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In search of a place of peace

· At the Angelus in Castel Gandolfo the Pope speaks of his upcoming Journey to Lebanon ·

And in a Message to the Meeting in Sarajevo he appeals for dialogue between believers and non-believers as an antidote to violence

A Sunday under the banner of peace. This is what yesterday, 9 September, was in the Pope's words and intentions. In a certain sense it was an anticipation of what will be the international Journey, now at hand, which Pope Benedict XVI will be making next Friday, 14 September to Lebanon. Yet symbolically his Visit opens to embrace the whole of the Middle Eastern region. It was of this area that the Pope spoke to the faithful gathered in Castel Gandolfo for the customary recitation of the Angelus. He recalled the drama of the suffering inflicted on the peoples by years and years of war and expressed his intention to go to them to help them not to be resigned to violence and to the heightening tensions, but rather to seek the ways of dialogue and coexistence to create a future of peace. His appeal was deliberately repeated in the Message signed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, addressed to the participants in the International Meeting for Prayer for Peace organized in Sarajevo by the Sant'Egidio Community. It is an appropriate connection between the situations of two nations, Lebanon and Bosnia and Herzegovina, countries both multi-ethnic and multi-cultural by definition, which have suffered the drama of the violence of war and now, perhaps in different ways, are showing, or in any case intend to witness to the world that it is possible to find the path of peaceful coexistence in dialogue and in the search for the truth. “Living together is the future”, the Message says. The hope for this was echoed by the ephphatha (“be open”) of the Sunday Gospel which resonated at Castel Gandolfo at the Angelus as an invitation to come out from isolation and establish a relationship with God and with all men and women. The Pope is convinced that dialogue is the only way to achieve peace and reconciliation in the tortured region of the Middle East. A dialogue entrusted to the responsibility “of all the parties concerned”, which involves “the international community, with ever greater awareness of the importance, for the whole world, of a stable and enduring peace throughout the region”.

Arabic translation of the Pope's words at the Angelus about his Visit in Lebanon

The Pope's greeting in Italian

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 15, 2018

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