Friday, 30 August 2013

Pope Francis received the King and Queen of Jordan

Pope Francis and the Jordanian sovereigns.
On the morning of 29th August 2013 Pope Francis received their Majesties the King Abdullah II of Jordan and Queen Rania. Later, the Hashemite sovereign met with His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

King Abdullah II, Queen Rania and Pope Francis.
Several themes of common interest were addressed during the course of the cordial encounter, most importantly the promotion of peace and stability in the Middle East, with a particular focus on the restarting of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and on the question of Jerusalem. Special attention was reserved for the tragic situation in which Syria finds itself. In this regard, it was reaffirmed that the path of dialogue and negotiation between all components of Syrian society, with the support of the international community, is the only option to put an end to the conflict and to the violence that every day causes the loss of so many human lives, especially amongst the helpless civilian population.

Appreciation was also expressed for King Abdullah’s commitment in the field of interreligious dialogue and for the initiative of convening a conference in Amman, at the beginning of the month of September, on the challenges that Christians in the Middle East will have to face, in particular during this period of socio-political transformations. Finally, recognition was expressed for the positive contribution that Christian communities bring to the local society, of which they are an integral part.

The Jordanian Queen wore a white veil. According to the Vatican customs, only Catholic Queens or monarchs may wear white veils for an audience with the Pope. When Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to the late John Paul II she wore a black veil. In her typical style, Cherie Blair wore a white veil. Although a Catholic, she was not a head of state nor was her husband, then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Queen Elizabeth II wore black, when she was received by Pope John Paul II in 2000.

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