Pope Laments "Unacceptable Violence" in Mideast

VATICAN CITY, MAY 17, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II encouraged the commitment to peace in the Middle East and denounced the “unacceptable violence” that bloodies the region.

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“I pray to God to support the efforts for peace of all men of good will, in particular in the Middle East, so scourged by unacceptable violence,” the Pope said Saturday when receiving in audience Lebanese President Emile Lahoud.

After referring to his “happy memory” of his apostolic visit to Lebanon, the Holy Father assured the president that he prays that God will help “all the Lebanese to consolidate the unity of their nation, in concord and respect of all who constitute it.”

Lahoud was in Rome to attend Sunday’s canonization of Nimatullah Kassab Al-Hardini (1808-1858), a priest of the Lebanese Maronite Order.

“I hope the canonization of a son of your land will be for your citizens an example of fraternal life,” John Paul II said.

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