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Güven
05-08-2009, 07:07 PM
Pope expresses 'respect' for Islam



The pope says he is visiting the region
as a 'pilgrim of peace'


Pope Benedict XVI has spoken of his "deep respect" for Islam as he embarked on the first leg of his Middle East tour.

After arriving in Amman on Friday, he said he came to the Jordanian capital as a "pilgrim to venerate holy places that have played an important part in some of the key events of Biblical history".

His week-long tour is being seen as an attempt to repair the Vatican's frayed ties with Muslims and Jews and support Christian minorities in the region.

The pope said his visit also gave him the "welcome opportunity to speak of my deep respect for the Muslim community".

"Religious freedom is a fundamental human right, and it is my fervent hope and prayer that respect for the inalienable rights and dignity of every man and woman will come to be increasingly affirmed and defended, not only throughout the Middle East, but in every part of the world," he said.

'Challenging' trip


The trip, his first to the Middle East as pontiff, will include a visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank.

The papal pilgrimage is the "most awaited and perhaps most challenging trip so far" of Benedict's papacy, the Vatican said.

It said the fact that the trip was happening was "a sign of hope" that the pope could contribute to reconciliation in the Middle East.

Al Jazeera's Barbara Serra, reporting from Amman, said that the most challenging part of the pope's trip would be in Israel and the West Bank.

"The Vatican is keen to stress this is not a political trip ... but I think they would be naive to not think that every word the pope utters over the next few days is going to be viewed by someone through a political lense," she said.

"This is actually an incredibly sensitive time for any papal, especially as it comes just months after Israel's war on Gaza."

Benedict visited Amman's Regina Pacis centre for the handicapped on Friday before a meeting with the Jordanian royal family.

He was also expected to tour several Biblical sites, including Mount Nebo, where Moses is said to have seen the Promised Land from a distance, and celebrate mass in Amman, where 30,000 people are expected to attend.

Visit criticised


Yousef Al-Sharif, Jordan's information minister, welcomed the pope's visit, saying: "We are really delighted that he will start pilgrimage from Jordan."

"What we want is a change in his policies, so that it is in harmony with the teachings of Jesus about love, peace, justice, equality and condemnations of crimes and Zionist terrorism"

But Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood has criticised the pope's visit following a controversial papal speech in 2006.

The pontiff angered many Muslims when he quoted a medieval text that characterised some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as "evil and inhuman".

The pope later said he was "deeply sorry" for the reaction his speech caused, and explained that the text did not reflect his own opinions.

The Brotherhood has called for an apology to the world's Muslims, saying the pope's statement of regret was "insufficient".

Jordan's opposition Islamic Action Front party has also called on the pope to apologise for the speech, which they said targeted Islam.

"What we want is a change in his policies, so that it is in harmony with the teachings of Jesus about love, peace, justice, equality and condemnations of crimes and Zionist terrorism," Zaki Bani Rsheid, the head of the party, told the AFP news agency.

Peace 'upset'

The pope has said he is visiting the Middle East as "a pilgrim of peace" in a region plagued by violence, injustice, mistrust and fear.

But he angered many Jews in January when he lifted the excommunication of Richard Williamson, an ultra-conservative British bishop, who denied the use of gas chambers in the Holocaust.

Benedict admitted the Vatican made mistakes regarding the move, but he called on Catholics to stop infighting over the affair.

"That this overlapping of two opposing processes took place and momentarily upset peace between Christians and Jews, as well as peace within the church, is something which I can only deeply deplore,'' he wrote in a letter to the world's Roman Catholic bishops in March.

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Güven
05-08-2009, 07:07 PM

Israel demands Pope Benedict XVI condemns Holocaust deniers

The Israeli government demanded that Pope Benedict XVI explicitly condemn Catholics who deny the Holocaust, as he arrived in Jordan on the first leg of his tour of the Holy Land billed as an act of 'reconciliation'.



Pope Benedict XVI waves to the crowds upon his arrival to hold a mass at the Regina Pacis Center in Amman.

