02/14/2007, 00.00
VATICAN – LEBANON
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Pope implores Lebanese to reject violence and rediscover unity

Benedict XVI sent a telegram of condolence to Patriarch Sfeir for victims of yesterday’s attack. Cardinal Bertone called for prayers for “this martyred land”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Benedict XVI has “implored” the Lebanese people to reject violence and to seek national unity and the common good. In a telegram of condolence for victims of yesterday’s attack, addressed to the Maronite Patriarch, Nasrallah Sfeir, the pope once again expressed his concern for and closeness with the Country of the Cedars.

In the message signed by the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and made public today, Benedict XVI said he was “deeply saddened by the serious attack” and expressed “his spiritual nearness and prayer” for families of the victims. “Entrusting to divine mercy those who were tragically lost, the Holy Father invokes the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary over the entire Lebanese nation. He implores the Lebanese people and their leaders to unanimously reject violence and to rediscover in this tragic moment, the motivation for a leap towards national unity and the common good.”

Already yesterday, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone urged “prayers for Lebanon where today there was a serious anti-Christian attack.” He said: “Let us pray for this martyred land for which the Pope has already made several appeals.”

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