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Pope, Mideast prelates join in prayer, discussion for Lebanon’s future

July 01, 2021

Pope Francis was joined by a dozen Christian leaders in a day of prayer and consultations for the future of Lebanon at the Vatican on July 1. The prelates joined in prayer at the papal altar in St. Peter’s basilica, then walked to the grotto to light candles at the tomb of St. Peter. They joined during the afternoon in discussions of how the Church can ease the suffering of the people of Lebanon, where a lingering political crisis had brought on economic and social devastation.

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The prelates who joined in the day of prayer—responding to the invitation of Pope Francis—were:

  1. Cardinal Béchara Boutros, Maronite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch;
  2. Greek Orthodox Patriarch Youhanna X of Antioch;
  3. Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II of Antioch;
  4. Melkite Patriarch Youssef Absi, Patriarch of Antioch;
  5. Catholicos Aram I, Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church;
  6. Syriac Catholic Patriarch Mor Ignatius Youssef III of Antioch;
  7. Rev. Joseph Kassab, President of the Supreme Council of the Evangelical Community in Syria and Lebanon;
  8. Chaldean Catholic Bishop Michel Kassarji of Beirut;
  9. Bishop César Essayan, Latin-rite apostolic vicar of Beirut;
  10. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches; and
  11. Archbishop Joseph Spiteri, apostolic nuncio to Lebanon.

 


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