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. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Only by Christianity absurdity of a Christian, hindu and pagan. Filthy Christian Captain Crunch dog. Filthy pagan hindu pig dog. Filthy Randy Jackson dog. Filthy hebrew national beef dog. Filthy John Holmes foot-long dog. NO DOGS! Who let them be out? Quran means nothing else but path of triple abdullah absolute quantified. please visit ahmadinebinpaid.com/blog.html and click on word Choice to open file. But turn virus protection off before.

    September 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  2. Giao Hoan

    Benedict: prove to us that you are THE respresentative of GOD here on EARTH: stay in ROME and snap your fingers to bring PEACE to the MIDDLEEAST ;-(

    September 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  3. Joe

    I am currently visiting Lebanon and the Pope's visit been very peacful and emotional, I do not know where CNN gets its news from and post it as a negative headlines towards Lebanon, grow up CNN that is way too much

    September 15, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  4. Sam Yaza

    Jesus team six is done, when they came after me a while ago the hit a wall...Of Lilim...needles to say they succ.umbed... and had their souls ripped out. all those years of training, for what, to lose to some t!its and Tail. that what you get from coming to from the most s3x4@lly repressed religion


    you cant go blind blowing your load
    and that's why God's a liar, LIAR

    so if the pope gets got hes F4ck3d,... maybe in a good way

    September 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  5. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    From book of atheist Mithra ism, savior ism relabeled as Christianity to mind fool humanity called bible.To know causes of mayhem among Jews Arabs, handy work of Jew's, criminal self centered, denier of truth absolute, please visit my link http://www.ellimitisthetruth.com/blog.html and click on word Mohammad to open file, but turn off your virus protection first.

    September 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  6. 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 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  7. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    If these hair-trigger, ape-$h|+ Muslims want to avoid any such conflicts as being offended by films, then why can't their totalitarian, theocratic governments just censor the Internet like China does? Problem solved. Must be that these Muslim governments actually WANT their people to start wars over stupid, meaningless crap.

    September 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  8. Pete Halliwell

    So they are letting the vampire loose in Lebanon, are they?

    September 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  9. Voiceinthedesert/Troubledgoodangel

    The Pope ought to be commended for trying to spread peace against all odds in a society that refuses to accept Christians as brothers. The Moslems need to be brought into the XX-century by education and dialogue. The Pope's visit to Lebanon is a step in the right direction.

    September 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 15, 2012 at 1:06 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 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Namaaz five times a day changes everything, faster than filthy your prayer.

      September 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  11. prophet

    we forgive all those who don't understand that God is trying to help them

    September 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      and we kill all those who deny Mohammad.

      September 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  12. 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**; 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 you think it hadn't?)

    mama kindless

    September 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  13. prophet

    we are praying for humanity

    September 15, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      You are simply praying out of fear and ignorance, cupcake.

      September 15, 2012 at 11:57 am |

      Every time you feed it, you make a baby panda cry.

      September 15, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  14. prophet

    is a fund a mentalist someone who is funded and ...........

    September 15, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  15. prophet

    the theme song of athiests

    were on the road to nowhere

    can be found on you tube, its amongst the most popualr songs

    September 15, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Very clever. This might be the most clever thing I've read from you. Too bad it only goes downhill from there.

      September 15, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  16. prophet

    so many athiests are converting to believe in God

    September 15, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Let's see statistics and sources, please. Yeah, I thought so. Empty claims.

      September 15, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • ScottCA

      Actually its quite the opposite. Atheism is growing faster than any religion has ever done.
      All religions are losing members at a record rate. As people are seeing through the lies and stupidity of ancient books with no evidence to support their claims.

      September 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  17. prophet

    someone on here has just criticised what someone has said and their name seems to say that they don't believe in what is true, so therefore what they have said is not to be believed because they think that what they say is true so this makes no sense in what they say.

    September 15, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • midwest rail

      That is possibly the most circular, illogical sentence ever seen on these blogs.
      Arguing with a fundamentalist is akin to playing chess with a pigeon. The bird will roam aimlessly around the playing surface, knock over the pieces, sh!t on the board, then do a victory strut. Congratulations, pigeon.

      September 15, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • truth be trolled

      Could it be because it was "written" by a disgruntled ex Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. "writer"? He just thinks he can put a few of his old fortunes together and wind up with something that makes sense. Lol.

      September 15, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  18. prophet

    someone has just shown themselves to be a fool, out of ridicule of what someone has said

    September 15, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • truth be trolled

      I rest my case. Yep – it's the disgruntled ex Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. "writer".

      September 15, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  19. midwest rail

    Pigeon chess nonsense.

    September 15, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  20. prophet

    some of us have learnt not to argue with fools

    what is interesting here is so many athiests on here are abusive towards many of the righteous people on here but when they are criticised they think it is wrong. Who are the fools here. They are showing themselves up just as those that are now complaining about their leader who has mislead many through the false religion that is destructive towards humanity.

    September 15, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • truth be trolled

      prophet wrote: "some of us have learnt not to argue with fools [..] what is interesting here is so many athiests on here are abusive towards many of the righteous people on here but when they are criticised they think it is wrong. Who are the fools here. They are showing themselves up just as those that are now complaining about their leader who has mislead many through the false religion that is destructive towards humanity."

      Who are you to say who is righteous?

      Are you saying the rock group "The Who" are fools? Oh, maybe you meant that to be a question.

      Who is their leader?

      What false religion?
      Empty words. I can only conclude that this angry, limp post was from the resident belief blog idiot "truth be told" (aka just sayin/captain america/Ronald Regonzo).

      September 15, 2012 at 11:30 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.