The Vatican has announced the possibility of Pope Francis visiting Lebanon this year if the conditions are favorable for such a visit.
The Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, told the diplomats that the Vatican is already “studying the possibility for a visit, perhaps even by the end of the year.”
The archbishop recently visited Lebanon between January 31 and February 4 to mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Lebanon.
Pope Francis has spoken many times about his desire to visit Lebanon and, on many occasions, prayers were held at the Vatican in support of Lebanon with the participation of representatives of Lebanese Christian communities.
Archbishop Gallagher also said his visit to Lebanon offered a very “interesting experience due to the intensity of the meetings, and excellent from the political-diplomatic point of view.”
During his visit, he was able to feel the daily realities of the Lebanese people.
He met with the families of the victims of the Beirut port explosion and pointed out that “they live with a strong sense of frustration.”
Archbishop Gallagher also expressed that there are current problems between the political regime and that the Lebanese people should vote wisely in the upcoming elections especially the Lebanese diaspora.
He commented about neutrality which ” seems to be an essential element for the future of Lebanon.”
The Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States commented about the issue of the Lebanese youth emigration but stated that he has also witnessed many “projects of hope.”
He also shared that many young people expressed criticism of the Lebanese Church as being “rich amid so many poor young people.”