Some thoughts about the Pope’s Lebanon trip

Because of my travel and the need for a little down time, I didn’t do much with the Holy Father’s visit to Lebanon.

However, a few things have come to mind after some recent conversations and some reading.

First, even though there were a lot of risks, the Holy Father did not once consider not going on this trip.

After the terrorist attacks in Egypt and Lebanon, there were rapid press releases from the Holy See’s Press Office (which I didn’t especially care for at the time). The first of the releases aimed at the Middle East, surely made it possible for the Pope to go on that trip to Lebanon.

While I was not entirely pleased with the statements that came from the Holy See’s Press Office after those terrorist attacks, and while some might say that the Holy See should use a less temporizing voice, the Pope’s trip to Lebanon had a very important objective: let Christians of that region that they are not completely alone.

Christians there are vastly outnumbered, virtually forgotten, and in danger of the loss of their very lives. Christians are fleeing the region. Those who remain are in a tenuous position. Governments don’t give a damn about the basic human rights of Christians anywhere, much less in that region.

The only person those poor people have in their corner is Pope Benedict XVI and he traveled to be with them, even if briefly and under tight security.  The trip was an act of physical and moral and pastoral courage.  Some high level chess made it happen.

Some retrospect prompts me, again, to breathe deeply and read the press releases again and consider broader views.   Not all press releases need to be subject to a deeper consideration, but these did.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Joe in Canada says:

    Lebanon is, or could be, or was, a light in the region. Christian rights are preserved in the constitution.

  2. Maynardus says:

    Pater – glad to see you remarking on this. Seems to me it was largely overlooked by the MSM and even much of the alternative media, but I agree that it was hugely important. One cannot help but think that if the visit had been marred by demonstrations and riots, or if the Holy Father had said anything that roiled the waters they (the MSM) would have been leading with the story and opining about how intolerant and tone-deaf H.H. and the R.C.C. were. Pope Benedict XVI continues to confirm and strengthen the faith of both the faithful and the clergy, and – not incidentally – provides the episcopate with yet another backbone-stiffening example…

  3. chcrix says:

    It is not surprising that the visit is ignored by the MSM. The issue of Christians suffering in the mid-east is not on their agenda. The U.S. government doesn’t want attention drawn to it for reasons of power politics.

    The current Pope Benedict can expect all the approval from the governments and media in the west that his illustrious predecessor, Benedict XV received in his efforts at brokering a peace in WWI.

    It is good to know that the Holy Father knows this, and doesn’t care.

  4. Sixupman says:

    I was mightily impressed by the turn-out for BXVI’s visit.

  5. aragonjohn7 says:

    I’m glad and uplifted if the popes visit provides solace, strength, and if possible wisdom to at least ten people

  6. Laura98 says:

    While the press here may have ignored His Holiness, (they usually do, except to insult him or the Church)… the Christians in Lebanon did not ignore our Pope. They surely needed to see him and be uplifted by his message(s). We need to continue to pray for him and his continued guidance of the Church in these difficult times.

  7. jacobi says:

    The press in UK virtually ignored the Pope’s visit to Lebanon. I had to search hard to find even a superficial coverage of it, and there has been no follow-up analysis.

    This is of course what we expect here. Normally only negative issues are aired. Any other religion and it would be otherwise, but the Catholic Church is the target of so many secularists. If they can sink the Catholic Church, then they are home and dry!

    The courage and determination of the Holy Father must have been a great source of inspiration and hope to our fellow Christians in the Middle East, and elsewhere, in Nigeria for example, who are being so sorely persecuted for Christ’s sake.

  8. Johnno says:

    The press is incompetent as usual. They can’t even get the story straight about why the riots are happening in the first place. It’s got nothing to do with that ‘film’ that may or may not exist in its entirety, and everything to do with their failed championing of democratic reform in the Middle East and failed American Foreign Policy that they themselves happily championed and awarded Obama a Peace Prize for a priori.

    The press avoids it because it will draw attention to their past failures to do their job properly and responsibly and highlight their bias against Christianity.

  9. Maria says:

    Pictures of Pope Benedict’s visit:

  10. joan ellen says:

    Maria, thank you for those pictures of Pope Benedict’s trip to Lebanon. What a treat as was Fr. Z’s stroll in Rome. These two men are such great blessings for hope in our souls. And thanks be to God.

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