The Lebanese government and the Lebanese Bishop's conference announced today that Pope Benedict will visit the country September 14 to 16. During the visit the Holy Father will celebrate Mass in Beirut, the nation's capital, and hand over to the bishops of the Middle East his post-synodal exhortation for the Middle East.
In October 2010 an ordinary Synod of Bishops was held on the topic of the Church in the Middle East. For three weeks bishops from around the world heard about the situation Christians face in different parts of the middle east discussed possible ways to strengthen the unity of the church in the Middle East so that Christians would be better able to deal with serious issues they face there.
At the end of that Synod the bishops released a list of proposals that they submitted to Pope Benedict. In turn Pope Benedict took those proposals and has written a document calling for specific things to be done by and for the church in the Middle East.
The detailed schedule of the Holy Father's trip has not been released yet.
Photo: Courtesy of CNS (view from the patriarchal seat of the Maronite church, Bkerk, Lebanon)