Pope Expresses ‘Deep Respect’ for Muslims

Inaugurating his eight-day trip to the Middle East in Amman, Jordan, Pope Benedict XVI on Friday expressed “deep respect” for Muslims and his desire for the Catholic Church to play a vital role in fostering peace in the region.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II received the papal delegation at Amman airport.

Apart from Jordan, Israel and Palestinian territories also figure on Benedict’s tour to the Middle East where every word and gesture of the pontiff is certain to be subjected to immense scrutiny.

In 2006, Benedict offended many Muslims with a speech by quoting a Byzantine emperor who said that Islam encouraged violence and brought things “evil and inhuman.”

Addressing to correspondents aboard the papal plane en route to Jordan, Benedict played down the intense political ramifications of his trip. He said that the Catholic Church could help foster reconciliation in the Middle East because “we are not a political power, but a spiritual force.”

“Friends, unlike the pilgrims of old, I do not come bearing gifts or offerings,” Benedict said on Friday at a Catholic charity in Amman. “I come simply with an intention, a hope: to pray for the precious gift of unity and peace, most specifically for the Middle East.”

During his three day stay in Jordan, Benedict is expected to meet Christian exiles from Iraq, visit a mosque in Amman and pray at Mount Nebo, the spot from which Moses is believed to have seen the Promised Land.

(Internet Inputs)

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker