An Interview With Bishop Munib Younan On Pope Francis’s Visit to Jordan, Palestine, and Israel

Pope Francis Prays at the Separation Wall
Bishop Younan stands with the Heads of Churches during the Pontifical Mass in Bethlehem
Bishop Younan stands with the Heads of Churches during the Pontifical Mass in Bethlehem (© ELCJHL)

ELCJHL: You were invited to visit Pope Francis in Jordan, Palestine, and Israel?
Bishop Younan: Yes, I was invited to the meeting with Pope Francis in Amman at the King’s Palace. All of the Heads of Churches, the Royal court and governmental ministers, attended this meeting, as well as Pope Francis’s delegation. King Abdullah II delivered a very important speech in which he spoke on two major issues: the role of Jordan in Muslim-Christian relations as highlighted in the Amman Message and the Common Word and the need for a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In response, the Pope emphasized the importance of relationships with Muslims and the good work that Jordan has been doing in interfaith work, as well as emphasizing the Christian community that has been quietly witnessing in the Middle East for 2,000 years. The Pope asked to greet this community.

Read King Abdullah II’s speech to Pope Francis

On Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave a clear message on the Palestinian issue that it is time to solve it and that there are obstacles – the settlements, the Judiazation of Jerusalem, but we are still committed to non-violent struggle and for dialogue. Pope Francis’s message to Palestine was that it must have internationally-recognized borders with two states that can live side-by-side in peace, equity, and reconciliation.

Read Pope Francis’s address to representatives of the Palestinian Authority

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LWF Delegation Meets Pope Francis

The Pope received a refugee’s teapot as an invitation to work together for the suffering neighbor. Photo: Osservatore Romano
The Pope received a refugee’s teapot as an invitation to work together for the suffering neighbor. Photo: Osservatore Romano
The Pope received a refugee’s teapot as an invitation to work together for the suffering neighbor. Photo: Osservatore Romano

(LWI) – During an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican earlier today, leaders from The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) expressed gratitude for the partnership with the Roman Catholic Church that makes it possible for churches to strengthen their commitment to the poor and vulnerable.

“As people who have been encountered by Christ, we are called to accompany the poor and vulnerable. The message of reconciliation entrusted to us turns into the hope for our fragmented world and its yearning for peace with justice,” LWF President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan said in LWF’s greeting to the pope.

Younan expressed gratitude for the ecumenical milestones of the partnership with Catholics, including the recent publication of the report “From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration in 2017.”

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