Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Saturday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.
Pontiff’s visit revives historical dimension of Christians’ roots
The Pope: Have no fear
There was an escalation in confrontations and protests outside U.S. embassies in several Arab countries over the film “Innocence of Muslims,” as Lebanon geared up to welcome Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope began a three-day visit to Lebanon Friday, announcing the Apostolic Exhortation for the Middle East, "The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness.” Meanwhile, the winds of protest against the anti-Islam film blew in the city of Tripoli, north Lebanon, leaving one person killed during the burning of an American fast food establishment.
This tragic development, however, did not lessen the joy that overwhelmed Lebanon over the great visitor – the Pope.
Pope salutes Arab Spring: A cry for freedom
The historic visit of Pope Benedict XVI, which began yesterday amid a warm and national welcome, carried an important message: Lebanon’s balance [between sects] could be a model for the Middle East and the whole world.”
Another important message addressed the region, when the Pope said that the Arab Spring "is a positive thing" and that arms shipments to Syria “must stop.”
The Pope also said that calls for “dialogue against violence” should be initiated.
Benedict from Lebanon: an urgent appeal to eradicate extremism
The first day of the Pope's visit includes his signing of the Apostolic Exhortation
The second day will feature a visit to Baabda Palace, Bzommar, Bkirki
“The Churches of the Middle East are not afraid because the Lord is with them until the end (...) and the famous Lebanese [coexistence] which is always keen to be a reality will only be able to continue thanks to the goodwill and commitment of all the Lebanese; [coexistence] will be a model for all the people of the region and the world."
Between his first speech at Rafik Hariri International Airport and his second in Harissa before signing the Apostolic Exhortation for the Middle East, Pope Benedict XVI made clear in less than five hours the truly historic nature of his Lebanon visit.
Perhaps the most significant thing about his trip was not his insistence on visiting Lebanon during a time rife with revolutions, unrest and fear for Christians and minorities in the Middle East, but also having his visit coincide with the outrage of protests that have swept many countries in this region over the film that insulted Islam.
Pope: Lebanese coexistence example to the world
With joy and cheer and songs of peace and church bells, all Lebanese sects welcomed Pope Benedict XVI yesterday, showing a picture of a united people craving unity and peace.
The Pope announced upon his arrival that Lebanese coexistence is a model to the Middle East and the entire world.
The Pope stressed that Christians of the Middle East have the right and duty to participate fully in civic life and should not be treated as second-class citizens.