The book was launched on Monday, October 24, in Amman in the presence of Minister of Culture Nabih Shuqum
The Arabic version of Pope Francis’ book “The Name of God is Mercy” was launched on Monday, October 24, in Amman in the presence of Minister of Culture Nabih Shuqum, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan Archbishop Maroun Lahham, heads of churches, members of diplomatic corps, and a number of figures in the field of culture and media.
The book was translated by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in cooperation with Jordan Caritas.
In his address, the Jordanian minister of culture said: “We are living amidst a world involved in fighting--characterized by conflicting interests and hubbub that has almost eliminated all forms of security and progress--designed to attain mere material gains and political objectives that only serve those who only focus on their personal interests, their exorbitant selfishness, and monopolist thinking so that they only view themselves at the expense and the dignity of others.”
Shuqum enquired, ”Can we bring about a world free from every disease, from marginalization, from hatred, from loss of freedoms, and from disregard for justice without having to embrace the divine values of love, peace, mercy and cordiality which are the merciful divine values presented by prophets, messengers, and the divine holy books?”
Referring to the Message of Amman, Shuqum said that “it is a frank and serious invitation to follow moderation. It also draws attention to the need to bring about comprehensive development which underlines the need for balanced approach to the spiritual and socio-economic aspects, and to care for human right and freedom. It also draws attention to rights of humans to live in dignity and freedom, guarantee their basic human rights, administer the affairs of societies based on justice, as well as benefit from the mechanism produced by society to apply democracy.”
He concluded: “From this premise, we view Pope Francis’ book “The Name of God is Mercy” as a genuinely sublime title that represents the justice of the Creator, and His absolute love for humans living on Earth,” stressing that he highly values the positive role played by His Holiness Pope Francis in global peace as well as in his firm and distinguished relations with Jordan.”
In an address by Patriarch Emeritus Fouad Twal, he said: “In the face of the follies of violence, the insanity of killing and injustice that have been sweeping our world, His Holiness Pope Francis did not find a weapon to fight this trend other than launching the Year of Mercy, and publishing a book titled, “The Name of God is Mercy.” God is merciful, compassionate and kind with His people. He bestows on them compassion, affection and tenderness, away from all forms of violence, extremism and terrorism.
He added: “In line with the Pope’s repeated insistence that he wants “a poor church that serves the poor” in all its institutions including universities, schools, educational institutions, hospitals and others, he launched a reform plan in the Vatican Curia. He fought corruption and reaffirmed that the Church serves as a “field hospital” for all patients, and for all those who seek a panacea by all the available means.”
Concluding, Patriarch Twal said: “Let us in this Year of Mercy, willingly forgive the abuses and the harm inflicted on us by others. Let us console and pacify all those who suffer from injustice as well as those who sustained the world’s violence and cruelty so that they can see the face of the Merciful God, Whose mercies endure forever, because the name of God is Mercy.”
Professor Nida Zaqzouq of the Sharia Faculty at the University of Jordan said is her address: “Mercy is the tenderness of the heart and its steering in a direction that necessitates charity. When we say “in the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate” at the start of every work and every saying, this has importance as it indicates the need to keep in mind the quality of mercy in all our deeds.” She stressed that God is merciful towards the faithful and unfaithful, the oppressed and even the oppressor.
On his part, Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media Fr. Rif’at Bader said: “We meet today to launch a book whose title adequately reflects the depth of faith in the Merciful One God, ‘The Name of God is Mercy.’ This is the one God whom we worship, follow and try all the time to fulfill His will. The name of the Almighty is Mercy and nothing else, which forms a bridge linking the world’s Muslims with the Christians because they worship the same God, called Mercy.”
He also thanked all those who worked hand-in-hand and contributed to the issuance of this book.
Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, who wrote the book based on interviews he had conducted with the Pope, said: “the Church goes forth toward those who are ‘wounded,’ who are in need of an attentive ear, understanding, forgiveness and love... This is the face of a Church that doesn’t reproach people for their fragility and their wounds but heals them with the medicine of mercy. We live in a society that discourages us from recognizing and assuming our responsibilities. It is always others who make mistakes. It is always others who are immoral. It’s always someone else’s fault, never our own. And sometimes we even experience a return to a kind of clericalism, always intent on building borders, ‘regulating’ the lives of people through imposed prerequisites and prohibitions that make our already difficult lives even harder. It is an attitude of being always ready to condemn and unwilling to accept. Ready to judge but not to bow down with compassion for mankind’s sufferings. The message of mercy swept all those stereotypes away.”
Paying tribute to the Muslims who positively reacted to the book since its issuance in January 2016, he quoted The Pope’s Letter “Miericordiae vultus”: “Among the privileged names that Islam attributes to the Creator are ‘Merciful and Kind’. This invocation is often on the lips of faithful Muslims who feel themselves accompanied and sustained by mercy in their daily weakness. They too believe that no one can place a limit on divine mercy because its doors are always open. I trust that this Jubilee year celebrating the mercy of God will foster an encounter with these religions and with other noble religious traditions; may it open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; may it eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination.”