Fr. Rif’at Bader obtains doctorate degree

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Fr. Rif’at Bader obtains doctorate degree

Amman-en.abouna.org

Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan Fr. Rif'at Bader obtained his doctorate degree in political philosophy from the Lebanese University on Tuesday, July 11.

Fr. Bader’s thesis titled, “The Philosophy of Jordanian-Vatican Relations/Vision and Realities 1964-2014”, was discussed by a committee comprising Professor Radwan Al-Sayyid, supervisor, Professor Raymond Ghosh, Professor Mohammed Oreibi, Professor Suad Hakim ( president of Committee) and Professor Mohammad Shouqair.

During the discussion of the thesis, Fr. Bader pointed out that: "We are in an age with conflicting positions. It is between those who erect bridges and those who replace them by walls; it is also between those who see religions as the root cause of conflicts or others who view them as a branch of peace." He added that through the thesis he wanted to present a vivid model of relations that are based on reconciliation rather than on interests by referring to the relations between the Holy See--which is the official name of the Vatican State in the world of politics and relations--and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which represents a rich historical heritage, as well as political present and religious identity.

The thesis explores the philosophy and the identity of the relationship between Jordan and the Vatican, and how to it can be exploited to serve humanity, without ignoring the reality that the cooperation between the two countries serves to produce stands opposed to the calls for excluding others and serves as well to disseminating the “Culture of Encounter” in its capacity as an alternative to the culture of exclusion.

The thesis adopts a historical analysis of the Vatican-Jordanian relations, with reference to the repeated papal visits since 1964. It states that the Holy See calls for granting rights to all people without discrimination and that it has neither economic or political interests on the one hand, nor it aims to impose its hegemony or monopoly. It also defines the nature of the relations between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Holy See, noting that they are two small countries but they are active in the international community and that they maintain relations extending from the far East to the far West.

The thesis stresses that the Christians in Jordan are citizens who enjoys full citizenship, as do the Muslim citizens, whereby differences of religion and pluralism are protected by the law at a time when Muslims and Christians enjoy distinguished relations.

In the thesis, Fr. Bader presents a number of recommendations which include initiating intellectual cooperation and openness to knowledge so as to present new educational curricula, that set the stage for cooperation rather than infighting and for cooperation, so as to preserve the integrity of religions and to abstain from getting religion meddled in political affairs particularly to justify violence.

At the end of the presentation of his thesis, Fr. Bader dedicated the efforts he exerted to finish his thesis on the Jordanian-Holy See relations to the souls of two dear persons. The first one is to his mother’s soul who had always encouraged him to finish his thesis but she regrettably passed away before its accomplishment. The second person to whom the study is dedicated is to Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran who passed away two days before the discussion of the thesis. Cardinal Tauran established relations between Jordan and the Holy See in 1994 when he was the secretary for relations with states.

Fr. Bader concluded his presentation by quoting a remark made by Cardinal Tauran, at the conclusion session of the symposium that convened in Cairo on February 22-23 of the Joint Committee of Al-Azhar Center for Dialogue and the Pontifical Council for inter-Religious Dialogue, when he said that “the continuation of dialogue is a gift and an enrichment to humanity, while freezing or terminating the dialogue is a gift to violence and terrorism.”

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