Pope Benedict XVI appeals for dialogue and reconciliation in Lebanon

Pope Benedict XVI appealed to the citizens and politicians of Lebanon on Sunday to find a solution to the country's dangerous power vacuum and worsening internal strife. Speaking after his traditional noontime blessing, Benedict expressed concern for the confrontational rhetoric and violent clashes that have become commonplace in Lebanon, a country entrenched in a long-running political crisis that has left it without a president and its parliament paralyzed. "There are reasons for worry, especially due to an unusual verbal violence and due to those who put their trust in the strength of weapons and the physical elimination of adversaries," the pope told a crowd of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. Benedict called on the faithful to join him and Lebanon's clergy in prayer, to encourage "the citizens of that dear nation, and especially the politicians, to work tenaciously for truly sincere dialogue and reconciliation, for peaceful coexistence and for the good of the country."