31 October, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 05/09/2009
VATICAN-JORDAN
Pope: believers reject the “corruption” of violence and “cultivate” reason
by Franco Pisano / inviato
Benedict XVI repeats the Regensburg concept on the enlightened reason of faith. On Mount Nebo he affirms the “inseparable bond which united the Church and Jewish people”. Appeal that Iraqi Christians are guaranteed “fundamental rights of peaceful coexistence with their fellow citizens”.

Amman (AsiaNews) – Christians and Muslims must take on the “challenge to cultivate for the good, in the context of faith and truth, the vast potential of human reason”: thus showing that religion “is not necessarily the cause for division in our world” and that it is “disfigured when it is forced to serve ignorance, prejudice, violence and abuse”.  On the second day of his journey to the Holy Land, in Jordan, a land which he has repeatedly lauded for its leadership in promoting tolerance and dialogue and education, Benedict XVI dealt with one of his dearest themes, the relationship between faith and reason and the role that religions have to play: affirm, along with their love for God, their dignity and value of every human being.  At the same time he also reaffirmed “the inseparable link that unites the Church and Jewish people”.

This morning was rich in appointments starting with the visit to Mount Nebo, from which Moses was shown the Promised Land, followed by the blessing of the foundation stone for the future Catholic University of the Latin Patriarchate in Madaba, and finally the visit to the al-Hussein bin-Talal in Amman.

Mount Nebo, where the Pope began the day’s events rises 800 metres above sea level.  The last chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses first saw the Promised Land that the prophet would never enter.  On a clear day – today’s sky was overcast- you can see the Dead Sea, parts of t eh Jordan Valley, Jericho, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.  “Let me have a look”, Benedict XVI told the photographers who called out to him, as he made his way to the terrace that dominates the valley.

“From the earliest times, - he then said - Christians have come on pilgrimage to the sites linked to the history of the Chosen People, the events of Christ’s life and the nascent Church”. “The ancient tradition of pilgrimage to the holy places also reminds us of the inseparable bond between the Church and the Jewish people. From the beginning, the Church in these lands has commemorated in her liturgy the great figures of the Patriarchs and Prophets, as a sign of her profound appreciation of the unity of the two Testaments. May our encounter today inspire in us a renewed love for the canon of Sacred Scripture and a desire to overcome all obstacles to the reconciliation of Christians and Jews in mutual respect and cooperation in the service of that peace to which the word of God calls us!”.

In Madaba, where there is a consistent Christian minority, for the most part Orthodox, Benedict XVI crossed the Christian quarter to make his way to the plane where the University will be built. The University is the brainchild of the current Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, who was born here in 1940. In praising the initiative which is needed “for personal development and for the progress of peace in the region”, the Pope stressed that “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”.

This relationship between faith and reason, with consequential respect for the dignity of man, was first addressed by Benedict XVI in the Regensburg conference of 2006, as was the cause of a “misunderstanding” with part of the Muslim world and to this very day with the Muslim Brotherhood, Jordan’s strongest (but not numerically) opposition party, who are boycotting the Popes visit and demanding an “apology”.  For his part he returned again to this theme in his visit to the “al-Hussein bin-Talal” mosque in Amman. It is the largest in all Jordan with a capacity of 5,500 worshippers and was inaugurated only three years ago by King Abdullah II. The complex includes a library, Koranic school and the Hashemite History Museum, which was also visited by the Pope.  Here a Mohammad’s Letter to Heraclius I the emperor of Byzantium, (written on antelope skin) before 629, in which he asks him to convert to Islam, a request that was put forward in the same period to other sovereigns.

Speaking in front of the Mosque, welcomed by Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammed Bin Talal – one of the promoters of the Letter by the 138 Muslim scholars – and addressing an assembly that included religious leaders, diplomats and University rectors, the Pope observed 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.”.

“Today – he continued - 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”.

Finally, Benedict XVI underlined the presence of the Patriarch of Baghdad Emmanuel III Delly. “His presence brings to mind the people of neighbouring 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 endeavours 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.”.

