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


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Middle East

ISIS destroys Christian graves as part of horrific religious purge Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS continuously commits heinous acts waging purge and terror against other religions, documented through photos and videos shared online. Recently, the terrorist group released a set of undated photos showing militants armed with sledgehammers destroying Christian ... continue reading


Muslim migrants arrested for throwing Christians off vessel, victims feared dead Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fifteen Muslim migrants from Sicily were arrested after being accused of throwing 12 Christians overboard as they cross from Libya to Italy last Wednesday. According to the Palermo police, they detained the suspected perpetrators, while the victims are feared to be ... continue reading


Israeli Prime Minister warns of second Holocaust in memorial speech Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During his speech at a Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem for a commemorative event, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared Israel's current state with the operations of Washington to that of the time of Hitler. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Israeli Jews remember Holocaust in remarkable way on 70th anniversary of Nazi death camp liberation (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

People all across Israel came to a complete standstill for two-minutes to mark the Holocaust memorial day. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As sirens wailed across the country, the silence was echoing. Playgrounds, road traffic and beaches all came to a complete ... continue reading


Dead Sea dying as the River Jordan dries up Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Dead Sea, the famed Biblical body of water tread by prophets and kings, is increasingly endangered by enormous sinkholes. Coupled with the fact that the River Jordan is evaporation the Dead Sea could be literally - dying. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Muslim woman fights against odds to reform Muslim women's marginalization Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an attempt to clear misunderstanding after being branded as an ally of "Islamophobic speakers," Asra Normani was allowed to give a speech at the Duke University in North Carolina this Tuesday. The former correspondent for the Wall Street Journal said that her ... continue reading


'Mom! Dad! Jihadi John is going to slaughter me!' cartoon Obama cries before being beheaded in video Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a sick, crudely produced cartoon, U.S. President Barack Obama is shown being beheaded by masked figure identified as the infamous Islamist State executioner "Jihadi John." Obama is seen crying for his life before being beheaded by the cartoon figure. LOS ... continue reading


13-year-old Syrian girl gunned down by ISIS snipers while trying to flee terrorized refugee camp Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A teenage girl was shot and killed by the ISIS snipers last week, April 7. Identified as Zeynab Daghastani, the 13-year-old refugee tried to escape the Yarmouk Camp in Damascus, which was held by the militants, to go to the ISIS-free nearby neighborhood, Yalda, ... continue reading


Nine-year-old girl impregnated after Islamic State gang rape Watch

Image of Around 40,000 people had been kidnapped at gunpoint when Islamic State fighters attacked Yazidi villages last summer. Hundreds have returned, either by fleeing or being set free by ISIS.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In one of its countless crimes against humanity, a nine-year-old Yazidi girl is pregnant, after suffering sexual abuse at the hands of Islamic State militants in northern Iraq. The girl, released after nearly a year as a prisoner kept as a "sex slaves." LOS ... continue reading


ISIS executes ten doctors for refusing treatment to wounded members Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS has brutally executed ten doctors for refusing to treat the wounded militants of the organization. Al-Sumaria satellite television network reported that the doctors were shot in the head due to the refusal, saying that they do not support the activities of the ... 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, Acts 7:51--8:1
51 'You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 31:3-4, 6, 7, 8, 17, 21
3 You are my rock, my rampart; true to your name, ... Read More

Gospel, John 6:30-35
30 So they said, 'What sign will you yourself do, the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 21st, 2015 Image

St. Anselm
April 21: St. Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury and Confessor APRIL 21,A.D. ... 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