Pope urges international solidarity for Lebanon

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Aug 09 2020 08:23 PM

This photo taken and handout on April 27, 2020 by the Vatican Media shows Pope Francis holding a private livestreamed morning mass at the Santa Marta chapel in The Vatican, during the lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection. Handout, Vatican Media via AFP

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis urged international solidarity with Lebanon Sunday, in the wake of the explosion that devastated the capital Beirut and as France hosts an international donors conference to aid reconstruction efforts.

He also called on church leaders in Lebanon to lead by example.

"Last Tuesday's catastrophe calls on all of us, starting with the Lebanese people, to work together for the common good of this beloved country," he said.

The church in Lebanon should stay close to the people in their hour of need, with "solidarity and compassion", he said, speaking after weekly prayers in Saint Peter's Square.

"I also renew my appeal for generous help from the international community.

Pope Francis was speaking as French President Emmanuel Macron hosts a UN-backed virtual conference to drum up aid for Lebanon after the massive Beirut port blast.