Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Friday, 3 May 2024

Jordan: The CCSM lauds the Royal visit to the Holy See

Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader :

The Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan has lauded the visit undertaken by His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein to the Holy See on Thursday, May 2, and his meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis.


In a statement issued by the CCSM, CCSM Director Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader said that this is the 7th Royal visit by His Majesty King Abdullah II  which takes place to enhance the diplomatic relations that were established 30 years ago, during the reign of the late King Hussein Ibn Talal and Pope John Paul II. He said that over the course of 30 years which included several mutual meetings between His Majesty the King and His Holiness the Pope, we have always felt a consolidation of the common values ​​between Islam and Christianity, and the special view that the Holy See expresses towards Jordan in its capacity as a holy land, and a country that respects the plurality of religions, in addition to the  persistent calls for harmony and cooperation between followers of different religions.


The CCSM statement added that the visit of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, which takes place amidst of Jordan’s commemoration of the silver jubilee of His Majesty’s ascension to the Throne, is an affirmation of the noble personality enjoyed by the “dean of Arab leaders,” as he enjoys wise leadership, perspicacity, and successive calls to give precedence to the language of dialogue over interests, violence, and bloodshed. He is a greatly respected person by the Vatican and the Holy See as he brilliantly guided the Jordanian ship to the shores of safety and stability. He is the only Arab leader who has so far received three Popes who came as pilgrims to Jordan, the land of Baptism and the Baptism Site where Lord Jesus Christ was baptized, to Tel Mar Elias, to Mount Nebo, to Our Lady of the Mount in Anjara, to the Fortress of Machaerus, and to other holy places in Jordan. His Majesty the King also won a number of international awards related to human rights, brotherhood, and convergence between followers of religions.


The CCSM statement continues that this is the 10th year that follows the visit of Pope Francis, who over the past 10 years has expressed his respect for the Jordanian role in hosting refugees and has always described it as the “welcoming country” par excellence. However, the CCSM stressed that this meeting takes place in light of the continued Israeli aggression on Gaza, and is concomitant with the convergence of the Jordanian-Vatican viewpoints with regards to the incessant call for the attainment of a ceasefire, for the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need in the Gaza Strip, for preventing the displacement of Palestinians outside their national land, for supporting the humanitarian mission undertaken by UNRWA, and for underlining the necessity not only to end this stage of the dispute, but rather to bring about a permanent, just, and comprehensive solution to the entire Palestinian issue. The statement adds that both Jordan and the Vatican demand ensuring the attainment of a two-state solution as a way to resolve this 75-year old crisis, while maintaining a special status for Jerusalem, at a time when Jordan calls for East Jerusalem to be the capital of an independent Palestinian state.


The CCSM statement concluded that this visit--which was attended by His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi Ibn Muhammad, chief advisor of King Abdullah for religious affairs and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Baptism Site Commission--may enhance the ongoing calls for pilgrims, especially Catholics from different parts of the world, to visit Jordan and be blessed by its holy waters and soil, as His Majesty stressed during the meeting that Jordan is keen to preserve and care for Christian religious places, especially the Baptism Site of Lord Jesus Christ. The statement continued that the tourist movement witnessed a significant decline in the second half of last year due to the situation in Gaza, yet the Vatican, with its institutions spread throughout the world, is able to help Jordan receive thousands of pilgrims who wish to visit the important archaeological sites accredited by the Vatican as sites of Christian pilgrimage.