Skip to comments.Vatican Sends Special Envoy 'to Bring Hope' to the People of Lebannon
Posted on 08/15/2006 6:45:21 PM PDT by NYer
In an extraordinary expression of concern, Pope Benedict XVI has sent Cardinal Roger Etchegeray as his special envoy to the Lebanon to convey his "concrete solidarity" and "spiritual closeness" to 'the martyred population" of that war-destroyed land, and to "all those who are suffering" in the Middle East.
Before leaving Rome on Sunday morning, the 83-year-old French cardinal was tightlipped and would only say that his mission was "to bring hope" to the Lebanese people.
The Vatican emphasised that the cardinal's visit was "strictly religious" but sources suggested that he hopes to meet with the countrys political leaders. He will convey to them Pope Benedict's concern, solidarity and closeness to all the people of the Lebanon Christian and Muslim alike.
Shortly after his departure for Lebanon, the Israeli Cabinet voted to accept the UN resolution envisaging an end to hostilities on Monday morning.
The Lebanese Cabinet had reached a similar agreement the day before the cardinal departed.
From Beirut, the cardinal drove to Harissa, to the mountain top shrine of Our Lady of the Lebanon overlooking the Bay of Jounieh. He celebrated Mass on August 15 the feast of the Assumption - at the Pope's request. The countrys Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Nashrallah Sfeir, concelebrated with him.
The French cardinal, a former president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, also acted as Pope John Paul IIs special envoy to many of the worlds trouble spots, and the Lebanese were delighted that the Pope sent his envoy to their country.
Cardinal Sfeir told Vatican radio: "The Pope's envoy will be able to see with his own eyes what is happening in the Lebanon.
"We will join him in pray to ask God to inspire and enlighten our (political) leaders, so that they can put an end to this war. We thank the Holy Father for this paternal gesture towards our people."
The Vatican did not ignore the fact that more than 100 Israeli citizens in Lebanon and Israel died as a result of Hezbollah rockets and fire and that many thousands were displaced from their homes.
To recognise this, the Apostolic Nuncio to Israel, Archbishop Antonio Franco, and the Palestinian-born Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah, concelebrated a Mass for Peace at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth.
Cardinal Roger Etchegaray blesses a girl during Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa Aug. 15. Pope Benedict XVI sent the French cardinal to Lebanon to express his solidarity with those suffering because of war.
I hope he does not ignore the fact that Hizbollah is doing everything in its power to force Christians out of the Lebanon.
Shep Smith keeps saying Hezbollah is doing social services. Send in the Catholic charities to put them to shame.
I never knew until the Katrina thing that Smith was a mere fool. Ted Baxter for real.
No offense intended to the elderly cardinal, but I agree with you on the fighting men. I think there are templars and Hospitalers. Jebees are always helpful when the government is iffy.
The Church is doing the work of God. Hizbollah is doing the work of someone else.
They are doing it for their God, nonetheless. Ironic that liberals have only scorn for crusaders, who were in effect Christian Jihadists but are silent about the deeds of men who do much worse things.
Islam is not a religion, and muslims do not worship God.
1 And the Lord spoke all these words: 2 I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.