Skip to comments.Details on Pope's Lebanon trip released
Posted on 07/05/2012 2:18:21 PM PDT by NYer
.- Details have been released on Pope Benedict's Sept.14-16 visit to Lebanon, where the pontiff is slated to sign his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Church in the Middle East.
The document will be the Pope’s response to the deliberations of the Synod of Bishops of the Middle East held at the Vatican in October 2010. The topic for discussion then was “The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness.”
Pope Benedict will arrive in the Lebanese capital of Beirut at 1:45 p.m. on Friday Sept. 14 where he will be welcomed at an official ceremony at the city’s Rafik Hariri Airport.
From there he will travel to the Basilica of St. Paul in coastal town of Harissa, 12 miles to the north of Beirut. Here, in the presence of the episcopate of the Middle East, the Pope will sign his Apostolic Exhortation.
On the morning of Saturday Sept. 15 Pope Benedict will pay a courtesy visit to President Michel Sleiman of Lebanon at his official residence in the city of Baabda.
At the same location, the Pope will then meet with representatives of the country’s majority Muslim population before giving an address to the Lebanese civil society.
He will then have lunch with, among others, the patriarchs and bishops of Lebanon at the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate in Bzommar.
In the early evening Pope Benedict will then travel onto Bkerke where, at 6:00 p.m., he will deliver an address to young people gathered in the square in front of the residence of the country’s Maronite Patriarchate.
On the morning of Sunday September 16 the Pope will celebrate and outdoor Mass the City Center Waterfront in Beirut. It is here that he will officially present his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation to the Church in the Middle East. Proceedings will conclude with the praying of the Angelus.
Pope Benedict’s last public engagement in Lebanon comes in early Sunday evening when, at 5:15 p.m., he will preside at an ecumenical gathering in the Syro-Catholic Patriarchate of Charfet. He will then depart from the airport in Beirut for Rome at 7:00 p.m.
Lebanon has a population of just over 4 million. It is estimated that around 39 percent of Lebanese people are Christian with many belonging to Eastern Catholic churches that are in full communion with Rome.
Friday 14 September 2012:
13:45: The Pope arrives at Beirut International airport
18:00: Signing of the Apostolic Exhortarton at St. Paul Basilica-Harissa
Saturday 15 September 2012:
10:00: The Pope's meeting with the President of the Republic
10:50: The Pope's meeting with the leaders of Islamic denominations
17:45: The Pope's visit to the Maronite Patriarchate in Bkerke
18:00: The Pope's meeting with the Youth of Lebanon in Bkerke
Sunday 16 September 2012:
8:20: The Pope's heading to downtown Beirut in his Popemobile
10:00:Mass and distribution of the Apostolic Exhortation for the Middle East
19:00: The Pope's return to Rome
Signing of the Apostolic Exhortarton at St. Paul Basilica-Harissa
The Pope's meeting with the Youth of Lebanon in Bkerke
Although it is not widely known in our Western world, the Catholic Church is actually a communion of Churches. According to the Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, the Catholic Church is understood to be "a corporate body of Churches," united with the Pope of Rome, who serves as the guardian of unity (LG, no. 23). At present there are 22 Churches that comprise the Catholic Church. The new Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope John Paul II, uses the phrase "autonomous ritual Churches" to describe these various Churches (canon 112). Each Church has its own hierarchy, spirituality, and theological perspective. Because of the particularities of history, there is only one Western Catholic Church, while there are 21 Eastern Catholic Churches. The Western Church, known officially as the Latin Church, is the largest of the Catholic Churches. It is immediately subject to the Roman Pontiff as Patriarch of the West. The Eastern Catholic Churches are each led by a Patriarch, Major Archbishop, or Metropolitan, who governs their Church together with a synod of bishops. Through the Congregation for Oriental Churches, the Roman Pontiff works to assure the health and well-being of the Eastern Catholic Churches.
While this diversity within the one Catholic Church can appear confusing at first, it in no way compromises the Church's unity. In a certain sense, it is a reflection of the mystery of the Trinity. Just as God is three Persons, yet one God, so the Church is 22 Churches, yet one Church.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes this nicely:
"From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God's gifts and the diversity of those who receive them... Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions. The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church's unity" (CCC no. 814).
Although there are 22 Churches, there are only eight "Rites" that are used among them. A Rite is a "liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony," (Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 28). "Rite" best refers to the liturgical and disciplinary traditions used in celebrating the sacraments. Many Eastern Catholic Churches use the same Rite, although they are distinct autonomous Churches. For example, the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Melkite Catholic Church are distinct Churches with their own hierarchies. Yet they both use the Byzantine Rite.
To learn more about the "two lungs" of the Catholic Church, visit this link:
The Vatican II Council declared that "all should realize it is of supreme importance to understand, venerate, preserve, and foster the exceedingly rich liturgical and spiritual heritage of the Eastern churches, in order faithfully to preserve the fullness of Christian tradition" (Unitatis Redintegrato, 15).
A Roman rite Catholic may attend any Eastern Catholic Liturgy and fulfill his or her obligations at any Eastern Catholic Parish. A Roman rite Catholic may join any Eastern Catholic Parish and receive any sacrament from an Eastern Catholic priest, since all belong to the Catholic Church as a whole. I am a Roman Catholic practicing my faith at a Maronite Catholic Church. Like the Chaldeans, the Maronites retain Aramaic for the Consecration. It is as close as one comes to being at the Last Supper.
Please freepmail me if you would like more information on the Eastern Catholic Churches.
Oh my word. Unless he has an acute and terminal illness, and wants to go out with a bang, this is not a prudent course of action. There will literally be hundreds of thousands of Muslims who will do anything to try and kill him, no matter how many innocent lives are ended in the process.
Seriously, I hope this is just a polite gesture, as Lebanon is truly “the valley of the shadow of death”.
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