Pope Francis expressed solidarity with Lebanon on Sunday, renewing his earlier appeal for assistance for the country, five days after the double explosion that ravaged the capital, Beirut.
“In these days, my thoughts often turn to Lebanon,” the Pope said at the end of his traditional Angelus prayer from his balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.
“Last Tuesday’s catastrophe calls everyone, beginning with the Lebanese people, to work together for the common good of this beloved country,” he urged.
“Lebanon has a particular identity (…), which has emerged over the course of time as a model of living together,” Pope Francis recalled, adding that while this co-existence was now “very fragile”, he was nevertheless praying that “with God’s help, and everyone’s genuine participation”, Lebanon “may be reborn free and strong.”
He then called on the Church in Lebanon to be close to the people in their time of suffering.
The Pope renewed his appeal “for generous help from the international community” for Lebanon, and extended warm greetings to a group of Lebanese present at St. Peter’s Square after recognising their flag.
His appeal came as France organised, also on Sunday, a virtual international aid conference for Lebanon, three days after President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the Lebanese capital, Beirut, traumatised by the explosions and up in arms against its political decision-makers, accused of negligence and corruption.