Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Vatican Radio

9/17/2012 (2 years ago)

Vatican Radio (www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org/EN1/index.asp)

The document he leaves here, the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, is an important basis for reflection and discernment for the Christian communities to seek concrete measures and solutions to their pastoral problems

 He is Peter who encourages us and reinforces the foundations of the Faith for Christians. He has come to confirm all Catholics, all Christians, in their Faith and in their hope - particularly in their hope. That is what he has done. He has not given specific solutions to specific problems.

Highlights

By Vatican Radio

Vatican Radio (www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org/EN1/index.asp)

9/17/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Fr Lombardi, Lebanon, Vatican Press Office, Vatican Radio, Pope Benedict XVI


VATICAN CITY (Vatican Radio) - Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office, answers some pressing questions put to him by Vatican Radio's Tracey McClure, as Pope Benedict wrapped up his 3-day Apostolic journey to Lebanon.

Q: First, as the Holy Father prepares to leave Lebanon Sunday, could you give us your impressions of the trip?

A: My impression is obviously very positive, especially if I compare it with the attitude with which I came. I was worried: will the Pope succeed in giving his message? Will people listen to him? Now we have positive answers to all these questions. What we have seen here in Beirut, in Lebanon, was a wonderful encounter between the Pope and the Lebanese, different parts of this complex society, Catholics of different rites, but also Muslims of different communities.

The presence of the President of the Republic at all public moments of this trip, was a sign of the participation of the entire land in this historical visit. I think the Pope was right to come, and with courage, and to say "Yes, I am a pilgrim of peace and my presence will signify that we don't fear what happens around us, we announce the love of God: peace for all men and women of the world".

Q: In his Homily on Sunday's Gospel in which Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, Pope Benedict said that episode marked a turning point in Jesus's life. In a certain sense, the Middle East is also marking a turning point today. - What was Pope Benedict inviting Christians here to do?

A: The Pope has given encouragement, he has confirmed principles we already knew, he has not provided new words or new solutions. But this is not his duty. He is Peter who encourages us and reinforces the foundations of the Faith for Christians. He has come to confirm all Catholics, all Christians, in their Faith and in their hope - particularly in their hope. That is what he has done. He has not given specific solutions to specific problems.

The document he leaves here, the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, is an important basis for reflection and discernment for the Christian communities to seek concrete measures and solutions to their pastoral problems. It offers a way for them to engage themselves in the life of society, and so on. There are many concrete things to do, but these are more the responsibility of the local communities and of the local faithful. The Pope gives directions, and encouragement for all. Work now begins to translate the document into action and into concrete solutions for the many problems.

Q: Sometimes the Church in the Middle East is seen as being somewhat distant from the lay faithful and young people. At the youth gathering Saturday in Bkirki asked for more help from church leaders to aid them in staying in these lands. How is the Church in Rome cooperating with churches here in that sense?

A: I think we cannot take responsibility away from those who have responsibility. That is really the local communities, the Catholic communities of the different rites, they have to find a way. The Pope said yesterday evening to the Patriarchs and the Bishops: please work well on catechesis, that is, on educating young people in the Faith, and adults too, because that's what they need. The Faith has to be something that engages reason, the heart, the mind, and the entire person. But you have to help people by educating them and catechesis is important.

In this regard, the Pope returned to the theme of the Year of Faith as an occasion to involve the entire community and the Church in this direction. And internationally, we have to seek concrete initiatives of solidarity. I know many local Churches in Italy too that are engaged in collaborative efforts with local communities in the Holy Land, in Lebanon, and in other parts of the world. It is not a question of centralising the organization of assistance, but it's a question of concrete solidarity between different local communities in different parts of the world - and it can be very effective because it means more to people than big principles or declarations.

Q: Pope Benedict made an appeal for Syria - one of many times he has called for an end to the violence there. How heavily does this tragic conflict weigh on the Holy Father, and indeed, all of the recent violence we've seen across the region?

A: The conflicts and deaths touch the Holy Father, and everyone else, very profoundly. Sometimes we don't see a solution, and no one until now has found a solution to the Syrian problem. We try to do what each of us can: sometimes through prayer, sometimes giving advice, and sometimes through appeals. The Pope has also said we must stop the arms trade and the importation of weapons. He continuously invites people to dialogue because Christians, not only in Syria but throughout the Middle East, are in a position to mediate, in a certain sense, because they are not a power that people fear, they are a minority.

Christians have no influence over weapons and power. In this sense they can invite the different sides in the conflict to come together and dialogue, to understand each other and to reconciliation. This is one of the aspects of the vocation of the Christian communities in the Middle East and this also regards the Christians in Syria. But we don't have concrete solutions for all these problems. I also think the Christians who came here from Syria during these days, felt the love of the Pope. His presence has encouraged them in this difficult time.

