Latin Patriarch to King: I will pray in Bethlehem for comprehensive brotherhood

following is the full text of the speech given in English by His Emminence the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in the presence of His Majesty King Abdullah II December 21st at the Hussainya Palace in Amman

Christmas Greeting at the Royal Palace

Amman, December 21st, 2021

Your Majesty the Hashemite King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein,

With great pleasure, we meet today here at the Royal Hashemite Court, the house of the one only Jordanian family, renewing our congratulations on the blessed Christmas holidays, and praying for the “Prince of Peace” to preserve Jordan’s king, government, and people with prosperity and peace.

We bring the desire of peace and love from Jerusalem to Amman. Despite the suffering of many and despite the existing tension, our belief remains steady: Jerusalem will always be considered in the world as the City of faith, hope and love, for all the peoples of the region, and also for all the believers in the world. The Holy City, in which till today you play a distinguished role, as your predecessors the Hashemite kings before you, and whose sanctity Your Majesty has always safeguarded, the Holy City needs the attention of all the international community because Jerusalem is the heart of life of the world, but also the heart of all the conflicts of the Region. Jerusalem finds in Your Majesty a strong voice, calling for harmony and respect for the “status quo”. His Holiness Pope Francis acknowledge in you a strong testimony of peace and dialogue for all our tormented region and a promoter of fraternity. We hope that your strong word will find listeners so that the parties of the conflict will decide to resolve one day the differences and to build a just and comprehensive peace. On this occasion, we extend our deep thanks to Your Majesty for your valuable contribution to the restoration of the Holy Sepulcher, which is a solemn and appreciated work by all Christians in the Holy Land and in the world.

Your Majesty,

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan celebrates the centenary of its founding, and from here on this solemn occasion we extend to Your Majesty our congratulations. The slogan of the centenary celebrations, “The March Continues”, is a slogan that we all carry as a message in the Land of Baptism. Through the churches of the Latin Patriarchate and our Catholic educational, humanitarian, and social institutions and their service to all, we renew our commitment with all components of Jordanian society, to build in Jordan a place of respect and appreciation for every human being. Congratulations to Jordan on its centenary, and to years of prosperity and success. Being a strong Country, Jordan has always turned challenges into opportunities, and even today, with all the difficulties it faces because of the COVID pandemic, we are sure that it will be able, with the determination of its citizens and State institutions, to find creative solutions in order to look into the future with renewed confidence.

Your Majesty,

Twenty years ago, you declared the solemnity of Christmas on December 25th as a holiday for the whole country, and all the components of Jordanian society celebrate this festivity in a spirit of fraternity and brotherhood. Our Christmas celebrations invite us today to be brothers who cooperate for good, and I, as well as our Christian community, will pray in the coming days in the Church of the Nativity for the desired comprehensive brotherhood which is so much needed and for the renunciation of violence and extremism, for peace, harmony and justice, and for a quick end to the COVID pandemic.

We greet you with a Christmas greeting, Your Majesty, and to all members of your Hashemite family, and to all the citizens of Jordan.

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill to men”.

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