Pope Francis on September 2, said that Lebanon faces "extreme danger" and threat to its very existence. The 83-year-old pontiff who resumed his weekly public appearances for the first time since February 26, asserted that even after a month since an explosion flattened Beirut post, his “thought” were still with the country. The horrific explosion, which occurred on August 4, ripped through the country killing 180 and injuring over 6,500 people.
"A month after the tragedy... my thoughts are still with dear Lebanon and its particularly hard-pressed population," he said holding a Lebanese flag. "Faced with the repeated tragedies that each of the inhabitants of this land knows, we realise the extreme danger that threatens the very existence of this country," he added.
Addressing a limited audience in Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, the pontiff also urged international support saying “Lebanon could not be left to its solitude." The Argentinian pope, who is fond of direct contact, neither shook hands nor hugged people but only exchanged a few words with those present, all wearing face masks.
Pope Francis had previously urged church leaders in Lebanon to lead and asked them to should stay close to the people in their hour of need. He also said people to work together for the common good of this beloved country. The Pope said this while speaking to French President Emmanuel Macron on United Nations-supported virtual conference to collect aid for Lebanon. After the explosion, Pope Francis prayed for Lebanon during the weekly General Audience.
The Pope said "let us pray for the victims and their families and let us pray for Lebanon" and asked the international community to help Lebanon overcome its internal crisis. Francis has dedicated much of his papacy to highlighting the plight of those living on life's margins, saying societies must put them at the centre of their attention.
Earlier this month, he also announced that he was going to go to the peripheries and open the church like a "big tent" for all to enter. Talking about the vaccine Pope said that, “The pandemic has laid bare the difficult situation of the poor and the great inequality that reigns in the world. And the virus, while it doesn't make exceptions among persons, has found in its path, devastating, great inequalities and discrimination”.