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» 04/02/2005
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
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

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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