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/11/2009 VATICAN – JORDAN
Pope describes visit to Mosque “a splendid day”
05/06/2009 VATICAN
I will be a pilgrim of peace in the Holy Land, says Pope
01/09/2008 VATICAN-ISLAM
Benedict XVI's improbable dialogue with 138 Muslim scholars
by Samir Khalil Samir, sj
08/29/2013 VATICAN - JORDAN
Pope: dialogue and negotiations "only option" to stop the conflict in Syria
05/14/2009 VATICAN - ISLAM
The Pope, Arabic Islam and the West
by Samir Khalil Samir
VATICAN
Blessed John Paul II and our mission
VATICAN
Pope John Paul II is blessed for his strong, generous, apostolic faith
VATICAN - ISLAM
John Paul II and the Muslims
PAKISTAN
Education, more than economy, antidote to "Talibanization" of Pakistan
PAKISTAN
Archbishop emeritus of Lahore: rethinking the curriculum, focusing on equal rights
PAKISTAN
Muslim journalist advocates public schools along Christian model
PAKISTAN
Paul Bhatti, a "mafia" prevents stability and better education
PAKISTAN
Education in Pakistan: the crisis in numbers (An overview)
VATICAN – MIDDLE EAST
The Synod to support the Churches of the Middle East and the universal mission, Pope says
ASIA
The example of Mother Teresa: science and wisdom for our time
VATICAN-CYPRUS-MIDDLE EAST
Pope: Synod to reinforce solidarity among Christians of the Middle East
VATICAN - MIDDLE EAST
Fr. Samir: Christians together, the small flock and hope in the Middle East
PHILIPPINES
Manila "virtual" pilgrimage to 7 churches to meditate on the sufferings of Christ
PAKISTAN
Easter in Pakistan where an "unshakable" faith is stronger than fear
CHINA
Catholics in Yunnan and Guizhou fear drought, fires this Easter
VATICAN
Pope: live Holy Week intensely, to conform our lives to Jesus
INDIA
Easter baptisms, a right and the life of the Church, Card Gracias says
VIETNAM
"Mission means bringing God’s love to all" says father Ngo Phuc Hau
VATICAN
Pope: Lent, a call to "turn our lives around"
PAKISTAN – UNITED NATIONS
Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy campaign at the UN minorities forum
PAKISTAN - EU
Blasphemy in Pakistan and the European Court’s attack on the crucifix
PAKISTAN
Islamabad asks for "suggestions" from Christians to repeal blasphemy law
PAKISTAN
Save Christians and Pakistan from the blasphemy law
CHINA
China celebrates its rosy future without dealing with the past or present
VATICAN
Pope: encyclical, even globalization in need of a soul
ISLAM – EGYPT – USA
Fr. Samir: Obama on Islam pleases, but there are some lies and silences
CHINA - HONG KONG
Card. Zen: 20 years on from Tiananmen, Deng is dead: it's time to change the Chinese dictatorship
HONG KONG – CHINA
Thousands march in Hong Kong to remember Tiananmen
CHINA - HONG KONG
Hong Kong trade unionist: China risks another Tiananmen
VATICAN – PALESTINE
Pope shows courage against being used, Palestinian leader says
VATICAN – PALESTINE
Walls are easily built, but sooner or later they fall, Pope says
VATICAN-PALESTINE
Palestinians have a right to a homeland, but must reject terrorism, says Pope
VATICAN-ISRAEL
Pope: friendship with Jews, dialogue with Islam and all together to work for peace
VATICAN – ISRAEL
Holocaust can never be denied, belittled or forgotten, Pope says
INDIA – HOLY LAND
Pope’s trip to the Holy Land helps peace and dialogue, says Indian Muslim scholar
VATICAN-ISRAEL
Pope speaks of Shoah, peace and two states for two peoples on arrival in Israel
VATICAN – JORDAN
Pope describes visit to Mosque “a splendid day”
INDIA - VATICAN
Kashmir: Young converts from Islam pray for Benedict XVI
CHINA
Charter 08, a plea for human rights in China | complete text
INDIA – ITALY
Shame on India, Europe and the world
INDIA
Fr Edward, survivor of arson in Orissa: the Hindu radicals are terrorists
CHINA
As Beijing bids farewell to the world a brief assessment of the Olympic Games
CHINA
China gets the gold medal in human rights violations
CHINA
The false images of the Beijing Olympics
CHINA
Olympic Games open in Beijing
IRAQ – VATICAN – WYD
Iraqi WYD, so far from Sydney, so close to the Pope’s heart
VATICAN – WYD
Bear witness to Christ in a world weary of false promises, Pope tells young people at WYD
VATICAN - WYD
The new Pentecost of young people in Sydney
CHINA
World leaders at the Olympic-market
CHINA
Beijing ready for Olympics of suspicion and silence
ITALY – CHINA – VATICAN
More than 500 Chinese Catholics in Rome to pray for China with the Pope
MORATORIUM ON ABORTION - INDIA
Indian communist atheist, supports the moratorium on abortion
ISLAM - EGYPT
Hegazi Case: Is there a plan for the world’s conversion to Islam?
ISLAM - EGYPT
Hegazi case: Islam’s obsession with conversions
CHINA
Beijing 2008: intellectuals and activists publish letter on Olympic Games and human rights
CHINA
Investments and environmental disaster: the two faces of the Olympics
PHILIPPINES - ITALY
Fr. Zanchi: the kidnapping of Fr. Giancarlo has caused many to discover what a missionary is
VATICAN – TAIWAN – CHINA
China needs the Catholic Church, says Taiwan’s Ambassador Tou
CHINA – VATICAN
Subdued but predictable reactions in China to Pope’s letter
CHINA – VATICAN
Pope’s letter is key to China’s development, says Mgr Li Jingfeng
IRAQ
Terrorists sack and occupy a convent in Baghdad
BRAZIL – VATICAN
Pope: Youth, do not waste your life; build a just and fraternal society
IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch: Christians persecuted by Iraqi government and foreign troops
VATICAN – IRAQ
Holy See: international solidarity for Iraqi refugees
VATICAN - CHINA
Pope and Cardinals : Consensus on China
VATICAN - CHINA
The Pope prepares a letter to China’s Catholics
Beijing and the Vatican: small steps and religious freedom
IRAQ – ITALY – year of the eucharist
Terrorism seeks to take away life, the Eucharist gives it back, says Iraqi priest

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.