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Francis in Jordan: “I renew my respect and consideration for the Muslim community”

2014-05-24

Following his encounter with the royal family, the Pope met with 300 people at the Royal Palace including authorities, diplomats, and religious representatives. 

In his greeting, King Abdullah said that Francis is "the conscience of the world”;  the King expressed Islam's commitment to peace and suggested that they work together to obtain this common goal. 

King Abdullah
"Muslims everywhere appreciate your messages of esteem and friendship. In addition to being the successor of Saint Peter, Your Holiness, you have become a conscience for the whole world”.

"As the 41st descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), I have sought to uphold the true spirit of Islam, the Islam of peace”. 

"Your actions and support also continue to be needed to help Palestinians and Israelis resolve their long conflict. The status-quo of ‘justice denied’ to the Palestinians; fear of the other; fear of change; these are the way to mutual ruin, not mutual respect. Together, we can help leaders on both sides take the courageous steps needed, for peace, justice and co-existence”.

In his first speech of the trip, Pope Francis expressed his gratitude for the King's initiatives in religious dialogue, as well as his efforts to deepen respect for religious liberty. Pope Francis also directed a friendly message to the Islamic world.    

Pope Francis
"I take this opportunity to reiterate my profound respect and esteem for the Muslim community and my appreciation for the leadership of His Majesty the King in promoting a better understanding of the virtues taught by Islam and a climate of serene coexistence between the faithful of the different religions”.

"Religious freedom is in fact a fundamental human right and I cannot fail to express my hope that it will be upheld throughout the Middle East and the entire world. The right to religious freedom includes on the individual and collective levels the freedom to follow one’s conscience in religious matters and, at the same time, freedom of worship… [it also includes] the freedom to choose the religion which one judges to be true and to manifest one’s beliefs in public”.

In the political arena, the Pope commended Jordan for hosting refugees from Palestine, Syria, and Iraq. He also encouraged the international community to support Jordan in these efforts.

Pope Francis
"I encourage the authorities of the Kingdom to persevere in their efforts to seek lasting peace for the entire region. This great goal urgently requires that a peaceful solution be found to the crisis in Syria, as well as a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

It was the only political meeting of the trip, but as the royal family accompanied Pope Francis to the door of the Royal Palace, the personal element of the visit was evident. 


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