Pope meets Lebanese PM amid protests

Pope Benedict XVI met with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora today amid continued violence in the Muslim world over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

The two met for about 20 minutes in private in Benedict’s library before they were joined by Siniora’s 12-member delegation, which included his wife and several Lebanese ministers.

Muslims make up at least 60% of Lebanon’s estimated 3.5 million population, with the remainder Christian. The Maronite Catholic Church, which numbers about 900,000, is the largest Christian denomination and is highly influential in the country’s politics.

Lebanon’s president must be a member of the Maronite church, while the prime minister, Siniora, and the parliament speaker are Muslims – a division that reflects the country’s sectarian makeup.

The Pope has singled out Lebanon in some recent speeches, including his Christmas Day message in which he said that signs of hope in the country, as well as in Iraq and the Holy Land, needed to be “confirmed by actions inspired by fairness and wisdom”.

More in this Section

Revellers restrain suspected killer in the UK by sitting on him until police arriveRevellers restrain suspected killer in the UK by sitting on him until police arrive

Enigmatic artist who made €5.4m gold toilet denies theft was a prankEnigmatic artist who made €5.4m gold toilet denies theft was a prank

Boris Johnson: We’ll break out of EU’s manacles like The Hulk if no deal struckBoris Johnson: We’ll break out of EU’s manacles like The Hulk if no deal struck

Jo Swinson: I’ll cancel Brexit if I’m PMJo Swinson: I’ll cancel Brexit if I’m PM


Lifestyle

Here are five things to check out in the week ahead.5 things for the week ahead

A reader from Ovens recently got in touch to voice concern about the dead horse chestnut treesBleeding canker disease hitting beloved ‘conker’ tree hard

As the weather turns cooler, people will be paying over the counter for cures for seasonal colds and sniffles. But we don’t have to look far for free vitamin C.Time is ripe for this berry

The evening may have gotten off to a slow start, but velvet-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter Feist’s performance at Cork Opera House on Saturday night was worth waiting for.Velvet-voiced Feist worth the wait

More From The Irish Examiner