Fr. Bader: The book “Fortress of Peace” asserts religious harmony in Jordan

Fr. Bader: The book “Fortress of Peace” asserts religious harmony in Jordan

Following is the address by Fr. Rif’at Bader, director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Jordan, at the launching ceremony of Rula Samain’s book titled, “Fortress of Peace” at the Regency Palace Hotel in Amman on Monday, May 8:

I knew Rula ten years ago. The first telephone call I received from her was to enquire about late Franciscan Fr. Michele Piccirillo, who was a professor of archaeology. He was one of the major figures who discovered the location of the Baptism Site, and was greatly interested in Mount Nebo as he chose to be buried their despite being Italian.

That was the start of cooperation between two people who love their homeland. Later, the relationship developed into institutional cooperation between the Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) and a renowned journalist who is qualified for being specialized in inter-religious affairs.

This sphere of journalism, in the first place, was confined in the past to clergymen or rather religious institutions. Yet, we notice that there are several professionals who take religion as a profession. It is rather a message. The message of religion--as revealed in Rula Samain’s book--is designed to serve the purpose of security, love, justice and peace, since religion has nothing to do with violence and violence cannot be associated with religion. Violence is mean and has nothing to do with religion.

Secondly, the book expresses a Jordanian religious message. This is the essence of the book. It states that Jordan is a pioneer in two directions. The first direction is internal as it focuses on the unity of the Jordanian family despite the fact that there could be differences, rather than disputes, on ethnic or religious grounds. The second direction is a message addressed to the outside world on Jordan which indicates that religious harmony is possible.

We, hereby, note--as mentioned in the book--that the two directions listed in the book are interlinked whereby it is impossible to convey a message to the outside world without being experienced at home. It is factual that the global Jordanian messages addressed in Samain’s book are a genuine reflection of what the Jordanians are experiencing and of what they inherited from their forefathers.

On this very day, May 8, Pope Benedict XVI said what Rula expresses in her book. He said: “Indeed the Kingdom of Jordan has long been at the forefront of initiatives to promote peace in the Middle East and throughout the world, encouraging inter-religious dialogue… these noble initiatives yielded positive results designed to promote and enhance merging the cultures of the West with the Islamic world which negates the disseminated claims of the inevitability of violence and conflict.”

We, at the CCSM on its 5th anniversary, express our joy. I would rather refer to Caritas Jordan, which marks its 50th anniversary in a few days, by stressing that we have to extend cooperation and solidarity with all individuals and institutions that promote the values of equality, reduce differences, and bolster sound citizenship. The Fortress of Peace, namely Jordan, is rich in its values, messages and initiatives which Rula summarizes in her book. Jordan is also rich with its writers, excelling people and the youths who sincerely love their country. I was yesterday at the Bar Association to convey well wishes the doyen and the new members. These are young people whom we are proud of.

Thank you Rula for your unstinting efforts which are designed to highlight these values, as well as to focus on the perspicacity of our wise leadership and the awareness of our pioneer Jordanian people. As we convey our gratitude to you, we also thank your family and convey our love and appreciation to your husband Mr. Sa’d Naffa’ and to the staff of The Jordan Times for the support accorded to you. With the book demonstrating excelling effort, we hope that it will be translated into Arabic, and as you know we are ready to facilitate it.

I do reiterate what Pope Francis said a few days ago in Cairo… assalam Aleikum.

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 10:13
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