Thursday, April 23, 2009

Prince Hassan of Jordan: Pope's visit "could be a major step in visualizing a struggle for a law of peace"

Jordan's Prince El Hassan bin Talal spoke with Catholic News Service, praising the papal visit as an opportunity to foster good relations between Muslims and Christians:
Speaking with Catholic News Service, the prince said the May 8-11 papal visit "should not be seen as a passing, calming serene visit that is transient or just another visit to the region, but should rather focus in our minds that we can revive the heritage of trust and good faith" that Catholics and Muslims share.


The prince expressed a desire that people would begin to move from a position of "war against ... something" such as intolerance, racial hatred, anti-Semitism or fear of Islam to "a struggle for something."

"In that sense, I have the greatest hope that the visit of the pope, His Holiness, could be a major step in visualizing a struggle for a law of peace," Prince Hassan said.

He said he also would like to see the visit focus on the religious impact of culture. The prince said culture is not sustainable without recognizing its religious roots and how it influences the defense of peace, social justice, human rights and global concerns.

"My fear is that culture and religion remain an afterthought to security and the economy," he said. "Security is not worth the name if it's not built on human beings. Because it is human beings who are the prime movers of security or insecurity.

"Whatever label we carry -- Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist -- at the end of the day we are human beings."

According to Catholic News Service, Prince Hassan has met Pope Benedict on a number of occasions -- in 1993 (when Hassan gave the prince an edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church); and in 1999, when they "were among the co-founders in 1999 of the Geneva-based Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue."

Read more about the Pope's account with Prince El Hassan bin Talal.

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