaleb Bader.

The CCSM statement noted that at the Baptism Church, His Holiness the Pope prayed with the sick, with the suffering, and the refugees. He felt their suffering and called on the world to stop supplying the terrorist groups with weapons in the hope that human dignity would be absolutely respected. Here, we refer to the deluge of displaced people who came to Jordan after the papal visit. They do enjoy the care of the universal Church and the local Church. The Pope lauded the efforts exerted to host the displaced brethren and the invaluable efforts undertaken by Caritas, which is affiliated with the Catholic Church, in this regard.

The CCSM said that His Holiness the Pope recalled his visit to Jordan, on the first leg of his visit to the Holy Land, during the annual general meeting with the diplomats accredited to the Holy See, Vatican. He said "I found hospitality in Jordan which I visited on the first leg of my pilgrimage to the Holy Land", pointing in particular to the commitment of Middle Eastern countries to the arriving refugees.

The CCSM concluded the statement by conveying heartfelt congratulations to His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, to the Hashemite family, and to the Jordanian people on the 69th anniversary of Jordan's independence. The statement also lauded Jordan's honorable and bright image, and expressed hope that Jordan would continue its march and mission as a model country in mercy, cordiality and national unity which is beautified by sublime religious pluralism.

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