Violence in Syria Seen as Concern for September Journey

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 30, 2012 ( Benedict XVI will visit Lebanon from Sept. 14 to 16. Part of his visit will involve the handing over to the heads of Churches and leaders of Christian communities the concluding document following the 2010 synod on the Middle East.

His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, spoke to Vatican Radio ahead of the Holy Father’s visit:

“We anticipate this postsynodal apostolic exhortation in a special way,” said the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. “It is a summary of what we wanted for our Synod.”

He also expressed disappointment regarding interreligious dialogue: “There has not been much progress in the dialogue with the Jews, even if there are people of good will.”

What concerns the patriarch most is the violence in Syria, which has also focused international attention away from the ongoing tensions and difficulties in the Holy Land.

“This is not a trip to Lebanon only, that the Pope will make, but for the entire region,” he concluded.