Amman (Agenzia Fides) - The leaders and representatives of the Churches and Ecclesial Communities of Jordan unanimously expressed their thanks and their full and unconditional consent to the "Message to the Nation" that King Abdullah Ibn al Hussein sent on Sunday January 30 on the occasion of his 60th birthday. In his statement, the Hashemite Monarch, who ascended the throne in 1999, at the age of 37, intended to outline "a comprehensive vision and a solid roadmap for the years to come", asking all his subjects to adhere to its programmatic design. The leaders of the various ecclesial groups present in Jordan, contacted by the national media - starting with the daily newspaper ad Dustour - hastened to express their gratitude and their sense of loyalty to King Abdullah on the occasion of his birthday, wishing the Monarch a long life.
In his message, which aims above all to outline the guidelines for promoting the development of the Jordanian economy and emerging from the state of crisis, King Abdallah also announced the imminent establishment of a "National Seminar" made up of experts and specialists from different economic and financial sectors, who will be called upon to draw up a reform and economic recovery plan in cooperation with the government. All the leaders and representatives of the various Churches and local ecclesial communities expressed their full support in the media for the reformist perspectives indicated by the King. In particular, Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, recalled the responsibilities of the Christian citizens of Jordan, called to build and renew the country together with their Muslim brothers.
Patriarch Theophilos also reiterated that Hashemite monarchs are entitled to the title of "protectors" of Christian and Muslim Holy Places in Jerusalem. Priest Jamal Khader, Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, underlined the forward-looking content of the royal message and the intention to continue fostering the development of a homeland that has become a symbol of sharing and tolerance in a Middle East torn apart by sectarian conflicts.
Archbishop Yasser Hanna Ayyash, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarchate, also praised the "comprehensive vision" expressed in King Abdullah's message, as well as the diligent indication of clear goals to be pursued without hesitation or improvisation. Priest Benjamin Shimon, head of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Jordan, welcomed the decision to draw up economic recovery plans with the help of a "seminar" of specialists from various economic and financial sectors. Through their public statements, the leaders and representatives of the Churches and ecclesial communities present in Jordan have renewed their traditional declaration of respectful loyalty to the established authority. This is an eloquent signal, also in light of news of a not entirely clear palace plot against King Abdullah, which in early April 2021 allegedly led to the arrest of around 20 people and would also have seen the involvement of Hamzah bin Hussein, former crown prince and half-brother of the King of Jordan. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 1/2/2022)