Pope Benedict xvi arrived in Beirut, Lebanon, September 14 to meet with Lebanese leaders and to undertake what he called a “Pilgrimage of Peace.” The visit adds to a growing body of evidence proving that a new power bloc is quietly rising on the global stage.
The pope’s three-day visit came amid a backdrop of civil war in Syria and during a spate of uprisings throughout the Middle East—one of which resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Before Benedict’s visit, the Vatican had issued a toothless statement decrying not the Islamist attack on the U.S. Embassy and Stevens’s resulting death, but the provocations against the Islamic faith, which supposedly triggered the mob’s outrage. But the pope took on a different tone during his visit to Lebanon, sharply condemning the attack and saying that nothing justifies such acts of terrorism. The pope also addressed concerns about the plight of Christians in the Middle East.