Pope to Host Special Lebanese Leaders Summit
Pope Francis on Sunday revealed his plans to host a summit of Christian Lebanese leaders on Tuesday at the Vatican, where the head of the Roman Catholic Church hopes to bring about a breakthrough in stalled political negotiations. “On July 1, I will meet … with the main leaders of the Christian communities in Lebanon, for a day of reflection on the country’s worrying situation and to pray together for the gift of peace and stability,” the pope said during his weekly Angelus message. Lebanon’s three main Christian denominations are Maronite Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Melchite Catholics. In addition, there are a number of other smaller Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic denominations. Francis has repeatedly promised to visit Lebanon once a stable government is formed, including last month during a meeting with Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri, who has for over six months been unable to establish a coalition. The battered country is in the throes of its worst political, financial and social crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war, made worse by the global pandemic and last summer’s devastating explosion in Beirut’s port.
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