AMMAN – the Vatican Minister of Foreign Affairs, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, arrives in Amman on November 29 for a four-day visit in consultation with Church and government leaders.
In a statement released by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Jordan, Fr. Rifaat Bader stated that this visit comes in the framework of continuous coordination between the Kingdom and the Holy See and the strengthening of diplomatic relations formally launched in 1994.
According to Fr. Bader, the Vatican’s concern for strengthening the relationship with the Middle East has several facets. As a friendly State, the Vatican looks forward to an enhanced cooperation with the political leadership, and also to enhancing the Christian presence in the East, which in certain countries religious rights and freedom are violated.
Fr. Bader praised the historical encounter between His Majesty, King Abdullah II, with His Holiness, Pope Francis last August, during which emphasis was placed on dialogue and negotiation regarding Palestine, Jerusalem, and Syria. The Holy See appreciates the role of the Hashemite leadership, which takes to heart the well-being of sanctuaries and the Christian Arab presence, which the King himself, during a conference held in Amman last September, described as a first rate necessity and not “a luxury” .
According to the statement, Archbishop Mamberti met King Abdullah when the latter visited the Vatican and during his meeting with then Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and ambassadors accredited to the Vatican, whose countries hold a direct relationship with the Syrian conflict.
The visit includes high level official meetings with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh; visits to certain historical and religious sites, including the Latin Parish in Zarka which hosts hundreds of Syrian families, distributing help and food through the channels of Caritas.
In summary, today’s visit of the Vatican delegation is the fourth for this year. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation of Oriental Churches who attended the inauguration of the American University of Madaba under the patronage of King Abdullah and Crown Prince Hussein ben Abdullah; Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, who came for an international conference in conjunction with the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, under the theme “Christian Arab media in the service of questions of Justice, Peace and Human Rights”; and Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue participated at a conference convoked by King Abdullah last Septemberthe challenges facing Arab Christians.