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Itinerary Announced for Pope’s September Lebanon Trip

Will Sign Apostolic Exhortation on Mideast on Sept. 14

VATICAN CITY, JULY 3, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican announced today the itinerary for Benedict XVI’s Sept. 14-16 trip to Lebanon, where he will sign the postsynodal apostolic exhortation following up from the 2010 synod on the Middle East.

The Pope will leave Rome on the morning of Friday, Sept. 14, and arrive in Beirut at 1:45 p.m., local time. 

After the welcome ceremony he will travel to Harissa where he will visit the Basilica of St. Paul and sign the postsynodal apostolic exhortation.

The next day, the Holy Father will pay a courtesy visit to the Lebanese president, prime minister and speaker of the parliament. 

He will then meet with the heads of Muslim communities before going on to pronounce an address before representatives from government, state institutions, the diplomatic corps, religious leaders and the world of culture.

On the same day the Pope will have lunch at the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate of Bzommar with patriarchs and bishops of Lebanon, members of the Special Council for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, and the papal entourage. At 6 p.m. he is scheduled to deliver an address to young people gathered on the square in front of the Maronite Patriarchate at Bkerke.

At 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass at Beirut City Centre Waterfront and consign the postsynodal apostolic exhortation. 

Having prayed the Angelus he will then travel by car to the apostolic nunciature at Harissa where he will have lunch with members of his entourage. At 5.15 p.m. he is due to preside at an ecumenical gathering in the Syro-Catholic Patriarchate of Charfet. From there he will travel directly to the airport of Beirut whence his return flight to Rome is due to depart at 7 p.m.

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