The intervention came despite repeated concessions in the lead-up to the tour by the Vatican, which is desperate to smooth difficult relations with both the Jewish and Muslim worlds.

The Pope insists his eight-day trip is a "pilgrimage" to Holy Land sites but it has become embroiled in disputes over controversial comments he has made affecting relations with both religions.

Shortly before the Pope landed in the Jordanian capital Amman, where he was greeted by King Abdullah II and Queen Rania, a minister in the new Right-wing Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu released the text of a letter in which he referred indirectly to the Pope's lifting of the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson, the breakaway English Catholic bishop who has denied aspects of the Holocaust, in January.

"I would like to point out that Holocaust survivors in Israel and elsewhere sincerely hope that your excellency will clearly condemn the purveyors of Holocaust denial and antisemitism, some of whom profess loyalty to your Church," said the letter written by Yaakov Margi, Israel's religious affairs minister.

In contrast to his popular predecessor, John Paul II, feelings in Israel are ambiguous towards Pope Benedict, a German who had to join the Hitler Youth as a child during the war.

The Pope will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem on Monday, but he will not step inside the museum. He has backed the canonisation of the wartime pope, Pius XII, whose photograph in the museum is adorned with a caption accusing him of not doing enough to speak up for or help the Jews.

He has also spoken out on behalf of the beleaguered Palestinian Christian community, and presses for a two-state solution to the Palestinian issue.

Nevertheless, the Vatican has been at pains to concede to Israeli pressure over aspects of the visit.

After intense lobbying aides agreed the Pope would not make an address on a specially constructed stage in a Palestinian refugee camp that abuts the Israeli security barrier.

That platform would have provided television cameras with powerful images of him speaking against the wall, which cuts off Palestinian communities, and even of Israeli watchtowers in the background.

The address will be given inside, instead.

The Vatican also revoked an invitation to an audience with the Pope of an Arab-Israeli mayor who had condemned the invasion of Gaza, again after heavy pressure from the Israeli cabinet which called the mayor a "terror supporter".

After the row over Bishop Williamson, for which the Vatican again apologised, the bitterest divide remains that over Pope Pius. The Pope has put his beatification on hold, but has insisted Pius was a "great churchman".

Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope's spokesman, said the Vatican had already made its position on the Holocaust clear.

"I don't understand what we have still to say," he told The Daily Telegraph. "It is clear that the Pope condemns those who deny the Holocaust.

"He has already said many times that the Holocaust was a terrible crime."

Muslim groups meanwhile continue to attack the Pope over a speech he made in 2006 which quoted a Byzantine emperor who said the Prophet Mohammed had introduced "evil and inhuman" ideas into the world.

Jordan's Islamic Action Front say they "reject" and will boycott his visit, because he has not apologised clearly enough.

In his opening remarks at Amman airport the Pope said the visit gave him "a welcome opportunity to speak of my deep respect for the Muslim community".

He said: "It is my fervent hope and prayer that respect for the inalienable rights and dignity of every man and woman will come to be increasingly affirmed and defended, not only throughout the Middle East, but in every part of the world."

He is due to meet moderate Muslim leaders on Saturday.

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Whatsthepoint
05-08-2009, 07:10 PM
Everyone making demands.. not a way to treat a visitor.
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Strzelecki
05-09-2009, 01:20 AM
May Allah (swt) guide him. Ameen.
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nocturnal
05-09-2009, 05:10 PM
In such fraught times, making such a trip is i think a quite judicious move. Relations between the Muslim world and the West have probably never been more tense, and so there has to be a figure who can placate the antagonists on all sides.

