Loading
Pope confirms September 2012 visit to Lebanon
By Benjamin Mann and Alan Holdren
Patriarch Gregorios III Laham
Patriarch Gregorios III Laham

.- Rumors of a papal trip to Lebanon have been confirmed by the head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, which will welcome Pope Benedict XVI at the start of his Sept. 14-16 visit.

“We came to him and now he's coming to us,” said Patriarch Gregorios III, a major participant in the 2010 synod of bishops that brought many Arab Church leaders to the Vatican. He confirmed recent talk of a papal visit during a March 15 press conference at the Melkite Catholics' headquarters in Rome.

The Pope “will come to support Christians so that they are united,” the patriarch said, according to Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper.

The Melkite Catholic leader will give a discourse in the Pope's presence on the afternoon of Sept. 14, at the Church of St. Paul at Harissa.

Patriarch Gregorios, who is based in the Syrian capital Damascus, said the Pope would be making the visit “for all of the Middle East.” Pope Benedict may even stop over in Syria “if the situation improves,” according to the Eastern Catholic patriarch.

Along with a “message of peace” for all people of the region, the Pope will deliver a document – known as the post-synodal apostolic exhortation – dealing more specifically with themes of the 2010 Synod for the Middle East.

That gathering gave top priority to the preservation of Middle Eastern Catholics and other Christians in their historic homelands. It took place only months before the Arab world erupted in a series of ongoing and often violent revolutions.

Concern over some Middle Eastern churches' survival has grown in the meantime, following the rise of political Islam in Egypt and the prospect of a civil war in Syria.

Lebanon, by contrast, is considered a model of stability and religious coexistence in the Middle East. The country's power-sharing system divides different offices of leadership between Muslim groups and Maronite Catholics, who are led by Patriarch Bechara Rai and make up 21 percent of the population.

The Pope was invited to Lebanon by its Sunni Muslim prime minister Najib Mikati, during his November 2011 visit to the Vatican.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: