Pope Prepares to Visit Lebanon, Calls for Dialogue in Mideast

Posted September 9th, 2012 at 7:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Pope Benedict has called for dialogue and reconciliation in the Middle East as he prepares to visit Lebanon at the end of this week.

The pontiff told pilgrims Sunday at Castel Gandolfo, his summer residence outside Rome, that his trip to Lebanon, and by extension to the whole of the Middle East, is taking place under the sign of peace.

He called on all sides in the region to commit to dialogue and reconciliation and urged the international community to support such efforts.

The pope's three-day visit starting Friday comes despite fighting from Syria spilling into neighboring Lebanon.

The Vatican has described Pope Benedict's upcoming trip to Lebanon as “an act of great courage and hope.”

Christians worldwide are concerned about the declining number of Christians from the region where Christianity was born.