Pope Benedict XVI, refusing to cancel his trip to Lebanon, is currently on TV, visiting St. Paul’s Basilica in Harissa. He also signed the document “Ecclesia in Medio Oriente,” an apostolic document about the Eastern churches. He spoke about the importance of ecumenism among the Christian groups of the Middle East, and declared the importance of freedom of speech, freedom of worship, and the right of Christians to have full citizenship in Middle Eastern countries. The Pope spoke mostly in French (the colonial and educational language, still understood by most Lebanese).
Beautiful Lebanese church music!
UPDATE: Well, the show’s over now, and it’s getting dark in Lebanon. There will be live coverage tomorrow and Sunday, from the early morning (4 AM EST) onward. The Pope will be visiting the Maronite patriarchate on Saturday and speaking to Lebanese youth, and then he will be speaking Sunday on Beirut’s waterfront.
My goodness, he isn’t so much brave as just refusing to be stopped from what is right. But since the trip was scheduled for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, I guess drawing back wouldn’t sound like a good option.