2014-05-21 17:26:32

Jordanian prince wants Pope to develop 'template of hope' during trip to Holy Land

May 21, 2014: Jordan's Prince El Hassan bin Talal expressed the desire to see "a template of hope" developed during Pope Francis' May 24-26 visit to the Holy Land. Speaking with Catholic News Service,(CNS), the prince welcomed the pope's decision to have a rabbi and a Muslim leader accompany him on the three-day visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Observers believe the gesture underscores the importance the pope attaches to interreligious dialogue. "Whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, extremists seem to be doing their best to bring about Armageddon, rather than work toward any form of convivial solution, whereby the Holy Land is not only holy in name and description, but also in perspective of the future," the prince said. "That's why His Holiness' visit accompanied by a Jew and Muslim, I think, is more than just symbolic," he said in a May 17 interview.
Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Muslim leader Omar Abboud who will be part of the official Vatican delegation, are friends of Pope Francis from his native Argentina. The pope invited them to make the trip with him, in order to send what Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, called, "an extremely strong and explicit signal" about the importance of interreligious dialogue in the Middle East, one of the world's most troubled and conflict-ridden regions. The prince also underscored the importance of Francis' meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in the hopes that efforts for Christian unity will be enhanced.
A recent meeting between the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the prince's Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies issued a joint appeal in Amman May 14 calling for "integral education" and denouncing all forms of violence.Signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and Prince Hassan, the statement condemns "all forms of violence, and most recently, the kidnapping of the Nigerian schoolgirls." Prince Hassan has worked with retired Pope Benedict XVI, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger; in 1999, both were among the cSource: CNS

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