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. 2357

    Don't go there Paps, they'll be waiting for you! Unless its what you want.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      He has to go, just like hindu Enoch man god RAM to his sister to preserve hinduism, racism.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Enoch,.. you know what I'm not even going to correct you on that, i hate him to

      Damn you Enoch damn you traitor, sheddiel loved you and you killed her, you who murdered you children, i will never forgive you, Son of Man.
      death to Yahweh/Allah/Jehovah/god
      death to his messiah Enoch

      much love to all humanity♥

      September 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  2. Captain Obvious

    The Pope looks evil.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Uummmm, I strongly suggested that Pope-a-Dope aka Chief Pedophile Protector is undoubtedly evil.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  3. MrApplesauce

    Why would a Nazi sympathizer head to Lebanon?

    September 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  4. prismcampaigns

    All this banter is what leads to wars. Nothing but intolerance everywhere!

    Christians and Muslims.. Do you not see you both believe in Monotheism... Why can you not understand the stars appear differently depending on where you stand on the earth. Both your religions speak of love and that your king is promised to return. Have patience, all will be revealed.

    Christians... Who cares of what sect you originate. All are told to love one another and to wait for his return.

    Atheist... Never have I seen anyone fight for nothing. If you are secure in you beliefs then walk away. It is your curiosity that makes you challenge religions of the world. Are you not aware that each religion is in a period of tribulation? A period of time where everything is based on faith and NOTHING will be proven.

    Cant anyone put the pieces together and see how evolution of species' is scientifically proven. And science does not lie. Science is a set of rules and laws. Now,,, is it not possible that a creator put all that science and law together like a beautifully woven kaleidoscope of life?? Matter and life did not happen by chance. But it was also not just thrown together over night. You are all fighting and spilling inflammatory language, which no matter what you believe in, you all are aware that this is wrong, immature, intolerant, and not treating those as you would hope to be treated. Why can you not accept your differences and live with each other.

    Your children do...until you teach them different.You should all be ashamed!

    September 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      "Matter and life did not happen by chance."

      Unproven assertion.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Appreciate your concern but follower of hindu Mithraism, pagan savior ism christians deny truth absolute by dividing truth absolute in to two, under hindu pagan pagan formula of trinity, to deny truth absolute monotheism.. If it is not truth absolute of Islam, it is hinduism denial of truth absolute and every hindu denies truth absolute God, under hindu factious hindu fabricated man god's. To know causes of mayhem among humanity, handy work of hindu Jew's, criminal self centered, denier of truth absolute and thir hinduism, fabrication, hindu Mithra ism pagan savior ism, labeled as Christianity, please visit http://www.limitisthetruth.com/blog.html and click on word Choice to open file.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  5. art

    you need to go home i do not want to see you hart

    September 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  6. Priest = Parasite. Pope = Huge Parasite

    Ignore them and stop giving them money and they'll be eradicated from our ecosystem.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  7. CrimsonCrusader1776

    Christians, Jews, Hindus, Bhuddists UNITE!!

    It is time to rid the world of Islam and its followers. Wipe them all off the face of the earth and purge the earth of everything ever associated with them.

    O that the world could understand that this is a war. A war they wage against everyone who does not believe what they believe. Against everyone who does not convert to their way.

    It is now time to stop trying to coddle them along in hopes that they will "live in peace" with us. It is clear that they will not stop until the whole world has converted to Islam.

    If you don't believe me, listen and read the words of their own leaders, imams, and Quran. They want total and complete domination of the world.

    If it is a holy war they want, it is a holy war they will get, and a holy war they will lose.

    Death to Islam! Death to Allah!

    September 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      All of them off shoot of hinduism, denial of truth absolute, just like any hindu, criminal locked up in a Jail, united against truth absolute God, stand no chance.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  8. Ryan M.

    When mankind destroys the religions of the past, he will create the religions of the future. His current attempts (communism, marxism, socialism, "insert-an-ism") objectify humans and glorifies the state and it's leader as a pseudo-deity. The idea of religion is so much a part of us as humans that we really should ask "what is the right religion" than asking "why even bother?"

