BENEDICT XVI: LEBANON AND MIDDLE EAST, APPEAL FOR THE “LONGED-FOR PEACE”
“Let us ask God to give that region of the world its longed-for peace, and respect for legitimate differences”: this is the appeal made by Benedict XVI today on the vigil of his apostolic trip to Lebanon (14-16 September), where he will meet “many members of Lebanese society: the civil and ecclesiastical authorities, Catholic faithful of various rites, other Christians, and the Muslims and Druze of the region”. The Pope exhorted all Christians in the Middle East to be “builders of peace and architects of reconciliation”. “Let us pray to God – he said - that He may fortify the faith of Christians in Lebanon and the Middle East, and fill them with hope. I thank God for their presence and call upon the entire Church to show solidarity, that they may continue to bear witness to Christ in those blessed lands, seeking communion in unity”. “The history of the Middle East – he continued - teaches us the important and sometimes primordial role played by the various Christian communities in inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue”. “May God bless Lebanon and the Middle East!”, he concluded.