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King Abdullah II Praises Pope’s Stance on Respect for Religions

Jordanian Monarch References Pontiff’s Words During Flight to Manila

Jordan’s King Abdullah II praised Pope Francis’ words on the need to reconcile freedom of expression and respect for religions and religious symbols.

The monarch expressed his support for the Holy Father’s sentiments during a meeting with leaders of the Bedouin tribe of Beni Sakhr.

During his flight from Colombo to Manila this month, Pope Francis emphasized that everyone not only has the freedom, the right, but also the obligation, to say what they think in order to promote the common good.”

However, he also stressed that freedom of expression has its limits, especially when that right is used to mock another’s faith. “We cannot provoke others, we cannot insult their faith, we cannot mock their faith.” 

In an interview with Fides, Archbishop Maroun Lahham, the Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said that King Abdullah referred to the Holy Father’s words during that press conference.

“King Abdullah made explicit reference to the words expressed by the Pope on the fact that freedom of expression is a right, and in some cases even a duty, but at the same time it has limits, and cannot offend the religious beliefs of others,” he said. “The monarch defined these considerations positive.”

Archbishop Lahham also said that the Jordanian monarch denounced the actions of extremists who “do not represent true Islam” as well as stressing that the “reputation of Muslims must be protected and defended.”

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