September 16, 2012. (Romereports.com) The Pope's closing ceremony in Beirut's international airport, was marked with full military honors. As his three day visit came to a close, the Pope thanked Lebanon and all the religious communities that gathered there for his visit. He then mentioned how both Christians and Muslims worked side by side during his visit. This, he said, sends a powerful message to the world.
“The Arab world and indeed the entire world will have seen Christians and Muslims united in celebrating peace.”
The Pope called for that spirit of peace to continue in Lebanon. Especially, when it comes to religious co-existence.
“I pray to God for Lebanon, that she may live in peace and courageously resist all that could destroy or undermine that peace. I hope that Lebanon will continue to permit the plurality of religious traditions and not listen to the voices of those who wish to prevent it.”
With civil and military authorities present, along with several religious representatives, the Pope thanked the group for their warm hospitality, adding that he'd like to return.
“To that consideration and respect, you added something else, which can be compared to one of those renowned oriental spices which enriches the taste of your food: your warmth and your affection, make me want to return.”
During the Pope's three day visit to Lebanon, he signed and presented a document called an 'apostolic exhortation' on the Middle East, which deals with the situation of Christians and the Church in the region.
Benedict XVI also met with young Muslims and Catholics, some of them from neighboring Syria. The Pope encouraged them to set high goals, since they are the future.
In every speech, Benedict XVI made a call for peace. More specifically, he made an appeal to the international community and to Arab countries, so they may seek concrete solutions to end today's ongoing conflicts. This visit to Lebanon marks the Pope's 24th trip outside of Italy.