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Pope faces diplomatic challenge on trip to Lebanon

August 27, 2012

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter explains why the September trip to Lebanon by Pope Benedict XVI will be a severe test of papal diplomacy.

The Vatican has carefully avoided taking sides in the escalating conflict between the Syrian government and rebel groups--a conflict that threatens to spill over into Lebanon. The Vatican supports the right of the Syrian people to secure justice, but opposes the involvement of foreign troops in a conflict that could upset Syria's tradition of religious pluralism.


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  • Posted by: Defender - Aug. 28, 2012 12:41 AM ET USA

    What was the Vatican saying when Syrian troops stayed in Lebanon a few decades ago? Syria is probably too far gone now to expect anything but some kind of radical Islamic group from eventually taking over. Israel will have a real headache on its hands as Syria will support Palestinian efforts in the Gaza and elsewhere.