Pope to PM: Lebanon is worth fighting to save

Pope Francis greets Najib Mikati at the Vatican yesterday (CNA/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis told Lebanon’s new prime minister on Thursday that the crisis-hit country is worth fighting to save. Source: CNA.

The Pope met privately with Prime Minister Najib Mikati for a 20-minute discussion at the Vatican on November 25.

“Lebanon is a country, a message and also a promise to fight for,” Pope Francis said after the two exchanged gifts in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, according to the Vatican.

Mr Mikati presented the Pope with a brick from the Melkite Catholic Church of the Saviour, which was badly damaged by the Beirut port explosion in August 2020.

Pope Francis assured Mr Mikati of his prayers for the efforts to help Lebanon get back on its feet. He recalled the Gospel passage in which Jesus takes Jairus’ daughter by the hand and says to her: “Arise.”

“Lord God, take Lebanon by the hand and say, ‘Arise!’” the Pope said.

At the end of the meeting, Pope Francis asked the prime minister and his delegation to join him in a moment of silent prayer.

The formation of a government in Lebanon after 13 months of political stalemate paves the way for a potential papal visit to the country.

Australian-based Maronite Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay and Melkite Bishop Robert Rabbat recently issued a call to both religious and civil leaders to convene a Conference of National Reconciliation and Forgiveness under the auspices of the United Nations and the Arab League.

FULL STORY

Pope Francis tells new Lebanese PM: Lebanon is worth fighting to save (By Courtney Mares, CNA

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