The Church of the Holy Land has taken part in the joy expressed by the United Arab Emirates upon welcoming His Holiness Pope Francis during his historic visit to Abu Dhabi. This participation was represented in the presence of Most Rev. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Among those present were Fr. Khalil Ja’ar, Fr. Butrus Hijazin and Fr. Leonardo in addition to Franciscan priests of the Custody of the Holy Land who included Advisor to the Custodian of the Holy Land Fr. Ibrahim Faltas and Bethlehem parish priest Fr. Rami Assakerieh who accompanied a delegation from Palestine that participated in the Mass celebrated by His Holiness Pope Francis.
Following his participation in the sessions of the Global Human Fraternity Conference, Archbishop Pizzaballa said, “Instead of getting embroiled in conflicts and differences, we must focus more on relationships and harmony despite all the differences. This is my message which I address to the believers in the Holy Land from this conference.”
In a related context, the Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan, which is affiliated with the Latin Patriarchate, participated in covering this historic visit which is the first by a Pontiff to the Gulf region. This participation was represented in the dispatch of a delegation accredited by competent official authorities, headed by the CCSM Director Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader, alongside 700 journalists from various Arab and international media organizations. The CCSM participants included Ms. Eva Habib, Samir Al-Ashram and abouna.org site representative in the UAE Fadi Marji.
In addition to the media coverage carried out by abouna.org websites in both Arabic and English, CCSM Director Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader was among those invited at the Global Human Fraternity Conference which issued the “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” by the Holy See and Al-Azhar Foundation. Fr. Bader was also interviewed by several UAE, Arab and international television channels. He also had articles posted in several newspapers in which he shed light on the importance of Pope Francis’ first historic visit to the UAE. Fr. Bader also highlighted Jordan’s role in launching the Amman Message, A Common Word, and the Week of Interfaith Harmony, as adopted annually by various UN countries.