Vatican City, Jan 29, 2007 / 07:57 am
After praying the Angelus with thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope launched an appeal for peace in Lebanon and in Gaza.
"Over the last few days, Lebanon has again been bloodied by violence," he said. "It is unacceptable to use such methods to support a political position. I feel immense sadness for that dear people, and I know that many Lebanese feel the temptation to abandon all hope and are disoriented by what is happening.”
"I make my own the powerful words pronounced by His Beatitude Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, denouncing those fratricidal clashes. Together with him and with other religious leaders, I invoke God's help so that all Lebanese without distinction may be able to, and want to, live together to make their country a real common home, overcoming all those self-seeking attitudes that are an impediment to true concern for the nation."
"To Christians in Lebanon," he concluded, "I repeat the exhortation to be promoters of real dialogue between the various communities, and upon everyone I invoke the protection of Our Lady of Lebanon."
Pope Benedict went on to call for an end to violence in the Gaza Strip. He expressed his "spiritual closeness to all the population," and gave assurances of his prayers "so that, in everyone, the will to work together for the common good may prevail, starting down peaceful paths to resolve differences and tensions."