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Pope expresses concern over continued political crisis in Lebanon

ICC Note

“Unfortunately, there are also reasons for concern, especially due to unusual verbal violence and due to those who place their trust in the force of arms and in the physical elimination of adversaries,”

By John Thavis

February 19, 2008 Lebanon (CNS) — In an apparent reference to political assassinations in Lebanon , Pope Benedict XVI warned that some groups support “the physical elimination of adversaries.”

The pope spoke Feb. 17, three days after rival factions in Lebanon clashed in demonstrations marking the third anniversary of the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and backers of the militant Islamic group Hezbollah thronged the streets for the funeral of slain Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh.

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“Unfortunately, there are also reasons for concern, especially due to unusual verbal violence and due to those who place their trust in the force of arms and in the physical elimination of adversaries,” he said.

The pope said he supported the Lebanese bishops’ call for all Lebanese to work for dialogue, reconciliation and the peaceful coexistence of all sectors of the population. Lebanon has the largest Christian population in the Middle East .

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