Benedict, lone messenger of peace in the troubled Middle East

Posted on September 15, 2012


Beirut trying Pope Benedict XVI., To appease the outrage over the anti-Muslim film. Lebanon, he praises as a model of peaceful coexistence of religions. By Paul Badde
A bus trip from Jerusalem to Beirut in the last century lasted maybe six hours. Today the scene is an impossibility for decades. Even the Navigator of the iPhone capitulated to the task of calculating the virtual tour. It is as if the two cities subject to various stars. And there is something in it.

Nevertheless, both cities are in the Holy Land, by the “Patriarchs and Prophets moved” as Benedict XVI. said Friday on his recent pilgrimage. Here “stood the cross of the Saviour” up. Syria and Egypt are among this holy land. The cedars of Lebanon are in the Psalms as proverbial as the grace of its inhabitants.

King Solomon was in close contact with King Hiram in the modern city of Tyre, which was a port of the Phoenicians. The totality of present-day Holy Land but is completely torn apart and devoured by war and violence, even if the coast from Beirut during landing as peacefully under the Alitalia plane of the Pope appears as prior years under him at Tel Aviv appeared before the Lod Airport entered the land of Israel.

“No Fear”

Now the flight lasted only three and a half hours from Rome to Beirut, which is from nearby Jerusalem not to reach almost – but not from the surrounding Damascus, where in recent weeks and months, many thousands of refugees streamed into Lebanon, and from Aleppo and Homs, “Christians and Muslims,” ​​the pope said on the plane. The war made no difference in the general suffering that he will bring upon the people.

“No,” he said in the air where the helicopter came again into turmoil, he had “no fear”. It was, as reflected also in the airspace frightening way. Ghostly mirage of the atmosphere of the war throughout the Middle East And the tsunami of violence that is down there just a capital of the East haunt after another.

He had also never hesitated to make the journey, the pope continued. He had stepped hesitantly before the journalists, but he spoke firmly to them, when he asked her and invited her to assist him in the work for peace, for he must have begun this journey.

Each fundamentalism is a corruption of religion and traffics her being reversed. A “grave sin” was also the arms trade, the many conflicts as nurturing a pipeline of evil.

And the “Arab Spring”? To this question he did not hesitate. This departure can not and should be only be assessed positively, it is a cry of youth for freedom and participation in social life.

Almost in the eye of the hurricane

What the Christians of Lebanon, but probably the most expected of him, is a call and encouragement of the head of Christendom, to a springtime for Christianity in the region, even in this hour of their particular distress is why the Pope also came, and he does everything in order to not disappoint.

Benedict XVI arrives in Beirut. almost in the eye of the hurricane, as fearless as Leo the Great rushes from the Huns in Mantua, while U.S. warships approaches the coast of Libya, and a mob set peitschter the German Embassy in Sudan.

Were politically brisantere storms there in his term before, when he was on the Rafik Hariri Airport before General Michel Sleiman, President of the Lebanese Republic, and before the assembled elite of the country occurs and the word “war” in his welcoming speech the only no takes time in the mouth.

Rather, he invokes at the beginning to the close connection of this ancient model country with the West, where the patriarch of the Maronites as an expression of their solidarity and their lively exchanges with Rome and the Popes have always carry the nickname “Peter” in the name.

Balance of extreme delicacy

In the coming days, but he will imagine the cedar state, especially the Middle East and the world as a “model” as “a nation can manage the collaboration of different churches, all of which religions in peaceful coexistence and respectful dialogue with other communicate “.

Of course, he adds, is this balance that will admired by so many as a model of extreme delicacy. And often random and in danger of being “pushed bow” like a precious old too.

Always get the most vulnerable Lebanese model of sublime balance between the religions, creeds and ethnic equality is a challenge where “great wisdom for the benefit of all the most rigorous demands” was. Here he hits the bow itself to King Solomon, King Hiram, the friend, who just this wisdom, “a listening heart” requested passionate about God and have received.

Coupling of faith in reason

It is an arch that leads from Beirut to return to Berlin. His epochal speech last September before the Bundestag The strict coupling of faith in reason (and vice versa) for the architecture of a future better and more peaceful world has already become a signature of his pontificate.

What does this mean for the Middle East, he has in a document called a resigned “Ecclesia in Medio Oriente”, which he signed on Friday night to get it on Saturday introduce the world to a “roadmap” for the coming years.

Before him, President Suleiman has already (in German: Salomon) is reminiscent of the irreplaceable “Christian and Muslim coexistence for the preservation of the historic appeal of the role of Lebanon”, which regards “all the peoples of the Levant”. Here was ages ago “the alphabet used to structure the thoughts” were invented, would have given the land of the Phoenicians and the West all over the world as a means of communication and mutual understanding.

Drum roll surround the speeches. The ocean glows dimly behind the Rafik Hariri Airport. Wind moves the pontiff in his hair. But the soldiers who paraded past the end of the President and the Pope, with wise caution ammunition magazines from the automatic weapons were removed.

Posted in: Uncategorized