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Christians can lead a true 'Arab Spring,' says Lebanese Patriarch

September 13, 2012

The head of Lebanon’s Maronite Catholic Church is hoping for a “Christian Spring” in the Middle East as a result of the Pope’s visit to his country.

Patriarch Beshara Rai told Vatican Radio that the papal visit, during which Pope Benedict will release an apostolic exhortation on the Church in the Middle East, could be “a gift of Divine providence in this difficult moment.” He predicted: “The Pope will help bring the dawn of peace to the region.”

The papal exhortation will offer a new approach to the problems of the Middle East, the Maronite leader said. “Violence and war will never bring about a new spring,” he said. “Only the opposite.”

The Pope’s message will encourage Christians to act as peacemakers and lead the region out of its current crisis, the Patriarch said. He added that “the real ‘Arab Spring’ will arrive as the fruit of a ‘Christian Spring, and we can help to achieve this through communion and witness to love.”


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