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Benedict XVI’s Second Visit to a Mosque

Dialogue with Islam characterized the Jordanian stage of the
pilgrimage to the Holy Land, along the road opened up in Regensburg.
Published here for the first tine: the complete text of the discourse
addressed to the pope by Muslim prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad Bin Talal



ROME,
May 11, 2009 – On his trip to the Holy Land, Benedict XVI has dedicated
the first three days to Jordan. On previous papal voyages, the stay in
this Muslim kingdom was more fleeting, as were the references to Islam.
The new development has taken place with pope Joseph Raztinger.
Relations with Islam have been at the center of the first part of his
trip. And they will be given further visibility in Jerusalem, with the
visit to the Dome of the Rock, recognized by Muslims as the spot from
which Muhammad ascended to heaven.

Naturally, from the start
Benedict XVI has stamped his trip with the imprint of a Christian
pilgrimage, with careful attention to Christianity’s roots in Judaism.

In
Jordan, he began by going up on Mount Nebo, and from there, like Moses,
looking at the Promised Land. There, he recalled “the inseparable bond
that unites the Church to the Jewish people.” And he finished by going
to Bethany “beyond the Jordan,” to the place where the last of the
prophets, John the Baptist, baptized Jesus.

At each stage, he
met with and encouraged the Christians living in that land, small
communities very much in the minority, for whom life is not easy.

He
celebrated the first public Mass of the trip with them in Amman, on
Sunday, May 10. In the homily, he immediately stressed for them what
had just been read: that apart for Jesus “there is no name under heaven
given to men by which we are to be saved” (Acts 4:12).

He urged
them to recognize the full dignity of women, and to “sacrifice” their
own lives in service to others, the opposite of “ways of thinking that
justify ‘cutting short’ innocent lives.”

But it was in relation
to Islam that Benedict XVI’s remarks in Jordan were most fully
elaborated, on two occasions in particular: when he blessed the first
stone of a new Catholic university in Madaba, for students who will be
mostly Muslim, and when he visited the Al-Hussein Bin Talal mosque in
Amman.

In Madaba, on Saturday, May 9, the pope said:

“Belief
in God does not suppress the search for truth; on the contrary it
encourages it. Saint Paul exhorted the early Christians to open their
minds to ‘all that is true, all that is noble, all that is good and
pure, all that we love and honor, all that is considered excellent or
worthy of praise’ (Phil 4:8). Religion, of course, like science and
technology, philosophy and all expressions of our search for truth, can
be corrupted. Religion is disfigured when pressed into the service of
ignorance or prejudice, contempt, violence and abuse.  In this case we
see not only a perversion of religion but also a corruption of human
freedom, a narrowing and blindness of the mind. Clearly, such an
outcome is not inevitable. Indeed, when we promote education, we
proclaim our confidence in the gift of freedom. The human heart can be
hardened by the limits of its environment, by interests and passions.
But every person is also called to wisdom and integrity, to the basic
and all-important choice of good over evil, truth over dishonesty, and
can be assisted in this task.

“The call to moral integrity is
perceived by the genuinely religious person, since the God of truth and
love and beauty cannot be served in any other way. Mature belief in God
serves greatly to guide the acquisition and proper application of
knowledge. Science and technology offer extraordinary benefits to
society and have greatly improved the quality of life of many human
beings. Undoubtedly this is one of the hopes of those who are promoting
this University, whose motto is ‘Sapientia et Scientia’. At the same
time the sciences have their limitations. They cannot answer all the
questions about man and his existence. Indeed the human person, his
place and purpose in the universe cannot be contained within the
confines of science. ‘Humanity’s intellectual nature finds its
perfection ultimately in wisdom, which gently draws the human mind to
seek and to love what is true and good’ (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 15). The
use of scientific knowledge needs the guiding light of ethical wisdom.
Such is the wisdom that inspired the Hippocratic Oath, the 1948
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Convention and other
laudable international codes of conduct. Hence religious and ethical
wisdom, by answering questions of meaning and value, play a central
role in professional formation. And consequently, those universities
where the quest for truth goes hand in hand with the search for what is
good and noble, offer an indispensable service to society.”

But
it was in Amman, visiting the Al-Hussein Bin Talal mosque, that
Benedict XVI entered most directly into the heart of the matter.

