Given all the violence in the middle east over the past few days, I think it is very brave of the Pope to go to Lebanon.
Pope Benedict XVI says he is arriving in the Middle East with a message of peace as he begins a 3-day Apostolic Visit to Lebanon.
“Dear friends, I have come to Lebanon as a pilgrim of peace, as a friend of God and as a friend of men. Christ says, Salami o-tikum, 'My peace I give to you,'” said the Pope at the official welcoming ceremony at the Beirut’s Rafik Hariri Airport Sept. 14.
“And looking beyond your country, I also come symbolically to all the countries of the Middle East as a pilgrim of peace, as a friend of God and as a friend of all the inhabitants of all the countries of the region, whatever their origins and beliefs. To them too Christ says: Salàmi o-tikum.”
Pope Benedict was greeted on the tarmac by Lebanon’s President Michel Sleiman along with two local children in traditional Lebanese garb bearing flowers.
The Pope has travelled to the Middle East to sign his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation for the Middle entitled “Ecclesia in Medio Oriente” which, he said, is “addressed to everyone” as “a roadmap for the years to come.”