Preparation for the Visit of the Pope to Lebanon | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Preparation for the Visit of the Pope to Lebanon


In Lebanon, preparations are underway for the visit of Benedict XVI, scheduled in less than a month, and expectations are high throughout the region for this journey, which has as its primary purpose the delivery by the Pope of the Post-Synodal Exhortation for the Middle East Synod, held October 2010, in Rome.

In view of the continuing conflict in Syria, there are many fears and doubts. But the Vatican assures us:“Preparation for the Pope’s trip to Lebanon continues without hesitation.” This is the statement of Father Federico Lombardi, Spokesman for the Holy See.

The clarification, also reported by Radio Vaticana, follows concerns expressed by various sources about a possible cancellation of the trip (September 14-16) due to repercussions in Lebanon that may result from the Syrian crisis. “A concrete sign,” Father Lombardi said, “is that the pope mobile has already left for Beirut” (Source:Radio Vaticana).

The entire Church in Lebanon awaits the Apostolic visit with zeal, which is an opportunity to live intense moments of prayer and of reconciliation. It is hoped that the visit to Lebanon, fifteen years after that of Pope John Paul II, will give a renewed impetus to hopes of peace, dialogue and development to the peoples of the Middle East.

It is not only the Church, however, which awaits this journey of the Holy Father. It also gives a message of hope to the Lebanese Authorities. "This visit,” -according to a text released by the governing bodies – “will confirm the depth of the historical ties that bind Lebanon to the Holy See, and will reaffirm the status, role and mission of Lebanon as a witness to liberty and brotherhood” (Annahar, August 18).