(Vatican Radio) - “The language of hatred and violence, both regionally and internationally,
will never bring about a new Spring, only the opposite” says Lebanese Maronite Patriarch
Beshara Boutros al-Rai.
On the eve of Pope Benedict XVI’s arrival in Lebanon
on a widely anticipated three day Apostolic Voyage, the leader of the largest Christian
denomination in the Land of the Cedars spoke to Vatican Radio’s Tracey McClure about
the focal point of this Papal trip: The Churches of the Middle East and how they can
and must contribute to a future of peace in the region. Listen:
think the Apostolic Exhortation is a gift of Divine providence in this difficult moment.
It will present a series of challenges confronting the Christians of the region and
propose some solutions and a way to proceed”.
Patriarch Rai says that the
Muslim community is also “very enthusiastic about the Pope’s visit: “The Pope will
help bring the dawn of peace to the region. But the real Arab Spring will arrive
as the fruit of a Christian Spring and we can help to achieve this through communion
and witness to love”.
“This is a region torn by conflict and war and this exhortation
will present a new way of presenting positive solutions to the conflict and political
tensions. It is important that the Church speaks a language of peace, dialogue and
understanding, because the Arab world only hears the language of hatred and violence
both regionally and internationally, unfortunately. Violence and war will never bring
about a new Spring. Only the opposite”.