Pope Francis receives Rahi, underlines importance of Christian presence in East

FEBRUARY 6, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) Pope Francis received on Friday at the Holy See the Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi, for an overview of the events that shook the Middle East, the latest developments in Lebanon, the situation of Christians in the midst of the current conflicts, the political crisis and the presidential vacuum in Lebanon.

Reforms initiated by the pontiff in the relations between the Catholic Churches and the cooperation with the Vatican were also a topic of discussion between the two sides.

Pope Francis expressed his solidarity with the Christians of the East, the displaced and all the victims of war. He then stressed the importance of the Christian presence in the Middle East.

For his part, the Maronite prelate thanked the Pope on behalf of the Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs and the evangelist leader who met in Bkirki on January 27, for all his efforts and for his calls to resolve conflicts by peaceful means to promote the establishment of just and comprehensive peace in the region.