Pope brings peace message to Lebanon as Middle East burns
(AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI arrives on Friday for a three-day visit to Lebanon, a Middle Eastern country riven by sectarian tensions as fighting rages next door in Syria.
Religious pluralism and the welfare of Christians in the region were likely to top the agenda, but the pontiff was also expected to call for an end to the conflict in Syria and a halt to arming the two sides.
He will no doubt also call on Lebanon's Christians to unite, divided as they are not only toward the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but also on a political vision for their own country.
But the Vatican has said the pontiff will avoid intervening politically in his comments on Syria or tell Christians where their alliances should lie.