Pope Francis yesterday called for “justice and truth” in Lebanon, ahead of today’s second anniversary of the deadly Beirut port explosion. Source: CNA.
“My thoughts are with the families of the victims of that disastrous event and with the dear Lebanese people,” the Pope said.
“I pray that each one may be consoled by faith and comforted by justice and truth, which can never be hidden.”
Speaking at the end of his general audience in Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis expressed hope that Lebanon will experience “a rebirth”. The Middle Eastern country has grappled with a devastating financial crisis and a lack of stable governance in recent years.
“I hope that Lebanon, with the help of the international community, will continue on the path of ‘rebirth,’ remaining faithful to its vocation of being a land of peace and pluralism, where communities of different religions can live in fraternity,” Pope Francis said.
Lebanon will today mark the anniversary of the Beirut port explosion with a National Day of Mourning. The Maronite patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, is also expected to offer a memorial Mass for the victims.
The blast killed 218 people and wounded 7000. The World Bank has said that the explosion caused more than $A5.5 billion in material damage in the city, destroying homes, schools, churches, and medical facilities.
Pope Francis calls for ‘justice and truth’ ahead of Beirut blast anniversary (By Courtney Mares, CNA)