Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Vatican
 Origins
 Africa
 Headlines
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 Facebook
 Twitter
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Vatican
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
.
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 cns@
 catholicnews.com
 or
 (202) 541-3250

.
 Copyright

 This material
 may not
 be published,
 broadcast,
 rewritten or
 otherwise
 distributed,
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

.
 CNS Story:

POPE-AUDIENCE Nov-26-2012 (630 words) With photos. xxxi

Pope appeals for peace in Mideast, greets pilgrims from four continents


Pilgrims from Lebanon cheer and wave their national flag before Pope Benedict XVI's audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Nov. 26. Lebanon's Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai was among six new cardinals created by the pope at a Nov. 24 consistory. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Greeting hundreds of Christians from Lebanon, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged their presence in the Middle East and launched a fresh appeal for peace in the region.

"The church encourages every effort aimed at bringing peace to the world and the Middle East," he said, adding that real peace must be "based on an authentic respect for each other."

"I wish to encourage the life and presence of Christians in the Middle East where they should be able to live their faith freely and to launch once again an urgent appeal for peace in the region," he said.

The pope made his remarks during an audience with six new cardinals and their family and friends in the Vatican's Paul VI hall Nov. 26.

The informal gathering came after a weekend of ceremonies that saw the creation of six new members of the College of Cardinals: U.S. Cardinal James M. Harvey, former prefect of the papal household; Lebanon's Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai; Indian Cardinal Baselio Cleemis Thottunkal, head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church; Nigerian Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja; Colombian Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota; and Philippine Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila.

A large contingent of Lebanese pilgrims at the audience cheered loudly and often, and waved their nation's flag each time the pope greeted Patriarch Rai.

"My heart is flying in the sky," said Rola Rai, daughter of one of the patriarch's cousins.

She and her family, who wore large buttons displaying the patriarch's photograph, told Catholic News Service that they were thrilled about his elevation to cardinal, as well as the chance to visit Rome and see the pope.

The pope's call for Christians to remain in the Middle East was "very important," she said.

Among the several hundred pilgrims in the audience were members of Cardinal Harvey's family, including his 87-year-old mother.

Bill Harvey of Brookfield, Wis., told CNS that "it was wonderful" to see his brother be made a cardinal.

During his brother's long service as prefect of the papal household, organizing the non-liturgical side of papal events and audiences, "we got to meet Pope John Paul II, which was a great honor," he said.

Each cardinal was allowed to bring four people with him to greet the pope during the audience. Cardinal Harvey brought his mother, his nephew and two of his nieces, who were both pregnant and asked the pope to bless their unborn babies, Bill Harvey said.

Cardinal Onaiyekan brought Mercy Sister Agatha Chikelue, who wore a colorful cotton wrapper decorated with the cardinal's portrait and his episcopal motto, "Thy will be done."

All of the women in her pilgrimage group "had these made as a souvenir for the election," the sister said.

"I never thought something like this would happen to me," she said of her chance to meet the pope.

The Nigerian cardinal also introduced the former director general of his country's National Broadcasting Commission, Tom Adaba, to the pope.

Speaking to CNS, Adaba praised the new cardinal as a "good communicator who has worked for the cause of peace" and a "bridge between religions and the different areas" of Nigeria.

A novelty during the Nov. 26 audience was no longer seeing Cardinal Harvey flanking the right side of the pope.

Instead of assisting dignitaries and the pope, as he had done as prefect of the papal household since 1998, the cardinal was seated facing the stage in the VIP section. The pope named Cardinal Harvey archpriest of Rome's Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls Nov. 23.

The pope has not named a new prefect, so the regent of the Prefecture of the Papal Household, Rogationist Father Leonardo Sapienza, fulfilled those duties at the audience. He accompanied the pope on the stage along with the pope's personal secretary, Msgr. Georg Ganswein.

END


Copyright (c) 2012 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250