During his New Year’s address to the diplomatic corps on Monday, Pope Francis expressed profound concern over the prolonged political and economic crisis in Lebanon.
He stated, “I hope that the institutional impasse that is bringing down Lebanon will be resolved and that the land of the Cedars will soon have a president.”
This statement underscores his deep worry about Lebanon’s current state and his desire for a swift resolution.
The Pope also broadened his focus to address the situation in Israel and Palestine. He condemned all forms of terrorism and extremism and reiterated his call for a ceasefire across all fronts, including Lebanon.
He emphasized the need for the immediate release of hostages in Gaza and asked for the provision of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.
Pope Francis also lamented the disregard for discernment between military and civilian targets in modern conflicts, citing the situations in Ukraine and Gaza as examples.
He insisted that civilian victims should not be seen as collateral damage but recognized as individuals with names and families who suffer the dire consequences of war.
He also called for a more robust commitment from the international community to enforce and uphold humanitarian law as a means to protect human dignity in times of conflict.