BEIRUT: In response to recent media reports mentioning a possible visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Lebanon this year, the Vatican press office said Tuesday that no such visit is currently scheduled.
“There is no answer as to [whether the pope] will visit Lebanon,” a spokesperson at the press office told The Daily Star. “There is no confirmation of such a visit in the bulletin of journeys.”
The pope received an official invitation to visit Lebanon from Prime Minister Najib Mikati during his visit to The Vatican in late November.
At the time, the Vatican did not confirm whether the pope would accept the invitation, but informed sources said a visit is being planned by the Vatican for April, providing the pope with an opportunity to follow up on matters discussed during last year's Synod of Bishops for the Middle East.
If the pope travels to Lebanon it would be his second trip to the region, after a visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories in 2009.