Amman, The Catholic Center for Studies and Media, September 30, 2016 – The Latin Church in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan welcomed on Friday, September 30, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa.
Upon his arrival at the King Hussein Bridge, he was welcomed by Latin Patriarchate Vicar for Jordan Archbishop Maroun Lahham, Bishop Salim Sayegh, advisor at the Apostolic Nunciature in Amman Roberto Cuna, and a number of priests and senior officials.
Then, his motorcade proceeded to Our Lady of Nazareth Church in Swefieh, Western Amman, where he presided a liturgical Mass. The Mass we attended by bishops, heads and representatives of churches in the Kingdom, a group of priests and nuns, and delegations from the various parishes and apostolic movements, in addition to official and diplomatic figures.
After having read a Gospel passage on the “Good Shepherd”, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa said: “Welcoming each other is the first step in walking together, and it requires placing trust in the other, in believing that the other will be a gift, even if one does not know him or her. Welcoming the other, as you Jordanians know well, is an important gesture, it is a great gesture. Indeed, one can say that the greatness of a life is measured by its capacity to welcome, by the space that it has within itself to host the other.”
Noting that in the Gospel, Lord Jesus Christ often repeats that one is great who knows how to welcome his own brother, he says: “You in Jordan are doing it with great honor as I think not only of the Syrian and Iraqi refugees.”
He added: “I am here today especially to be welcomed by you, and also to ask for a place, to ask for the gift of your hospitality. And, to assure you of mine: I would like that you feel welcome; I want you to know that I am here, that I am accessible, that I am for all.”
He continued:”I come to you, as I have already said on previous occasions, as a brother, for the period that the Church sees fit. I promise you full collaboration for the service that the Church asks of us in this time and in this Land. I will try to meet everyone, especially the priests and the religious houses in the country. I am sure that I can also count on your collaboration.”
He conclude saying: “It is right and proper to thank the King, the Royal family, and the Jordanian government for their support of the religious communities of Jordan, in promoting dialogue between religious communities, in tolerance and respect for all.”