The
place and the audience were rich in significance. The pope was hosted
by Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad Bin Talal, 42, cousin of the current king
of Jordan, Abdullah II, the son of the deceased King Hussein after whom
the mosque is named.

Prince Ghazi is the most authoritative
proponent of the open letter “A common word between us and you,”
addressed to the pope and to the heads of the other Christian
confessions in October of 2007 by 138 Muslim figures from many
different countries.

The letter was the most important
follow-up, from the Muslim camp, to the dialogue that Benedict XVI
opened with his memorable lecture at the University of Regensburg on
September 11, 2006.

The letter of the 138 gave rise to a
permanent forum of Catholic-Muslim dialogue, the first session of which
was held in Rome from November 4-6, 2008, which concluded with a
meeting with the pope.

In Amman, on Saturday, May 9, Prince
Ghazi first accompanied Benedict XVI on his visit to the mosque – where
both had a “moment of recollection” – and then, outside of the
building, addressed an extensive welcome speech to him, followed by the
remarks of the pope.

The complete texts of the two speeches are
presented below. Prince Ghazi’s, delivered in English and unpublished
until now, was carefully transcribed by “L’Osservatore Romano,” which
published only a brief summary of this.

The pope’s speech
revisits themes and arguments that he has already developed in previous
discourses, while Prince Ghazi’s seems more unusual, especially in a
Muslim world that until now has been almost entirely in the dark about
the progress underway in dialogue with the Catholic Church.

In
fact, Benedict XVI’s visit to Jordan has marked a new development in
this regard as well. Thanks to the worldwide public impact of the trip
and to the exchange of speeches between the pope and Prince Ghazi, a
“common word” of dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam has for
the first time reached a portion of Muslim public opinion, to an
unprecedented extent.

__________


“Together, Christians and Muslims are impelled to seek all that is just and right”


by Benedict XVI

Your Royal Highness,
Your Excellencies,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It
is a source of great joy for me to meet with you this morning in this
magnificent setting. I wish to thank Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammed Bin
Talal for his kind words of welcome. Your Royal Highness’s numerous
initiatives to promote inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue and
exchanges are appreciated by the people of the Hashemite Kingdom and
they are widely respected by the international community. I know that
these efforts receive the active support of other members of the Royal
Family as well as the nation’s government, and find ample resonance in
the many initiatives of collaboration among Jordanians. For all this, I
wish to express my own heartfelt admiration.

Places of worship,
like this splendid Al-Hussein Bin Talal mosque named after the revered
late King, stand out like jewels across the earth’s surface. From the
ancient to the modern, the magnificent to the humble, they all point to
the divine, to the Transcendent One, to the Almighty. And through the
centuries these sanctuaries have drawn men and women into their sacred
space to pause, to pray, to acknowledge the presence of the Almighty,
and to recognize that we are all his creatures.

For this reason
we cannot fail to be concerned that today, with increasing insistency,
some maintain that religion fails in its claim to be, by nature, a
builder of unity and harmony, an expression of communion between
persons and with God. Indeed some assert that religion is necessarily a
cause of division in our world; and so they argue that the less
attention given to religion in the public sphere the better. Certainly,
the contradiction of tensions and divisions between the followers of
different religious traditions, sadly, cannot be denied. However, is it
not also the case that often it is the ideological manipulation of
religion, sometimes for political ends, that is the real catalyst for
tension and division, and at times even violence in society? In the
face of this situation, where the opponents of religion seek not simply
to silence its voice but to replace it with their own, the need for
believers to be true to their principles and beliefs is felt all the
more keenly. Muslims and Christians, precisely because of the burden of
our common history so often marked by misunderstanding, must today
strive to be known and recognized as worshippers of God faithful to
prayer, eager to uphold and live by the Almighty’s decrees, merciful
and compassionate, consistent in bearing witness to all that is true
and good, and ever mindful of the common origin and dignity of all
human persons, who remain at the apex of God’s creative design for the
world and for history.

The resolve of Jordanian educators and
religious and civic leaders to ensure that the public face of religion
reflects its true nature is praiseworthy.  The example of individuals
and communities, together with the provision of courses and programs,
manifest the constructive contribution of religion to the educational,
cultural, social and other charitable sectors of your civic society.
Some of this spirit I have been able to sample at first hand.
Yesterday, I experienced the renowned educational and rehabilitation
work of the Our Lady of Peace Centre where Christians and Muslims are
transforming the lives of entire families, by assisting them to ensure
that their disabled children take up their rightful place in society.
Earlier this morning, I blessed the foundation stone of Madaba
University where young Muslim and Christian adults will side by side
receive the benefits of a tertiary education, enabling them to
contribute justly to the social and economic development of their
nation. Of great merit too are the numerous initiatives of
inter-religious dialogue supported by the Royal Family and the
diplomatic community and sometimes undertaken in conjunction with the
Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. These include the
ongoing work of the Royal Institutes for Inter-faith studies and for
Islamic Thought, the Amman Message of 2004, the Amman Interfaith
Message of 2005, and the more recent Common Word letter which echoed a
theme consonant with my first encyclical: the unbreakable bond between
love of God and love of neighbor, and the fundamental contradiction of
resorting to violence or exclusion in the name of God (cf. Deus Caritas
Est, 16).

Such initiatives clearly lead to greater reciprocal
knowledge, and they foster a growing respect both for what we hold in
common and for what we understand differently. Thus, they should prompt
Christians and Muslims to probe even more deeply the essential
relationship between God and his world so that together we may strive
to ensure that society resonates in harmony with the divine order. In
this regard, the co-operation found here in Jordan sets an encouraging
and persuasive example for the region, and indeed the world, of the
positive, creative contribution which religion can and must make to
civic society.

Distinguished friends, today I wish to refer to a
task which I have addressed on a number of occasions and which I firmly
believe Christians and Muslims can embrace, particularly through our
respective contributions to learning and scholarship, and public
service. That task is the challenge to cultivate for the good, in the
context of faith and truth, the vast potential of human reason.
Christians in fact describe God, among other ways, as creative Reason,
which orders and guides the world. And God endows us with the capacity
to participate in his reason and thus to act in accordance with what is
good. Muslims worship God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, who has
spoken to humanity. And as believers in the one God we know that human
reason is itself God’s gift and that it soars to its highest plane when
suffused with the light of God’s truth. In fact, when human reason
humbly allows itself to be purified by faith, it is far from weakened;
rather, it is strengthened to resist presumption and to reach beyond
its own limitations. In this way, human reason is emboldened to pursue
its noble purpose of serving mankind, giving expression to our deepest
common aspirations and extending, rather than manipulating or
confining, public debate. Thus, genuine adherence to religion – far
from narrowing our minds – widens the horizon of human understanding.
It protects civil society from the excesses of the unbridled ego which
tend to absolutize the finite and eclipse the infinite; it ensures that
freedom is exercised hand in hand with truth, and it adorns culture
with insights concerning all that is true, good and beautiful.

This
understanding of reason, which continually draws the human mind beyond
itself in the quest for the Absolute, poses a challenge; it contains a
sense of both hope and caution. Together, Christians and Muslims are
impelled to seek all that is just and right. We are bound to step
beyond our particular interests and to encourage others, civil servants
and leaders in particular, to do likewise in order to embrace the
profound satisfaction of serving the common good, even at personal
cost. And we are reminded that because it is our common human dignity
which gives rise to universal human rights, they hold equally for every
man and woman, irrespective of his or her religious, social or ethnic
group. In this regard, we must note that the right of religious freedom
extends beyond the question of worship and includes the right –
especially of minorities – to fair access to the employment market and
other spheres of civic life.

Before I leave you this morning I
would like to acknowledge in a special way the presence among us of His
Beatitude Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Baghdad, whom I greet most
warmly. His presence brings to mind the people of neighboring Iraq many
of whom have found welcome refuge here in Jordan. The international
community’s efforts to promote peace and reconciliation, together with
those of the local leaders, must continue in order to bear fruit in the
lives of Iraqis.  I wish to express my appreciation for all those who
are assisting in the endeavors to deepen trust and to rebuild the
institutions and infrastructure essential to the well-being of that
society. And once again, I urge diplomats and the international
community they represent together with local political and religious
leaders to do everything possible to ensure the ancient Christian
community of that noble land its fundamental right to peaceful
coexistence with their fellow citizens.

