Prayers for the conclave, conferences on John Paul II

Beirut (AsiaNews) – Prayer vigils for the election for the new Pope and memorial masses for Pope John Paul II continue in Lebanon's churches and convent.

In this spiritual atmosphere the Lebanese are going through a difficult moment in their history with heightened political tensions and a difficult economic situation, a legacy of many, tragic years of civil war.

Today, political discussions to form a new government should start and lead to the appointment of a Sunni politician as Prime Minister-designate.

In the meantime, Mgr Béchara Rai the Maronite Archbishop of Jbeil, a former coordinator of the Synod of Lebanon, has organised in his diocese's 90 parishes a series of spiritual and cultural meetings dedicated to the late Pontiff.

Yesterday, a conference was held on the relationship between John Paul II and the sick in the church of Amchit and was attended by many people who are sick and their relatives.

On Saturday, some 10,000 people are expected to gather at the Monastery of St Charbel for a meeting on the Pope's contribution to consecrated life and the presbyteries.

On Monday at 10 am, Mgr Rai will preside over the Eucharistic con-celebration for the conclave.  (YH)