Q: Speaking at his Angelus on Sunday the Pope called on Arab countries andon the Iinternational Community to intervene to somehow stop the violence.

A: This is obvious because we know that conflicts in one country often reflect conflicts elsewhere, among major powers and nations with their specific interests. In this sense, the will of the entire international community to go in the direction of peace will also surely help extinguish tensions in different countries.

---

The Voice of the Pope and the Church in dialogue with the World



Comments


More Middle East

Hundreds rescued as Kurdish forces punch through Islamic State siege Watch

Image of Kurdish Peshmerga forces have fought through an Islamic State siege which held hundreds of Yazidi minorities trapped on Mount Sinjar.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the ongoing war with the Islamic State, Kurdish Peshmerga forces have reported a victory in northern Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Kurdish military says it has recaptured territory near the Sinjar Mountain, the site of the dramatic airdrops that ... continue reading


Islam is the religion of peace? You'll reconsider when you read the laws of true Islam Watch

Image of A crucifixion in the Islamic State.

By Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch

How refreshing it would be if some of the people, Muslim or non-Muslim, who insist that the Islamic State is not Islamic would show how this penal code is contrary to Islam and Sharia. But they will not do so, because they can't. "Islamic State (ISIS) Publishes Penal ... continue reading


In the wake of the Taliban's brutal attack in Pakistan, Christians come together in show of support and solidarity Watch

Image of 132 school children were killed by Taliban gunmen when they attacked an army school in Peshawar province.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Following the abominable and devastating attack on a Pakistani school by Islamic gunmen, the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Catholic Church has condemned the massacre. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Taliban jihadists attacked an ... continue reading


U.S. GROUND FORCES ENGAGE ISIS - No U.S. casualties reported Watch

Image of U.S. troops firing a 60mm mortar.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. ground forces have finally clashed with the Islamic State in Iraq and defeated them handily, aided by F-18 fighter jets. The clash took place Sunday following an attack on an Iraqi airbase where American troops were stationed. Several enemy fighters were killed, ... continue reading


SOLD! In a unprecedented move of barbarity, the Islamic State authorizes rape of underage girls Watch

Image of Women captured by the Islamic State are put onto the slave market where they serve as a source of income for the state and as wives for fighters.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has released a new pamphlet that gives instructions on the taking of sex slaves, selling or giving them, and having sex with prepubescent girls, and has circulated the pamphlet among fighters in occupied Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Islamist State releases video that shows drone's eye-view of Kobane Watch

Image of The footage depicts the Kurdish half of Kobane, in a battle scene that has become a test of the efficacy of the U.S.-led air campaign to defeat ISIS.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Islamist State jihadists are keeping the propaganda war fresh and stylized: They've just released a video, easily available on YouTube which shows a drone's eye view of the beleaguered Syrian town of Kobane. By inference, they've portrayed the ongoing conflict ... continue reading


A world at war: Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram, united how much destruction could they cause? Watch

Image of Taliban fighters have waged a war of insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A study from the BBC and the London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) has revealed that in November alone, over 5,000 people died as a result of Islamic violence, or nearly seven every hour. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Islamic State BEHEADS four CHRISTIAN CHILDREN when they refused to renounce Christ and convert to ISLAM Watch

Image of A man breaks down in tears. Millions of men across the Middle East, from Israel and Palestine, to Syria and Iraq, know nothing but sorrow as conflict rages across the region, consuming their children.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State terrorists have beheaded four children who refused to convert to Islam according to the British Vicar of Baghdad, Canon Andrew White. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Canon Andrew White, Islamic State terrorists have beheaded a man's four ... continue reading


American hostage Luke Somers killed in rescue attempt in Yemen Watch

Image of Luke Somers, who was born in Britain but had American citizenship, was working as a translator for the National Dialogue Conference when he was kidnapped last September.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A militant jihadist reportedly "relieving himself" spotted U.S. forces in Yemen - who altered his superiors, whereupon American journalist Luke Somers along with South African hostage Pierre Korkie were killed by al-Qaeda operatives. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Bad move: Netanyah's re-election plan may lead to political suicide Watch

Image of Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, may have just committed political suicide by calling for March elections.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new survey from the Jerusalem Post has found that a large majority of the Israeli population does not want Benjamin Netanyahu to be re-elected as prime minister. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The poll was conducted on December 3, just a day after Netanyahu ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 7:10-14
10 Yahweh spoke to Ahaz again and said:11 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 20th, 2014 Image

St. Dominic of Silos
December 20: Benedictine abbot and defender of the faith. Born in Canas, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter