“Jordan has witnessed three papal visits in its modern history: Pope Paul VI visited Jordan in 1964, Pope John Paul II in 2000, and now Pope Benedict XVI will begin the apostolic pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Jordan. But Jordan is not a transit route, but rather a sacred destination — a state with a living Christian community.”
Everyone is anticipating Benedict XVI’s visit to the Holy Land. What is its significance? What are its objectives? What would be its impact and consequences to the situation in the Middle East? A series of interviews will attempt to answer these questions regarding the papal visit from May 8th to 15th. In this interview, the official spokesman to the media on behalf of the Catholic Church in Jordan and editor of abouna.org Catholic website speaks about the importance of the Holy Father’s visit to Jordan.
“The Pope’s visit is important from many points of view. First, to confirm the Christian presence in Jordan. We have, thank God, a good number of Christians from various denominations of Christianity – the majority belong to the Orthodox Church – and there is also the Catholic Church, which has, in all branches, more than eighty or ninety thousand Catholic citizens. But the Pope is not only coming for Catholics, but also to unite Christians. Secondly, there is a formal relationship between Jordan and the Vatican since 1994 and these relations have been described as good and friendly. This year, 2009, we celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Jordan and the Holy See, a relationship that is destined for further cooperation to build peace, especially since Jordan is a moderate voice in the peace process in the Middle East, particularly in the two hot spots: Iraq and Palestine.”