May 8, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI begins tour of Middle East

Per the New York Times, Pope Benedict XVI began his eight day tour of the Middle East today with a stop in Jordan where he was greeted by King Abdullah II. During this first stop, he "expressed deep respect for Muslims." He also expressed the desire for the Roman Catholic Church to play a role in attaining peace in the Middle East. Benedict feels that because the Catholic Church is not a political power it has a chance to help foster change and peace.

This is the first time Benedict has visited the region as pope. His tour will include stops in Jordan, Israel and Palestinian territories.

Rania Al Abdullah, the Queen of Jordan, twittered about the Pope's arrival and the excitement surrounding it:

  1. Rania Al Abdullah
    QueenRania Special day here in Amman; not everyday pope drop s by 4 a visit 
  2. Rania Al Abdullah
    QueenRania Just choppered to airport to receive Pope. Husband piloting, he got acrobatic to quiet butterflies in stomach :) told u he was action man!
  3. Rania Al Abdullah
    QueenRania Just listened to Pope's speech. Our region so needs a message of Peace
  4. Rania Al Abdullah
    QueenRania Taking kids 2 meet Pope, just about convinced eldest 2 wear suit. Now negotiating with my 4 yr old!
  5. Rania Al Abdullah
    QueenRania Always wanted 2 give them "normal" upbringing free of pomp and protocol. Kinda wish they'd get with the protocol now! Fingers crossed!
  6. Rania Al Abdullah
    QueenRania As u can c, my 4 yr old beat me at negotiating table re suit, but as trade-off, impeccable behavior! So proud! 
  7. Rania Al Abdullah
    QueenRania Pope moved by young people’s excitement. Inspired to be in the cradle of the major religions. Eager for people to rise above divisions. 

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