The visit of the Pope Benedict XVI to Lebanon has been a cry against fundamentalism and for peace and an act of courage from his part and from the part of the people who was following him in the acts of the trip above all the representatives of the churches and religions, the young people and the families present in the last Mass at the waterfront in Beirut today.
But let’s talk about the Pope. He didn’t cancel the trip due to the danger of the violent uprising against western interests, just because of a religious origin, the violence and the flow of refugees from neighbouring Syria in a bitter war. And he spoke out against the flow of weapons to Syria, appealing to the responsibility to the ones responsible for that, and against the violence and the war.
So, in the middle of one of the more violent uprising against the west, after the killing of several american diplomats in the Middle East, an uprising that reached even Lebanon in Tripoli, with a War at the doors of the country, the Pope decided to go, to be with the christians of the Middle East as he planned no matter what, and talk against fundamentalism, for the peaceful coexistence between muslims and christians and mutual respect and a way of living so one can live and preach his or her religion without put his or her life in risk.
This last days I highlighted some quotes of the Pope during the trip I found significant. Today, at the praying of the Angelus he said:
“Let us turn now to Mary, Mother of God, Our Lady of Lebanon. Let us ask her to intercede with her divine Son for you and, more particularly, for the people of Syria and the neighbouring countries, imploring the gift of peace. You know all too well the tragedy of the conflicts and the violence which generates so much suffering. Sadly, the din of weapons continues to make itself heard, along with the cry of the widow and the orphan. Violence and hatred invade people’s lives, and the first victims are women and children. Why so much horror? Why so many dead? I appeal to the international community! I appeal to the Arab countries that, as brothers, they might propose workable solutions respecting the dignity, the rights and the religion of every human person! Those who wish to build peace must cease to see in the other an evil to be eliminated. It is not easy to see in the other a person to be respected and loved, and yet this is necessary if peace is to be built, if fraternity is desired. May God grant to your country, to Syria and to the Middle East the gift of peaceful hearts, the silencing of weapons and the cessation of all violence! May men understand that they are all brothers! Mary, our Mother, understands our concern and our needs. Together with the Patriarchs and Bishops present, I place the Middle East under her maternal protection. May we, with God’s help, be converted so as to work ardently to establish the peace that is necessary for harmonious coexistence among brothers, whatever their origins and religious convictions”.