Distinguished friends, I
trust that the sentiments I have expressed today will leave us with
renewed hope for the future. Our love and duty before the Almighty is
expressed not only in our worship but also in our love and concern for
children and young people – your families – and for all Jordanians. It
is for them that you labor and it is they who motivate you to place the
good of every human person at the heart of institutions, laws and the
workings of society. May reason, ennobled and humbled by the grandeur
of God’s truth, continue to shape the life and institutions of this
nation, in order that families may flourish and that all may live in
peace, contributing to and drawing upon the culture that unifies this
great Kingdom!

__________

“A pope who has the moral courage to do and speak his conscience”

by Ghazi Bin Muhammad Bin Talal

“Pax
vobis.” On the occasion of this historic visit to the Al-Hussein Bin
Talal mosque here in Amman, I bid Your Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
welcome in four ways.

First, as a Muslim. I bid Your Holiness
welcome today as we understand this visit to be a deliberate gesture of
good will and mutual respect from the supreme spiritual leader and
pontiff of the largest denomination of the world’s largest religion to
the world’s second-largest religion. Indeed, Christians and Muslims
make up over 55% of the world’s population and so it is especially
significant that this is only the third time in history a reigning pope
has visited a mosque, the first being by Your Holiness’s much-beloved
predecessor, Pope John Paul II, to the historical Umayyad mosque in
Damascus, which contains the remains of John the Baptist in 2001, and
the second being by Your Holiness to the magnificent Blue Mosque in
Istanbul in 2006.

The beautiful King Hussein mosque in Amman,
Jordan is Jordan’s state mosque, and it was built and personally
supervised by His Majesty King Abdullah II in loving honor of his late
father, Jordan’s great King Hussein, may God have mercy on his soul.
Thus, this is the first time in history that a pope has ever visited a
new mosque; hence, we see in this visit a clear message of the
necessity of interfaith harmony and mutual respect in the contemporary
world, as well as concrete proof of the willingness of Your Holiness to
personally take a leading role in this.

This gesture is all the
more remarkable, given the fact that this visit to Jordan by Your
Holiness is primarily a spiritual pilgrimage to the Christian Holy
Land, and in particular to the site of the baptism of Jesus Christ by
John the Baptist at Bethany beyond the Jordan, John 1:28 and John 3:26.

And
yet Your Holiness has made time, in your intense and tiring schedule,
tiring for a man of any age, for this visit to the King Hussein mosque,
in order to honor Muslims.

I must also thank Your Holiness, for
the regret you expressed after the Regentsburg lecture of September 13,
2006, for the hurt caused by this lecture to Muslims. Of course Muslims
know that nothing that can be said or done in this world can harm the
Prophet, who is, as his last words attested, with the highest
companion, God himself, in paradise.

But Muslims were,
nevertheless, hurt because of their love for the Prophet, who is, as
God says in the Holy Qu’uran, closer to the believers than their own
selves. Hence, Muslims also especially appreciated the clarification by
the Vatican that what was said in the Regensburg lecture did not
reflect Your Holiness’s own opinion, but was rather simply a citation
in an academic lecture.

It hardly needs to be said, moreover,
that the prophet Muhammad, whom Muslims love, emulate, and know as a
living reality and spiritual presence, is completely and entirely
different from the historical depictions of him in the West, ever since
St John of Damascus. These distorted depictions by those who either do
not know Arabic or the Holy Qur’an or who do not understand the
historical and cultural contexts of the prophet’s life, and thus
misunderstand and misconstrue the spiritual motives and intentions
behind many of the prophet’s actions and words, are unfortunately
responsible for much historical and cultural tension between Christians
and Muslims.

It is thus incumbent upon Muslims to explain the
prophet’s example, above all, with deeds of virtue, charity, and piety
and good will, recalling that the Prophet himself was of an exalted
nature. For God says in the Holy Qu’uran, “Verily ye have in the
messenger of God a beautiful pattern of conduct for whosoever hopes in
God and the last day, and remembereth God much.”

Finally, I must
thank Your Holiness for many other friendly gestures and kindly actions
towards Muslims since your ascension in 2005, including graciously
receiving both His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan in
2005, and His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Ad-Al-Haziz of Saudi Arabia,
the custodian of the two holy places, in 2008. And also especially for
your warm reception of the historical or common word between us and
you, the open letter of October 13, 2007, by 138 leading international
Muslim scholars, whose numbers continue increasing to this day.

