Pope: Trip To Beruit Is A Peace Pilgrimage

Pope Benedict XVI, who recently made news for going green as it pertained to some Vatican vehicles, will travel to Beruit, Lebanon for a three-day pilgrimage that beings Friday despite concerns about spillover violence from Syria.

The 85-year old leader of the world’s billion Catholics said his trip to Beruit is a pilgrimage of peace. ABC News reports that Pope Benedict XVI will meeting with Lebanese authorities, as well as Chrstians from Lebanon and around the Middle East during the trip.

My apostolic visit to Lebanon, and by extension to the Middle East as a whole, is placed under the sign of peace,” Benedict said Sunday.

The pontiff’s words to the faithful on Sunday didn’t mention any specific nation, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported, but seemed to allude to various tensions in the region, including Israeli-Palestinian disputes, Christian persecution in the Middle East and the fighting in Syria.

“Even though the search for solutions to the various problems affecting the region seems difficult, we cannot resign ourselves to the violence and exasperation of tensions,” the pope said, speaking at his summer residence outside of Rome. “A commitment to dialogue and reconciliation must be a priority for all parties involved, and must be supported by the international community, increasingly aware of the importance of a stable and lasting peace in the region for the whole world.”

Benedict is scheduled to visit Lebanon from Sept. 14 to Sept. 16 and the Vatican has been staunch in saying the trip will not be deterred by violence. Benedict also plans to offer Mass while in Beruit and meet with a group of youth.