Best of 2012 for the Vatican: the Pope's Trip to Lebanon

Among the main events and highlights of the past year, the Vatican points to the Pope's extraordinarily successful trip to Lebanon, the launch of his Twitter account, the Synod of Bishops for the New Evangelisation and the "painful and embarassing" Vatileaks scandal. The source says the papal visit to Lebanon was used to express "solidarity and support" for the "imperilled" Christian communities throughout the Middle East and although seen as "a very challenging trip" beforehand it went off remarkably well. 

During the month of September Pope Benedict XVI traveled to Lebanon, where he signed the apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente. He also met with Christian and Muslim political leaders. During his visit, the Pope asked Christians to never respond to discrimination with violence.

The Pope said: “It is here and now that we are called to celebrate the victory of love over hate, forgiveness over revenge, service over domination, humility over pride, and unity over division.”

One of the most touching moments came during the gathering with youths at the Maronite Patriarchate, “Tell your families and friends back home that the Pope has not forgotten you. Tell those around you that the Pope is saddened by your sufferings and your griefs. He does not forget Syria in his prayers and concerns, he does not forget those in the Middle East who are suffering. It is time for Muslims and Christians to come together so as to put an end to violence and war.” 

The Pope said Muslims and Christians can live together in peace, and cited Lebanon as an example. He added that both religions must build the future of the Middle East together.

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