ASIA/LEBANON - President Aoun will visit Pope Francis on March 21

Wednesday, 16 March 2022 middle east   oriental churches   local churches   politics   diplomacy   pope francis  

Vatican Media

Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - Lebanese President Michel Aoun will be received in audience by Pope Francis on Monday, March 21. The date of the upcoming meeting between the Pope and the Lebanese Head of State was announced by Professor Farid Elias Khazen, current Ambassador of Lebanon to the Holy See. As reported by the Lebanese National News Agency, the diplomat recalled that Aoun's trip to the Vatican was preceded by a visit to Lebanon in early February by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary of State Relations at the Secretariat of State.
President Aoun was received by Pope Francis in the Vatican in March 2017, a few months after the start of his term of office, which will now end on October 31. "The attention of the Holy See, like that of the whole world", stressed Professor Khazen, "is currently focused on the war in Ukraine", but the concern of the Pope and the Holy See for the situation in the land of cedars remains constant, "at all levels". In Lebanon, which is struggling with a devastating economic crisis, parliamentary elections will be held next May 15th. A total of 1043 candidates, including only 155 women, who have applied to participate in the election. In the climate leading up to the elections, the Vatican Ambassador deplores the instrumental attempts by those to manipulate the Vatican's position in the media, citing alleged positions of the Holy See for or against either party or alliance. Lebanon's complex institutional system stipulates that the post of president of the republic is entrusted to a Maronite Christian, while the Head of Government must belong to the Sunni Muslim community and the President of Parliament must be a Shia Muslim. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 16/3/2022)