Expectations grow for papal trip to Lebanon in September
February 07, 2012
Expectations of a papal visit to Lebanon in September have received a major boost, with an important prelate’s announcement that the Pontiff will travel to the Middle East during that month.
The Latin-rite Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, announced that Pope Benedict XVI will travel to the region in September to release an apostolic exhortation concluding the work of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East. That announcement lent strength to earlier reports that the Pope will travel to Lebanon.
The papal trip will likely include stops in Beirut and in Bkerke, the site of the Maronite Catholic patriarchate. The visit would be the first papal trip to Lebanon since Blessed John Paul II traveled there 15 years ago. It would be the first opportunity for Benedict XVI to speak in the Middle East since the region was roiled by the “Arab Spring” uprisings of 2011.