Dr Harry Hagopian
Dr Harry Hagopian, Bishops' consultant on the Middle East North Africa, looks ahead to Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Visit to Lebanon that will take place between 14-16 September, in his podcast Middle East Special.
Dr Hagopian said: "The Pope is coming to Lebanon as the Head of a State but he's not going to come to speak as a politician, he's going to speak as someone who brings moral integrity and an ethical value sorely needed in today's world of uncertainty. That is something that a lot of people appreciate in a man like him and it is something that endears him to Muslims and Christians alike"
Two days before the visit, Christian Non-Governmental Organisations have arranged a Muslim/Christian vigil in Beirut.
Dr Hagopian explained: "The idea is to bring Christians and Muslims together to celebrate the fact that the Pope is coming. Somebody who is a bridge-builder, a reconciller - someone who is seen by all to be bringing reconciliation and dialogue to the fore at a time when there is a lack of it."
Commenting on the impact of the Papall Visit, he said: "I believe that the impact of this visit will be positive. It will lift the spirits of everyone in the region - Christians and Muslims alike. You notice I keep saying Christians and Muslims alike. Some people will be saying 'He's the Pope of the Catholics. What have Muslims or other Christians got to do with it?' Yes, but they're all citizens of the same region and what happens to one affects the other."
To listen to the interview go to: http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/pope-in-lebanon-2012-preview