    Much of what we call good and beautiful arose from Christian thought, particularly Catholic theology. Don't take my word for it (you won't anyway), do the research, read, look with an unbiased eye. Yes, terrible things have happened in regards to the Church, but how much different is the rest of humanity? The history of Western Civilization is so interweaved with the Catholic Church that virtually all of our triumphs are rightly hers, all of our tragedies rightly hers as well.

    But, look into the theology, don't debase it with reductionist thinking. Read Augustine, Aquinas, Bede, Duns Scotus, etc.- look into the logical Greek tradition from which they sprang. It is the most satisfying of philosophies the world has witnessed, because it was alll thought out relative to human nature, to which we are still subject, and shall remain. To debase the Church on her past is like debasing Einstein because he was a drunkard, or beat his wife. You can be found deplorable, but correct. Consider that the Catholic Church might be just that.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Priest = Parasite. Pope = Huge Parasite

      It's a life-poisoning lie, and it can go away now.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  9. mark

    christians want to remain in the middle east! but we're outnumbered and outmatched by a bunch of extremist nutjobs here who are hell bent on exterminating us! superpowers of the world should get together as one and assist the chrisitan concentration in the middle east!!

    September 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Why? Why should every orld power coalese toward the aid of one religion? Talk about arrogance on your part.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism, divide of truth absolute has no place in domain of truth absolute.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • MDAT

      Oh hi spambot.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. 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 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Typical

      It's just another xtian trying to brainwash you into believing something that isn't true. It's why they have to post it over and over again.....and again....and again... It's still not working...try harder!

      September 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      September 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • busted hal

      and phony jesus

      September 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  11. New Yorker

    Few 100% true Reasons why Islam is a terrible and evil religion to stay far away from...

    1. "Prophet" Muhammed was an evil & disgusting pédophile who had several wives like a maniac!
    2. Islam = submission. Allah tell Muslims to submit to his will; otherwise he will torture and torment you in life for eternity.
    3. Islam treats non-adherents worse than animals. If they are people of the books (Christians or Jews), classify them as "dhimmis" and make them pay a special tax (Jizya) to the Islamic government, or they should be enslave, rob, rápe, and lynch them as you please unless they convert to Islam.
    4. Islam kills those who leave Islam and/or convert to another religion. It also says to kill gays, atheists and those who insult Islam & Muhammed.
    5. Quran says "Men are better than women", "Men could have many wives", "Women are worth half a man", "Selling a wife is perfectly ok".
    6. Unlike Christians – Muslims pray and serve Allah, rather than praying for themselves or someone else.
    7. Islam is the most violent Religion by far –>> http://www.thereligionofpeace.com <<–
    8. Muslims frequently persecute and kill Christians unless they convert to their cult. Churches have either been converting into Mosque. (Hagia Sophia an example) or being burned down in Islamic countries.
    9. Non-Muslims are forbidden visiting Mecca, and no freedom of/from religion in Saudi Arabia and several other Islamic nations.
    10. Islam is spreading like rats in western countries (Europe & North America), and seek to spread their "Sharia Laws", as well as trying to convert as many people to their "peaceful" religion and ev. taking over the nation.
    They start by opening mosques and marry Christian or Jewish women so they will convert to Islam.
    11. It is the DUTY of every Muslim to expand Islam and strive for world domination.
    12. Quran is nothing but hate and violence. Muslim children are brainwashed and brought up with violence and hatred towards non-Muslims.
    13. Islam says they believe in Jesus (Isa), yet they deny his words and the Bible.
    14. Many Muslims in western nations tries to act "nice" and "tolerant" like normal humans so people think that their religion is "peaceful" and ev. people falling into converting to Islam and accepting them.

    May our Lord save us from Islam and its violence & disgusting people!

    Muslims could openly practice their religion freely in western (Christian) nations, but Christians or Non-Muslims would risk getting their head cut of doing so in any Islamic nation, both secular and extremist.



    September 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Sounds exactly like the Christian god

      "2. Islam = submission. Allah tell Muslims to submit to his will; otherwise he will torture and torment you in life for eternity."

