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September 14th, 2012
12:46 PM ET

Pope Benedict begins trip to Lebanon amid Mideast protests, violence

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Beirut, Lebanon, on Friday for a previously scheduled trip as anti-American protests and violence spurred by an anti-Islamic film roiled the Mideast, including in Lebanon.

Police killed one person in Tripoli, Lebanon, on Friday after a group of armed men stormed a restaurant amid protests in the city, Lebanese security forces told CNN.

"I have come to Lebanon as a pilgrim of peace, as a friend of God and as a friend of men,” Benedict said in a public address Friday afternoon at Beirut’s airport, where he was greeted by Lebanese President Michel Sleiman.

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“Looking beyond your country, I also come symbolically to all the countries of the Middle East as a pilgrim of peace, as a friend of God and as a friend of all the inhabitants of all the countries of the region, whatever their origins and beliefs,” Benedict said as he began a three-day trip to Lebanon.

About 40 armed men were spotted among hundreds of protesters in Tripoli on Friday, Lebanese officials said.

Anti-American rage sparked by an online film that insulted Islam's prophet boiled over Friday among Muslims in at least half a dozen countries, as the United States stepped up security at diplomatic posts across the Middle East.

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Aware that protests were planned for Friday - the Muslim holy day - the United States beefed up security at its embassies and consulates across the Middle East.

The unrest began Tuesday when outrage over a 14-minute American-made online video that mocks the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer, child molester and ruthless killer sparked riots at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Four America consulate staffers were killed, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

U.S. officials suspect that a group sympathetic to al Qaeda used the protests over the film as cover for the complex and well-coordinated attack on the consulate.

In Lebanon, Benedict praised the Lebanese people for providing a model on how believers of various religions could coexist peacefully, calling it an “equilibrium” that is “extremely delicate.”

“Sometimes it seems about to snap like a bow which is overstretched or submitted to pressures which are too often partisan, even selfish, contrary and extraneous to Lebanese harmony and gentleness,” Benedict said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Lebanon • Middle East

soundoff (417 Responses)
  1. mira que bonito

    You know therefore significantly in relation to this subject, produced me in my opinion consider it from so many varied angles. Its like men and women are not fascinated except it's one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. Always maintain it up!

    February 25, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  2. Atheism is Great for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and lets them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago. (Yes, charlatan folklore and spam started long before the Bible; what would make you think they hadn't?) And they need to be taught that other things, like God, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Many religious folk have the best intentions. But too often, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). And too often, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!

    Although there are many religious folk with good intentions – some selflessly helping others, religions and religious organizations are, as a whole, just big old clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division (often disguised as love) along the way. The problem is that people too easily buy into religion and don't realize how unfounded it all is. And when they buy into it, they buy into a lot of really old, really weird tenets that are nothing but harmful for the human species.

    Of course Islam is a crazy religion. But look at Christianity. Just look at all the things that Christians argue about amongst themselves today – abortion, men's and women's roles in the church, celibacy, contraception, acceptance of gays, etc. Most of these issues have their roots in the conflicted, unfounded tenets of early Christianity. Non-Mormons harp on Joseph Smith these days. But we really don't have any more proof at all to believe that Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle" was anything more than an ordinary man who needed to make up religious "sales literature" to survive and spread his own personal beliefs. And yet a good chunk of the NT is attributed to Paul and accepted by many Christians. And a lot of what he wrote about has to do with many of the issues I mentioned above that have Christians fighting amongst themselves hundreds of years later. I don't buy any of it.

    Get a good cup of tea, and sit down and collect your thoughts. If you find it helpful to pray to a god (something you know nothing about), fine. But it is really healthier for the mind to leave behind all the characters that people over the centuries have invented or given powers to, for which there is little or no foundation. Because with those invented characters and powers – that's where division and hate join the little party in your mind. That's where, in your mind, you are inheriting the division and hate from ordinary politicians, lobbyists and salesmen from long ago.

    mama kindless

    September 17, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  3. Reality

    Only for new members of this blog:

    Money wasted as the "vomit-inducing" ped-ophilia and coverup will simply hasten the decline of all religions as they finally go extinct from their own absurdity.. It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like "Do No Harm" and voluntarily convert all houses of "worthless worship" to recreation facilities and parks
    =================================================================================
    ============================++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    September 17, 2012 at 7:52 am |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 17, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL, DUDE".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 17, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  5. AvdBerg

    The Pope has been praying for Peace for more than a thousand years but as the people of this world have witnessed his prayers are all in vain (Matthew 15:9).

    The Pope is not the vicar of Christ but rather a false apostle and a vicar of a false Christ who serves the spirit of this world and who deceives all the followers of his church (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15)

    For a better understanding of the history and doctrines of the Catholic Church and all its deceptions, we invite you to read the articles ‘The Mystery Babylon’, ‘Popes and the Princes of This World’, ‘S.exual Abuse in the Churches’ and ‘S.exual Abuse – Vatican Involvement’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    September 17, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • TROLL ALERT

      This poster is a well known lying TROLL on this site. Don't bother checking out their site which is full of lies so can sell their book to support their cult. Click the report abuse link to get rid of this troll.

      September 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Efren

      Hey cool story!
      But the Catholic Church is the longest standing Christian denomination in fact it's the only Christian denomination that can be actually traced to the times of Jesus. So I wouldn't be too quick in judging them, they know what they're doing!

      September 23, 2012 at 4:10 am |
  6. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Ya, he is guided by his GOWD, the belly, like a hungry Hungarian dog, denier of truth 180*, filthy his Hind hurts visit my link whypopshindhurts.com/blog.htm and click on youngAltarBoy to open file, but turn off your virus protection first.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  7. Medicated

    @Just Me Too comment #178: I don't know if someone else answered this already n I do apologize if so. There is a difference between the Roman Catholic Church, which since the Protestant Reformation, is now a sect of Christianity, n The Holy Church Catholic, which is a ti.tle that refers to all the churches in Christendom.

    Essentially, the Roman Catholic Church n all protestant sects are parts a body called The Holy Church Catholic.

    Those are just the nitty gritty linguistics mostly used by religious scholars n church administration, n councils where church policy is made.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  8. Medicated

    @Just Me Too comment #178: I don't know if someone else answered this already n I do apologize if so. There is a difference between the Roman Catholic Church, which since the Protestant Reformation, is now a sect of Christianity, n The Holy Church Catholic, which is a ti.tle that refers to all of Christendom.

    Essentially, the Roman Catholic Church n all protestant sects are parts of The Holy Church Catholic.

    Those are just the nitty gritty linguistics mostly used by religious scholars n church administration, n big conferences/councils where decisions about church policy etc are made. creed,

    September 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  9. John Stefanyszyn

    Mr. Ratzinger, the "pope" and leader, of the Church of Roman Universal/General Values has confessed that religious fundamentalism is a threat but that the fundamental belief in the freedom of all religions is the RIGHT way of life.

    ...Religious fundamentalism is not right
    ...Freedom fundamentalism is right

    It is clear that Mr. Ratzinger worships the god of fortresses as spoken of by Daniel.

    The message of the Roman "pope" also implies that to confess the "fundamental" belief that Christ is the ONLY TRUE WAY, thus any other belief is of man's self-interest, is a fundemental religious belief and therefore also a threat.

    September 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  10. Drink my Kool-aid

    http://www.jesusandmo.net/

    September 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  11. hal 9001

    I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL, DUDE".

    I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

    I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
    by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

    September 16, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes things ,

    September 16, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL, DUDE".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 16, 2012 at 10:20 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.