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A longed-for journey

· Programme of the Pope's visit to Lebanon is presented ·

A journey that has never been disputed, most of all because the Pope strongly desired and is very keen to go “to the Middle East as a messenger of peace and hope”;  with these words Fr Federico Lombardi, Director of the Press Office of the Holy See put a firm stop to the conjectures that are continuing to be circulated by some of the media on the possible postponement of Benedict XVI's visit to Lebanon. “There are no doubts regarding questions of security”, he said this morning, Tuesday, 11 September, presenting the programme of the visit at the Press Office. This is especially because all the communities that exist in Lebanon, even Hezbollah, have made it known that they are awaiting the Pope and his message of peace with pleasure.

It is a message that the Pope is absolutely set on bringing, to encourage the peoples of the region “not to let themselves be influenced by circumstances or uncertainties”.

Fr Lombardi then provided several details of the schedule of this 24th international journey of Pope Ratzinger, the fourth in the Middle Eastern region after his visits to Turkey in 2006, to the Holy Land in 2009 and to Cyprus in 2010, but it is also the first after the so-called “Arab spring”.

In Lebanon Benedict XVI will present to everyone, hence not only to Catholics,  the Apostolic Exhortation which is the result of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, celebrated in 2010.

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