Since the Pontiff’s election last year in March 2013, His Majesty King Abdullah II and His Holiness Pope Francis have already met twice at the Vatican in August 2013 and April 2014. These meeting affirmed the keenness on both sides to strengthen bilateral relations and further enhance dialogue based on moderation and openness.
This visit by His Holiness Pope Francis marks the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the Vatican and Jordan through full diplomatic representation at an ambassadorial level.
These relations were preceded by decades of contact and diplomatic activity exemplified by Saint Pope Paul VI’s visit to Jordan in 1964, the first pontiff travel outside Italy ever.
This year also marks 40th anniversary of the Vatican’s Commission for Relations with Islam.
Vatican and Jordanian bilateral relations are built on several shared concerns: achieving peace and justice in the Middle East, protecting Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem, cultural and educational cooperation to develop inter-faith dialogue and to further coexistence and tolerance, in addition to promoting and facilitating religious tourism.
A direct result of this cooperation is the establishment of the Catholic-Muslim Forum, an on-going dialogue that brings together Muslim and Christian religious leaders, based on the commandment -- ‘Love of God and Love One’s Neighbour’ – shared by both religions.
The Catholic-Muslim Forum is an outcome of Jordan’s inter-faith initiative “A Common Word Between”, which brought together Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam in an open letter to Pope Benedict XVI urging him to engage in dialogue.