Vatican: Pope lauds 'respect' from Muslims during Lebanon trip
last update: September 19, 15:58
Rome, 19 Sept. (AKI) - Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday praised the country's Muslims for the "great respect and sincere consideration" they had shown him during a vist to the country last week and issued a call to dialogue.
"The Muslims welcomed me with great respect and sincere consideration. Their constant affable presence gave me the opportunity to launch a message of dialogue and collaboration between Christianity and Islam," the pontiff said in Rome at his general audience.
"I believe the time has come to bear sincere and definitive witness together against division, violence and war," he continued.
The pope also praised Lebanon's Catholics for "the ardour of their faith" and the "highly appreciated contribution to the daily life of all the country’s inhabitants."
He also recalled his plea during his Lebanon visit for an end to the worsening conflict between Syrian rebels and forces loyal to president Bashar al-Assad and the refugee crisis this has sparked in the region.
"Nor do I forget the difficult situation in Iraq," he said.
At an open-air mass in the Lebanese capital Beirut on Sunday, the pontiff urged nations especially Arab countries to halt the "grim trail of death and destruction" plaguing Syria and the Middle East.
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