      September 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  12. Bishop Hairy Palms

    The Pope has no moral authority whatsoever.

    September 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • gp

      You have no brains whatsoever

      September 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • sam

      Golly gosh, gp! That was such a hardcore burn! I wish I had great comebacks like you.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  13. VampiresAreEverywhere

    Why do all the popes look like Dracula?

    September 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • sam

      This one looks a lot more like Emperor Palpatine.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • old ben

      My thoughts exactly, sam.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • gp

      Golly Gosh Sam, how bright you are.

      September 14, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  14. 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 let's 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**; and that other things, like god, we really don't know a damn thing about.

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

    Religions are just big old evil clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division along the way (disguised as love).

    So instead of praying to make-believe people, get a good cup of tea and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.

    ** (yes, charlatan spam started long before the Bible; what would make your think it hadn't?)

    mama kindless

    September 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Iwilli02

      Mama Kindness, you don't sound like you're very kind to people who disagree with you...

      September 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  15. Pope Benedict

    8 pieces of bacon or 4 pieces of Canadian bacon
    2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish
    The Pope
    2 teaspoons white or rice vinegar
    2 English muffins

    Blender Hollandaise

    10 Tbsp unsalted butter
    3 egg yolks
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Dash of cayenne or tabasco

    September 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • James

      I await the baying Christian mobs when they get a wind of this recipe.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • abcdxyz

      Thanks for that–it's been a long time since I laughed that hard!

      September 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • justsayin'

      Christian response: bay, bay,...yawn, my God is big enough to take the abuse

      September 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      Ah yes. And some fava beans on the side and a fine Chianti would do nicely. When communion served?

      September 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • just sayin

      Grace allows the sinner to mock God, why not judgement day comes for everyone. God bless

      September 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  16. AvdBerg

    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’ and ‘S.exual Abuse in the Churches’ 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 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      For a better understanding of the christian faith, see the chapter on mass delusions in any psychology textbook.

      September 14, 2012 at 4:28 pm |

      This poster is a TROLL on this blog, they have been proven LIARS over and over again – and they are only here to sell their book to support their cult. Click the report abuse link to get rid of this TROLL!

      September 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • gp

      Those verses describe all you Protestants- Pick and choose what you want to believe in...move from false church to false church until you fit in with a bunch of other idiots.

      September 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • sam

      Hey gp, protip: they're ALL false. Yours too! Congrats!

      September 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  17. 900rr

    Who cares about king of pedophiles? !
    Time for religion to step back and let us evolve into reasonable beings

    September 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  18. Johnny 5

    Thats it Pope Benedict, add fuel to the fire. You are part of the problem, not the answer.

    September 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      Johnny 5

      You are correct with your statement.


      September 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • *

      By all means go and watch AdvBerg argue with his fellow delusionals. It's as entertaining (and as real) as arguing about the color and number of buttons on Leprechauns' vests... or what do Unicorns truly like for breakfast.

      September 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm |

      "You are correct with your statement.


      This poster is a TROLL on this blog, they have been proven LIARS over and over again – and they are only here to sell their book to support their cult. Click the report abuse link to get rid of this TROLL!

      September 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  19. palintwit

    If I was Bristol Palin I'd drive over to the nearest stockyard and get in line with the rest of the cattle.

    September 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  20. phil

    Roman Pontiff beware of approaching
    The city that two rivers flow through,
    Near there your blood will come to spurt,
    You and yours when the rose will flourish.
    - Nostradamus Quatrain 2.97

    September 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • TheMendicantBias

      Nostradamus was a tard.


      September 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • trigtwit palin... America's favorite tard baby


      September 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • vajrayana

      1- assasination attempt against the Pope in Lebanon
      2- blame Hezbollah
      3- US accuses Iran for evil supporting Hezbollah's attempt to kill the pope
      4- gain global/Western sympathy, attack evil Iran

      September 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Hezbollah, an army of citizen protecting their county from a foreign power seeking to make it a colony
      18th century Patriots, an army of citizen protecting their county from a foreign power seeking to keep it a colony

      September 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
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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.