The Pope has drawn to a close his three day visit to Lebanon by urging Arab leaders to work for reconciliation in the Middle East.
His words, at a huge open-air mass in Beirut, came amid spreading Muslim protests over the depiction of Mohammed in a film, and with a vicious civil war raging a stone’s throw away over the border in Syria.
“For the people of Syria and the neighbouring countries, who implore the gift of peace, you know well the tragedy of conflicts and violence, which generates so much suffering,” he said.“Why so much horror? Why so much death? I appeal to the international community, I appeal to the Arab countries, that, as brothers, they might propose viable solutions that respect the dignity, the rights and the religion of every human being.”
Promoting harmony between Muslims and Christians has been a running theme on this trip to what is a multi-faith middle-east country and it recurred in his parting message.
He urged the Lebanese people to reject anything that could drive a wedge between them, and choose brotherhood instead.