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Jordan’s king meets with Pope

Catholic World News - April 08, 2014

Pope Francis received King Abdullah II of Jordan in audience at the Domus Sanctae Marthae on the afternoon of April 7. The Pontiff will celebrate Mass at a stadium in Amman, Jordan’s capital, at the beginning of his three-day apostolic journey to the Holy Land in May.

The Holy See Press Office described the 40-minute meeting, which took place over tea, as “cordial and not formal.” The king “had the opportunity to reaffirm the sentiments with which the Jordanian people are preparing to welcome the Pope” as well as his “collaboration in the commitment to peace and interreligious dialogue.”

In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI spent four days of his eight-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Jordan. “His Majesty the King has been notably active in fostering interreligious dialogue, and I want to put on record how much his commitment in this regard is appreciated,” Pope Benedict said upon leaving Jordan.

“I also gratefully acknowledge the particular consideration that he shows towards the Christian community in Jordan,” he added. “This spirit of openness not only helps the members of different ethnic communities in this country to live together in peace and concord, but it has contributed to Jordan’s farsighted political initiatives to build peace throughout the Middle East.”

The Middle Eastern nation of 6.5 million is 92% Muslim, 4% Orthodox, and 2% Catholic.

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