Cardinal Parolin Visits Lebanon Amid Crisis

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, began his five-day visit to Lebanon on June 23.

Lebanon is one of the world’s most important hot spots right now, with Hezbollah on the brink of war with Israel. Reports of a planned visit from the Vatican’s foreign affairs chief began circulating in Lebanese media last week, before being confirmed by Parolin on June 19. So this is a relatively last-minute trip.

Why is such an important Catholic official dashing off to Lebanon?

Officially, Parolin is visiting by invitation of the local Order of Malta. However, he made clear that he will also be involved in much wider political discussions.

“The Lebanese crisis is an all-round crisis,” Parolin said. “Certainly there, we will also try to work a little, as the [Vatican’s] diplomacy has always done, to help find an institutional solution.”

Long-term crises: Lebanon is the largest Christian nation in the Middle East with approximately 1 million Maronite Catholics. An Israeli war against Hezbollah is not the only crisis confronting Lebanon:

  • About 1.5 million refugees have poured over the border from Syria since 2011.
  • Approximately 80 percent of Lebanese live in poverty, and 36 percent live below the poverty line.
  • The nation has failed to elect a president or form a government since October 2022.
  • Inflation hit 250 percent in August 2023, and the Lebanese pound has lost almost 98 percent of its value since 2019.
  • Access to basic necessities like water, electricity, fuel and health services are limited.

Linchpin nation: Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has called Lebanon “a linchpin for a biblically prophesied end-time alliance.” Its “heavy Christian population makes Lebanon different from the rest of the Arab world,” he wrote.

We’ve long forecast that Lebanon will be part of a Europe-led alliance. Watch for the Catholic Church to help make this happen.

Learn more: Read Mr. Flurry’s article “Why You Need to Watch Lebanon.”