Even though he has been quite controversial during his ephemeral reign so far as pontiff, i think he has begun to moderate his stance and adopt more pragmatic and respecful tones.
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north_malaysian
05-15-2009, 07:20 AM
why no popes ever visit my country... we have more than a million Catholics and the church has been here since 1511..
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Keltoi
05-15-2009, 10:18 AM
Originally Posted by north_malaysian
why no popes ever visit my country... we have more than a million Catholics and the church has been here since 1511..
That is actually a good question. There hasn't been a visit by the Pope in all this time? If that is the case I would have to assume the reason is political, meaning the relationship with the government of Malaysia.
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Abu Sukkar
05-15-2009, 11:04 AM
Originally Posted by north_malaysian
why no popes ever visit my country... we have more than a million Catholics and the church has been here since 1511..
What country is that?


:D
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seeker-of-light
05-16-2009, 05:12 PM
my mom was saying that the pope would be able to work things out in israel so that there will be peace there cuz she says he is most powerful man in world (she is catholic) i highly doubt this, especially since israelis didnt take too kindly to him. however, i like his two state proposition, at least then palestinians will have their freedom and dignity.
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Zafran
05-16-2009, 05:16 PM
Originally Posted by seeker-of-light
my mom was saying that the pope would be able to work things out in israel so that there will be peace there cuz she says he is most powerful man in world (she is catholic) i highly doubt this, especially since israelis didnt take too kindly to him. however, i like his two state proposition, at least then palestinians will have their freedom and dignity.
salaam

Thats not going to happen especially after the anti semetic row and the history of the catholic church with the Jewish tradtion.
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Chuck
05-16-2009, 11:17 PM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
That is actually a good question. There hasn't been a visit by the Pope in all this time? If that is the case I would have to assume the reason is political, meaning the relationship with the government of Malaysia.
Well it is political but not that it has a bad relationship with Malaysia. But in international politics Malaysia is considered an underdog so it is overlooked by many leaders and just not the Pope. But for business it is good, its manufacturing sector is giving a serious competition to Taiwan and S. Korea. And I think it is better this way as countries that are given importance in International Politics are not the best countries in the world.
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north_malaysian
05-17-2009, 05:17 AM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
That is actually a good question. There hasn't been a visit by the Pope in all this time? If that is the case I would have to assume the reason is political, meaning the relationship with the government of Malaysia.
maybe because we dont have diplomatic relationship with Vatican city... Pope John Paul II visited Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore.. which all are Malaysian neighbours...

If Iran, Pakistan and Egypt can have diplomatic relationship with Vatican.. why not Malaysia? hmmm.....
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north_malaysian
05-17-2009, 05:24 AM
Originally Posted by Abu Sukkar
What country is that?


:D
Malaysia.

There are about 850,000 Catholics (if we add those immigrants from Philippines... it could be more than a million) in Malaysia.

Malaysia has three archdioceses (Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Kota Kibabalu)

The first Catholic priests came to Malaysia in 1511 when the Portuguese conquered Malacca.

The Patron Saint for Catholics in Malaysia is Saint Francis Xavier.
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north_malaysian
05-17-2009, 05:26 AM
Originally Posted by Chuck
But for business it is good, its manufacturing sector is giving a serious competition to Taiwan and S. Korea. And I think it is better this way as countries that are given importance in International Politics are not the best countries in the world.
Business is not really good... many people lost their jobs in the manufacturing sector...
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sister herb
05-17-2009, 06:16 AM
:sl:

Why Pope didn´t visit in destroyed Gaza? There are catholic christians too whose waited him to there.
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Ummu Sufyaan
05-17-2009, 07:17 AM
:sl:
Pope expresses 'respect' for Islam
so thats why he's a muslim then...mmm interesting...
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Chuck
05-17-2009, 08:08 AM
Originally Posted by north_malaysian
Business is not really good... many people lost their jobs in the manufacturing sector...
Thats same all over the world, but demand for your manufacturing items are increasing compared to S.Korea and Taiwan.
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Amadeus85
05-17-2009, 09:48 PM
Originally Posted by north_malaysian
maybe because we dont have diplomatic relationship with Vatican city... Pope John Paul II visited Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore.. which all are Malaysian neighbours...

If Iran, Pakistan and Egypt can have diplomatic relationship with Vatican.. why not Malaysia? hmmm.....
That must be the reason. :D
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