Pope Makes Peace Appeal

Posted September 16th, 2012 at 7:35 am (UTC-5)
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Pope Benedict, on the final day of his trip to Lebanon, has urged Middle Eastern Christians to become peacemakers to end what he called the “grim trail of death and destruction” in the region.

The 85-year-old pontiff spoke Sunday in the sweltering heat of an open-air Mass on Beirut's Mediterranean seafront where he urged the international community and Arab countries in particular to find a solution to end the conflict in neighboring Syria.

Local organizers said 350,000 worshippers attended the Mass.

On Saturday, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church met with Lebanese officials and religious leaders at the presidential palace in Beirut, where he was met by cheering crowds.

Upon arrival in Lebanon Friday, the pope said he came to the region as a “pilgrim of peace.” The trip came just days after deadly Muslim protests in the region that were triggered by an anti-Muslim film produced in the U.S.

Pope Benedict says he never considered canceling his trip to Lebanon because of security concerns brought on by regional violence.