Appeal for solidarity marks Jordan’s role in Middle East dialogue

King Abdullah II of Jordan. Credit: UN Photo/OCHA/Nicole Lawrence.

An appeal issued jointly Wednesday by Vatican and Jordanian officials marks the nations’ friendship and common commitment to foster peace and dialogue in the Middle East.

Following a May 13-14 meeting in Amman on “Meeting Current Challenges through Education,” the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Jordan’s Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies issued an appeal for solidarity on the eve of Pope Francis’ May 24-26 pilgrimage, which they called “a source of hope for all peoples of the Holy Land and the region.”

The statement began by strongly condemning violence, in particular the April kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria, “call(ing) or their immediate release, so that they can return to their families and their schools.”

The participants agreed on families and schools as the “fundamental institutions” of education; the importance of religious education in transmitting religious and moral values; the necessity of considering the human person’s dignity; and the trouble of international agreements which disregard religious freedom and other human rights.

It was also stated that “integral education” is necessary, because “religion is not the cause of conflicts, but rather inhumanity and ignorance,” and that “religions, properly understood and practiced, are not causes of division and conflicts but rather a necessary factor for reconciliation and peace.”

The joint statement proposed a “cultural decalogue” for those involved in education, which highlighted the importance of humility; of not being closed-minded; perseverance; trust in reason; and of intellectual curiosity, courage, integrity, autonomy, fairness, and humility.

The “decalogue” also exhorted educators to “consider pluralism as richness, not a threat.”

The joint statement is the latest in Jordan’s steps to affirm its strategic role for peace and dialogue in the Middle East, which has been reinforced over the years by a series of initiatives, many of them involving Ghazi bin Muhammad, one of the nation’s princes.

bin Muhammad helped to organize a 2007 letter to Benedict XVI from 138 Muslim scholars, relaunching a dialogue following his Regensburg address of the previous year.

Since then, bin Muhammad has helped coordinate a series of dialogues between Catholic and Muslim thinkers, including Benedict’s 2009 visit to the Holy Land.

In September, bin Muhammad sponsored a summit of Christian leaders in the Middle East convoked by King Abdullah II to address the widespread emergencies facing Christians in the region; Jordan is widely seen as a protector of Christians in the area.

Abdullah and bin Muhammad met with Pope Francis April 7, to indicate Jordan’s full support for his upcoming visit to the Holy Land.


Voices

Seeking the face of God in the Scriptures

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Prayer is seeking the face of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls the story of how St. John Vianney once found a peasant praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The saint asked him what he was doing, and the man replied: “I look at him and he looks at me.”

Events

February 2016
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February 14, 2016

  • Sunday, February 14

    Mother Cabrini Library and Chapel Open House, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., 3801 Scott Road, Burbank. The event is hosted by the Los Angeles Region.

     

    Italian Catholic Club of SCV Valentine's Day Dinner Dance, 7 p.m., Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Parish Hall), 23233 Lyons Ave., Newhall. Come enjoy a delicious gourmet buffet dinner and dance the night away to the music of Linda Pippin. Wear your favorite red dress, shirt and/or tie. All adults (single or married) are welcome. Tickets are $35 each (prepaid), or $45 at the door. Please call Anna Riggs at (661) 645-7877 to reserve your spot by Feb. 10.

     

    Stations of the Cross, 2 p.m. Calvary Cemetery, 4201 Whittier Boulevard, East Los Angeles. Continuing each Sunday of Lent. For more info, please call Calvary Cemetery: 323-261-3106.

     

    Year of Mercy Mass and Pilgrimage in The Shrine of St. John Paul II, 3 p.m., Our Lady of the Bright Mount Church, 3424 W. Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles.  Mass celebrated in English with Fr. John Paul Gonzalez of Christ the King Church.  Mass will be followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and confession, with Divine Mercy Chaplet.  The closing prayer will be a blessing and veneration of the 1st class relic of St. John Paul II.  

    South Bay Catholic Co-ed Adult Softball League Pre-Season Practice Games, McMaster Park, 3624 Artesia Blvd., Torrance.  Must RSVP to Fred Lawler (League Commissioner) at (310) 504-0271 or fredlawler@hotmail.com.

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