It
was as a result of this initiative, which, based on the Holy Qur’an and
the Bible, recognized the primacy of the love of God and the love of
neighbor in both Christianity and Islam, that the Vatican, under Your
Holiness’s personal guidance, held the first seminar of the
international Muslim-Catholic forum, from November 4-6, 2008.

We
will shortly be following up, with the very able Cardinal Tauran, the
work initiated by this meeting, but for now I would like to cite and
echo your words from the speech Your Holiness gave on the occasion of
the end of the first seminar, and I quote, “The theme which you have
chosen for your meeting – love of God, love of the neighbor, the
dignity of the human person, and mutual respect – is particularly
significant. It was taken from the open letter, which presents love of
God and love of the neighbor as the heart of Islam and Christianity
alike. This theme highlights even more clearly the theological and
spiritual foundations of a central teaching of our respective
religions. [...] I am well aware that Muslims and Christians have
different approaches in matters regarding God, yet we can and must be
worshippers of the one God, who created us and is concerned about each
person in every corner of the world. [...] There is a great and vast
field in which we can act together, in defending and promoting the
moral values which are part of our common heritage.”

Now I
cannot but help remember God’s words in the Holy Qu’uran: “Yet they are
not all alike.” Some of the people of the Scripture are an upright
community, who recite God’s verses in the watches of the night,
prostrating themselves. They believe in God and in the last day,
enjoining decency and forbidding indecency, vying with one another in
good works. Those are of the righteous, and whatever good they do, they
shall not be denied it, and God knows the God-fearing. And also God’s
words: “And you will find, and you will truly find, the nearest of them
to those who believe, to be those who say, verily we are Christians.
That is because some of them are priests, and monks.”

Second, as
a Hashemite, and a descendant of the prophet Muhammad. I also bid Your
Holiness welcome to this mosque in Jordan remembering that the prophet
Muhammad welcomed his Christian neighbors from Najran to Medina, and
invited them to pray in his own mosque, which they did in harmony,
without either side compromising their own spiritual beliefs. This too
is an invaluable lesson which the world desperately needs to remember.

Third,
as an Arab, and a direct descendant of Ishmael Ali-Salaam, of whom the
Bible says God would make a great nation, Genesis 21:18, and that God
was with him, Genesis 21:20, I bid Your Holiness welcome.

One of
the cardinal virtues of the Arabs, who traditionally have survived in
some of the hottest and most inhospitable climates in the world, is
hospitality. Hospitality is born of generosity, and it recognizes the
needs of the neighbor and considers those who are far, or who come from
far, as neighbors, and indeed this virtue is confirmed by God in the
Holy Qur’an with the words: “And worship God, and associate man with
him, be kind to parents, and near kindred, and to orphans, and to the
needy, and to the neighbor who is far and to the neighbor who is near,
and to the neighbor who is a stranger, and to the friend at your side.
And to the wayfarer, and to what your right hands possess, surely God
loves not the conceited and the boastful.

Arab hospitality means
not only loving to give and help, but also being generous of spirit,
and thus appreciative. In 2000, during the late Pope John Paul II’s
visit to Jordan, I was working with the Jordanian tribes, and some of
the tribesmen were saying that they really liked the late pope. Someone
asked them: “Why do you like him?”, since he was a Christian and they
were Muslims. They smiled and said: “Because he visited us.” And of
course, the late Pope John Paul II, like yourself, Holiness, could have
easily gone to Israel and Palestine, but instead chose to start his
pilgrimage with a visit to us here in Jordan, which we appreciate.

Fourth
and finally, as a Jordanian, I bid Your Holiness welcome. In Jordan,
everyone is equal before the law, regardless of religion, race, origin
or gender, and those who work in the government are responsible to do
their utmost to care for everyone in the country with compassion and
with justice. This was the personal example and message of the late
King Hussein, who over his long reign of 47 years, felt for everyone in
the country as he did for his own children. It is also the message of
his son, His Majesty King Abdullah II, who accordingly has made it the
singular goal of his life and reign, to make the life of every
Jordanian and indeed every person in the world that he can reach, as
decent, dignified, and happy as he possibly can, with Jordan’s meager
resources.

