Would you like to make English your default language, on this site? |
Pope Benedict XVI urged Middle Eastern Christians and Muslims on Saturday (September 15th) to forge a harmonious, pluralistic society in which the dignity of each person is respected and the right to worship in peace is guaranteed, AFP reported.
Speaking to political and religious leaders on the second day of a three-day trip to Lebanon, he said people must repudiate vengeance, acknowledge their own faults and offer forgiveness to each other.
Thousands of people, lined the road leading to the presidential palace hoping to catch a glimpse of the Pope.
Among them were Egyptians, Iraqis, Jordanians and Palestinians who came to witness the first papal visit to Lebanon since the late John Paul II came in 1997.
Before talks with Muslim leaders, the Pope met President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and parliament speaker Nabih Berri.
Those who desire to live in peace must have a change of heart, the pontiff said, and that involves "rejecting revenge, acknowledging one's faults, accepting apologies without demanding them and, not least, forgiveness."
Pope Benedict added that Christians and Muslims have lived side by side in the Middle East for centuries and that there is room for a pluralistic society.
On Friday, the pontiff urged the region's religious leaders to strive to "root out" fundamentalism, which he said "indiscriminately and fatally touches" believers of all faiths.
The Pope returns to Rome on Sunday after celebrating an open-air mass at Beirut City Centre Waterfront.