Vatican Secretary: Pope hopes internal reforms and international support will help Lebanon

BEIRUT – On Tuesday, during his visit to Beirut, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Paul Gallagher conveyed to Lebanese President Michel Aoun Pope Francis’ concern over the situation in Lebanon, hoping that reforms would help Lebanon, along with the support of the international community.

Archbishop Gallagher said in a statement from Baabda Palace:

“Pope Francis asked me to express to you his closeness to you and his concern over the situation, and he believes that reforms, along with the support of the international community, will help Lebanon preserve its special identity.”

He also stated that, “any weakening of the Christian presence would destroy the internal balance and the identity of Lebanon.”

He added:

 “Pope Francis has previously said that Lebanon was and must remain a peace project, and his message is to have tolerance and pluralism where all sects and religions meet, placing the public interest above their own interests.”

He also stated, “Pope Francis would like to visit Lebanon soon.”