Today, Christians in Jordan enjoy, by law, eight
percent of the seats in Parliament and similar quotas at every level of
government and society, even though their numbers are less than that in
actual fact. In addition to their own personal status laws and church
courts, their holy sites, and their legal educational institutions and
other needs are safeguarded by the state. And Your Holiness has just
seen this in person, at the new Catholic university of Madaba, and
will, God willing, soon see the new Catholic cathedral and the new
Melkite church at the baptism site.

And so Christians prosper
today in Jordan, as they have for the last two thousand years, in peace
and harmony, and with good will and genuine brotherly relations between
them and their Muslim neighbors. This is, in part of course, because
Christians used to be more numerous in Jordan percentagewise than they
are today, but declining Christian birthrates and, conversely, high
levels of education and prosperity which have led to their being in
demand as immigrants to the West, have reduced their numbers. It is
also, however, due to the fact that Jordan appreciates that Christians
were in Jordan six hundred years before Muslims. Indeed, Jordanian
Christians are perhaps the oldest Christian community in the world, and
the majority have always been Orthodox, adherents of the Orthodox
patriarchate of Jerusalem in the Holy Land, which, as Your Holiness
knows better than I, is the church of St James, and was founded during
Jesus own lifetime.

Many of them are descended from the ancient
Arab tribes, and they have, throughout history, shared the fate and
struggles of their fellow Muslim tribesman. Indeed, in 630, during the
Prophet’s own lifetime, they joined the Prophet’s own army, led by his
adopted son, and his cousin, and fought against the Byzantine army of
their fellow Orthodox, at the battle of Mechtar. It is because of this
battle, that they earned their tribal name, which means “the
reinforcements”, and Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal himself comes from
these tribes.

Then, in 1099, they were slaughtered by Catholic
crusaders at the fall of Jerusalem, alongside their Muslim comrades.
Later, from 1916 to 1918, during the Great Arab Revolt, they fought
against Muslim Turks, alongside Arab-Muslim comrades. They thereafter
languished for a few decades, along with their Muslim fellows, under a
Protestant colonial mandate, and in the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948,
1967, and 1972, they fought with their Muslim-Arab comrades against
Jewish opponents.

Christian Jordanians have always not only
defended Jordan but have also tirelessly and patriotically helped to
build Jordan, playing leading roles in the fields of education, health,
commerce, tourism, agriculture, science, culture, and many other
fields. All this is to say, then, that whilst Your Holiness may believe
them to be your fellow Christians, we know them to be our fellow
Jordanians. And they are as much a part of this country as the land
itself. We hope that this unique Jordanian spirit of interfaith
harmony, benevolence and mutual respect, will serve as an example to
the whole world, and Your Holiness will carry it to places like
Mindanao and certain parts of sub-Saharan Africa, where Muslim
minorities are hard-pressed by Christian majorities, as well as to
other places, where the opposite is the case.

Now, just as we welcome Your Holiness today in four ways, we receive Your Holiness today in four ways.

First,
we receive Your Holiness as the spiritual leader, Supreme Pontiff, and
Successor of St Peter, for 1.1 billion Catholics, who are neighbors of
Muslims everywhere, and whom we greet through receiving you.

Second,
we receive Your Holiness as Pope Benedict XVI, in particular whose
reign has been marked by the moral courage to do and speak his
conscience, no matter what the vogue of the day, who is personally also
a master Christian theologian, responsible for historic encyclical
letters on the beautiful cardinal virtues of charity and hope, who has
refacilitated the traditional Latin Mass for those who choose it, and
who has simultaneously made intrafaith and interfaith dialogue a top
priority of his reign, in order to spread good will and understanding
throughout all peoples of the world.

Third, we receive Your
Holiness as a head of state, who is also a world and global leader on
the vital issues of morality, ethics, the environment, peace, human
dignity, the alleviation of poverty and suffering, and even the global
financial crisis.

Fourth and finally, we receive Your Holiness
as a simple pilgrim of peace who comes in humility and gentleness to
pray where Jesus Christ the Messiah, may peace be upon him, was
baptized and began his mission two thousand years ago.

So,
welcome to Jordan, Your Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. God says in the
Holy Qur’an to the prophet Muhammad: “Glory be to your Lord, the Lord
of might… And peace be to the messengers, and praise be to God, the
Lord of the worlds.”

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