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» 04/02/2005 23:47
LEBANON - VATICAN
People put aside their problems, pray for pope
John Paul II is a messenger of peace among the nations, says Shiite Nabih Berri,

Beirut (AsiaNews) – The Lebanese, Christians and Muslims alike, are momentarily putting aside their own troubles to pray for the Pope, most of them concerned about the deteriorating health of the Holy Father.

Beloved by John Paul II, Lebanon, like its neighbours, is praying for the dying Pontiff. Clergymen in the Christian communities are urging the faithful to fast and pray for him.

The national press have devoted pages upon pages to cover John Paul II's fate.

Mgr Paul Matar, Maronite Archbishop of Beirut who organised the Pope's 1997 visit to Lebanon, spoke to AsiaNews about this 'visceral' link between the Pontiff and the Cedars' land.

"John Paul II felt close to our country and its people before and after his trip," he said. "More than once he said that Lebanon was more than a state; it was a message", a message that people of different ethnic and religious background can live together.

According to the Archbishop, "the Holy Father will not be forgotten in the history of Lebanon and of the Lebanese and his imagine shall remain engraved in the memories of adults as well as children". He also invited the faithful to take part in the mass he will celebrate this afternoon in Beirut's St George's Cathedral.

The President of the National Assembly, Nabih Berri praised the Pope calling him a "messenger of peace among the nations". Berri, who is a Shiite Muslim, urged everyone to pray and call on the all-mighty God to help the Pope. "John Paul II, who walked on the Lebanese land, was a man of the 20th century who began the 21st.

Before leaving for Rome, Sarkis Sarkis, a Maronite who is running in Metn in the upcoming parliamentary elections, also urged his compatriots to pray for the Pope. "With John Paul II gone," he said, "Lebanon will lose a great friend and a defender of its rights".

The Pope's worsening health situation has allowed the Lebanese to momentarily put aside their own serious troubles, especially now that another blast occurred in the Christian village of Broumana (20 km east of Beirut), injuring five people and causing considerable material damage. (YH)

 

 


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See also
02/15/2005 LEBANON - VATICAN
Patriarch and Vatican's nuncio offer their condolences to Hariri's family
04/03/2005 LEBANON – TRIPS IN ASIA - AN OVERVIEW
The Pope: a messenger of peace and a prince of charity
04/01/2005 LEBANON - VATICAN
Christians and Muslims pray for Pope
04/03/2006 JOHN PAUL II - SYRIA
Words of John Paul II about dialogue echo again in Damascus
by Jihad Issa
02/14/2005 LEBANON
Car bomb kills Lebanon's former Prime Minister

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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