Organizer Speaks of Preparations for September Visit
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 25, 2012 (Zenit.org).-
The people of Lebanon have great affection for Rome and the papacy, and
are thus excited to welcome Benedict XVI to their homeland in
September, says the coordinator of the papal visit.
Tabet, the former secretary-general for Catholic Schools in Lebanon, is
organizing the trip in conjunction with Vatican officials. Father Tabet
spoke with Vatican Radio when he was in Rome this week working on the
The Sept. 14-16 papal journey will be an official visit to Lebanon,
and include meetings with Lebanese officials, as well as the Pope's
traditional encounters with the world of culture, and interreligious
The culmination of the trip will come at Mass the last day, when the
Holy Father will sign the postsynodal apostolic exhortation, fruit of
the 2010 synod on the Middle East.
“The Lebanese population, Christian and Muslim, had heard that the
Pope will be coming to Lebanon. They were expecting something to
happen,” Father Tabet told Vatican Radio. “They didn’t know the date,
the form or the content (of the visit) so when the news broke on Easter
day, there was a lot of happiness coming with the Easter message. As
everyone knows, the Lebanese are very attached to Rome and to the
papacy, especially to the popes. The Lebanese had experienced the
euphoria of a papal visit with John Paul II and they are waiting as well
for this visit of Benedict XVI.”
Father Tabet noted that the Pope's three-day, two-night trip is "a
long trip for the Pope and during this time he will be meeting with
officials because it’s an official visit to the country of Lebanon. He
will be meeting the political officials; he will be addressing the
people of culture: writers, people from the private and the public
sectors; he will be meeting with the youth -- we are preparing for a big
encounter for the Pope with the youth."
“Many personalities from around the Middle East and north Africa will
be present to welcome the Pope to listen to what he’s going to say,"
the priest added.
He also spoke of the context of the Pontiff's visit: “This part of
the world is passing now through a very critical, very critical moment …
what’s happening in Syria, what’s happening with Israel -- on both
sides, Lebanon is not happy."
Father Tabet noted the Vatican's close contact with the region: “Rome
is really watching carefully the progress of what’s happening and they
have a position towards that and the Pope personally is concerned with
the presence of the Christians in the East. That’s why we see in his
speeches always, he comes back to their presence and he’s giving
ZE12042507 - 2012-04-25
We seek to keep you literally "updated" on movement in terms of truth and justice in the Middle East in general with a particular eye on Palestine. The links below will take you to various articles and websites that offer the perspective of leaders in the religious, NGO, and human rights communities. Additionally, Al-Bushra, ever vigilant, provides links to regular reporting as well as opinion pieces by journalists. The dates given here indicate when the link was posted; the most recent posting is at the top. Check the article itself for the date the information was released by the source.